Sarah Waters, Sally Nicholls and Salvatore Rubbino are the winners of the Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) Book Awards 2015.
Revealed to mark the official beginning of IBW tomorrow (20th June), the winning titles will be featured throughout independent bookshops across the UK.
Waters’ The Paying Guests (Virago) won the adult category, beating off competition from authors such as Hilary Mantel, Helen Macdonald and Ian McEwan. The Paying Guests was also shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction.
The award was judged by Patrick Neale of Jaffe & Neale Bookshop and Café in Chipping Norton, Emma Corfield of Book-ish in Crickhowell, Paul Wallace of David’s in Letchworth, author Patrick Gale and The Bookseller’s associate editor Cathy Rentzenbrink.
Waters said: "It was a great honour to be on the shortlist for the Adult Category of the IBW book award, alongside so many fantastic authors and books. To have won is a huge thrill. I am absolutely delighted."
In the children’s category, Nicholls’ An Island of Our Own (Scholastic) was named the winner by a panel made up of Neale, Jaffe & Neale’s Polly Jaffe, Helen Stanton of Forum Books in Corbridge, author Nicola Davies and Emily Drabble, children’s editor at the Guardian online. The same panel selected Rubbino’s A Walk in Paris (Walker Books) as the winner of the children’s picture book category.
Nicholls said: "I was astonished when I was told that I'd won an IBW Book Award. With such a strong short list, full of books by authors whose work I really admire, I didn't think I stood a chance! I have such a lot of respect for independent booksellers, most of whom work long hours for little reward, and do so out of a deep love and commitment to bookselling. I've been lucky enough to do events with some brilliant small bookshops, and it's almost always been one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Booksellers have magical powers. They don't just make the world better, they quite literally make you better, and through you the world. Mess with a bookseller at your peril.”
Rubbino added: "It's lovely to receive this award and to be part of a campaign that celebrates independent bookshops! I always feel at home in an independent bookshop, it's where I go to feel nourished with ideas and new picture books. Hurrah for the 'independents', they give the high street its soul!”
Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the Booksellers Association, said: “The judges lunches were very lively affairs as they talked through the incredibly strong shortlists with passion, intelligence and a lot of enthusiasm. The winners of each category soon emerged as strong favourites and the judges were unanimous in their choices. On behalf of the Booksellers Association, I’d like to congratulate Sarah, Sally and Salvatore on winning this year’s awards.”
The IBW Book Awards are at the heart of IBW, with all the winning and shortlisted titles being promoted in bookshops, through point-of-sale material, posters and bookmarks. Throughout IBW, bookshops will be celebrating with a range of events including parties, reading groups and author signings.
The campaign, run by the Booksellers Association, is now in its ninth year.
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