The Nibbies are to return in 2020 to celebrate three decades, with another gala ceremony
awarding the best of the British book trade.
The British Book Awards 2020 are now open for entries. Submissions to the prestigious prizes, now in their 30th year, can be made at thebookseller.com/british-book-awards, with the deadline of 7th February 2020.
The ceremony, which will be held at the J W Marriott Grosvenor House Hotel in London, on 18th May, will be hosted for a fourth time by “Desert Island Discs” presenter Lauren Laverne. Ten book awards will be presented on the night, including for début, fiction, non-fiction, audiobook, crime & thriller, and an overall Book of the Year. There will also be awards for Author of the Year and Illustrator of the Year.
Trade awards include the highly coveted Publisher of the Year, won in 2019 by Penguin General; Book Retailer, won last year by W H Smith Travel; Independent Bookshop of the Year, taken back to Edinburgh last year by Golden Hare Books; and Independent Publisher of the Year, won by Faber in 2019. There are also awards for agents, rights professionals, editors, imprints, marketeers and publicists.
Small Press of the Year and the Export Awards will also once again be open for entries, with a ceremony for these to take place at the London Book Fair in March. The winner of the Small Press award, for publishers with annual sales of less than £2m, will go on to compete against fellow indie publishers for the Independent Publisher of the Year award at May’s event.
A new award for booksellers is also to be established, with “Bookshop Heroes” to be recognised at the Booksellers Association’s annual conference in September. Libraries will also be recognised with the Library of the Year Award, which will run again in The Bookseller in July.
The British Book Awards were first launched by Publishing News in 1990, with winners in its inaugural year including Faber, which won Publisher of the Year, and Prince Charles, who won Author of the Year. The awards have since recognised an eclectic range of books and writers, including Sebastian Faulks, Andrew Morton, Alan Bennett, Maeve Binchy, Paul Gascoigne, Zadie Smith and Jung Chang.
Now run by The Bookseller, last year’s winners included Sally Rooney, who picked up the Book of the Year and Fiction award, Michelle Obama, Judith Kerr, Lee Child and David Walliams.
Nigel Roby, chief executive of The Bookseller, said: “This year’s British Book Awards were a huge success, celebrating the best books, publishers and bookshops of a thriving book trade. Next year 2020 promises to be better still as we celebrate 30 years since the Nibbies first launched in 1990. Who will follow Edinburgh’s Golden Hare as indie of the year? Who will succeed Lee Child as author of the year? The starting gun is fired for submissions, and we can’t wait to see the entries.”
Chair of the judges will once again be Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, with books editor Alice O’Keeffe to chair the book awards. Deputy editor Benedicte Page and managing editor Tom Tivnan will chair the trade categories. Shortlists will be released on Friday 20th March.