The Bookseller is expanding The British Book Awards (a.k.a. The Nibbies) by splitting the Children’s Book of the Year category in two and adding a new prize for Small Press of the Year.
In 2019 there will be two children’s awards—one for Fiction and another for Illustrated and Non-fiction—reflecting the importance of children’s books to the wider market and the range of titles published each year.
Fiona Noble, children’s book previewer for The Bookseller and Nibbies judge, said: "One in every three books sold in the UK is now a children’s book. In the past few years the Children’s Book of the Year shortlist has become more varied... one prize no longer feels enough to showcase such a vibrant part of our industry. Non-fiction and illustrated books in particular have undergone a real renaissance, and this new prize enables us to celebrate even more outstanding publishing."
The 2018 Children's Book of the Year was awarded jointly to The Hate U Give and The Lost Words
The award for Small Press of the Year is for companies with annual revenues of less than £1m. A shortlist of regional finalists will be announced in February 2019 and the regional winners, as well as one overall winner, will be announced at the London Book Fair (10th–12th March).
The overall winner will automatically be shortlisted for the Independent Publisher of the Year Nibbie, with the winner of that award to be announced at The British Book Awards ceremony on 13th May 2019.
"There has been an explosion of independent publishing across the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland in recent years, and today there are many good and distinctive publishers establishing themselves away from the mainstream in locations such as Manchester, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh and Dublin," said The Bookseller editor Philip Jones. "We are delighted to not only recognise this at The British Book Awards, but also to throw much-needed light on the many authors and books that are now in play thanks to the hard work of these publishers."
Bridget Shine, chief executive of the Independent Publishers Guild, added: "Small presses are a critical part of our industry’s ecosystem, delivering the diverse, innovative and risk-taking publishing that enriches UK culture and society. The IPG is delighted that The Bookseller has chosen to recognise their valuable work with this new award. The IPG and The Bookseller share an ambition to promote and encourage small presses, and it is wonderful to have this new opportunity to raise their profile and celebrate their success.”
Author, radio DJ and TV presenter Lauren Laverne compèred last year’s awards
The Nibbies celebrate the best books, bookshops and publishers and are supported by the Publishers Association (PA), the Booksellers Association and the Independent Publishers Guild.
PA chief executive Stephen Lotinga said: "The UK publishing industry has a turnover of £5.7bn and plays a central role in content discovery for many other creative industries, including film, television and theatre. The Nibbies are the awards that champion all that is great about our industry, from the authors who create the content, to the people who work in publishing. We’re proud to be supporting the awards and the recognition that they give to the excellence of what we stand for and contribute to society and the economy [as an industry]."
Details on how to enter the awards can be found on The British Book Awards website, and the deadline for submissions is 8th February. The winners of The British Book Awards will be announced at a ceremony on 13th May at The Grosvenor House, Park Lane, London.