The Bookseller has expanded its industry awards, with the 2016 ceremony to celebrate the books of the year as well as the wider trade. A new venue and enhanced media coverage will also increase focus and attention on the winners.
The British Book Industry Awards will take place on Monday 9th May at Grosvenor House in central London with 24 categories, including new awards for fiction, children’s, non-fiction and début titles—from which an overall Book of the Year will be selected.
The expansion represents a step-change in the development of the industry awards—which date back more than 25 years—and how the book trade presents itself to the wider world.
Nigel Roby, chief executive and publisher of The Bookseller, said: “The British book trade is an astonishing creative industry which fuels other sectors such as TV and film. It deserves an awards scheme that can showcase its triumphs to the outside world as well as celebrating the people who work within it. We are delighted we can do that with The British Book Industry Awards.”
In 2016 there will be four book categories: Children’s, Adult Fiction, Adult Non-Fiction, and Adult Début, with the overall Book of the Year drawn from these winners. Cathy Rentzenbrink, The Bookseller’s contributing editor, will chair the Books of the Year judging panel.
Roby added: “The Books of the Year element of the awards is central to our plans. It celebrates the creative partnership between author and publisher, illuminating, showcasing and rewarding every step on the journey from the author’s mind to the reader’s hands. We look forward to welcoming many more authors to the awards, from internationally acclaimed writers to début novelists.”
The move has been backed by the trade, including the Publishers Association and the Booksellers Association. In addition, publicity specialist FMcM has been engaged to drive coverage of the awards, with a particular emphasis on the books of the year winners. A dedicated reader event is planned for the day after the awards, where the author winners of the Books of the Year categories will be interviewed.
Emma House, director of Publisher Relations at the The Publishers Association, said: “We are delighted with the improvements being made to the Bookseller awards. Recognising achievements within the industry whilst celebrating our authors in a combined ceremony highlights the important role of the creators as well as the ecosystem that brings their work to audiences. As with other creative industries, publishing needs a flagship event that creates new readers, drive sales, celebrates success and recognises the role of the industry.”
Other categories range from Young Book Retailer of the Year to Marketing Strategy of the Year through to Academic, Educational & Professional Publisher of the Year. For the first time, there will be an award for non-traditional sales outlets, sponsored by Quarto, recognising the significant contribution made to book sales by retailers such as giftshops, museums and clothes retailers.
The deadline for entry to the awards is Friday 19th February.
Submissions are now open for the awards, with the shortlists to be announced in March. Tickets are also on sale and can be bought at super early-bird rates. Submissions and ticket purchases can be made at The Bookseller’s dedicated awards site.
Last year 21 awards were given out, including Publisher of the Year to Pan Macmillan, Book Retailer of the Year to Waterstones, and Independent Bookshop of the Year to Oswestry’s Booka Bookshop.