The Bookseller is to create a Rising Stars-style listing of individual booksellers to coincide with the Booksellers Association Conference in September 2020. The Bookshop Heroes special, supported by the BA and sponsored by HarperCollins, will be published to coincide with the annual conference.
Highlighting top individual booksellers from indies and high street shops up and down the country, it’s the first time that so many bookselling superstars will have been profiled in one place. Nigel Roby, chief executive of The Bookseller, said: “The skills and enthusiasm of individual booksellers make the difference between a book earning a much-loved place on readers’ bookshelves and being consigned to a lonely life in the warehouse. We are delighted to create this new special issue and champion so many booksellers.”
As well as the special itself, one individual bookseller will be crowned Bookshop Hero of the Year, and will receive a British Book Award. The award replaces the Individual Bookseller of the Year award that was given out at last year’s Nibbies. The new Nibbie will be presented to the individual bookseller at the BA Conference by sponsor HarperCollins.
Anna Derkacz, group sales director of HarperCollins, said: “I am delighted that HarperCollins is supporting the new Bookshop Heroes award. Booksellers are vital to our industry—they are the link between authors and their readers, and their talent, drive and support make bestsellers happen. We’re incredibly grateful for the energy and passion they put into selling our books, and it is great that they will be celebrated with this new award.”
Alan Staton, the BA’s director of strategy and communication, said: “We are delighted The Bookseller has chosen to shine the spotlight on our hugely talented booksellers in this way. A Bookshop Heroes supplement, published alongside the BA Conference in September, sends a perfect dual message to the industry about the imagination and creativity of bookselling in the UK and Ireland in 2020.”
Meanwhile, the search for the best Independent Bookshop of the Year and the Children’s Book Retailer of the Year commences in earnest, with entries to be submitted by 7th February 2020 at thebookseller.com/british-book-awards.