Sharmaine Lovegrove has been named FutureBook’s Person of the Year for 2018. Announced ahead of this year’s FutureBook Conference, Lovegrove has been recognised for her work promoting inclusivity and positive change within the books sector.
Lovegrove will deliver the closing address at the FutureBook Conference. Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, said: “Sharmaine Lovegrove is one of publishing’s leading innovators, an alumnus of this year’s FutureBook 40. She is unapologetic, unafraid and making change. She leads from the front, within an organisation now intent on re-making itself for the 21st century.
“She is focused on the big stuff, such as the creation of her Dialogue Books imprint within Little, Brown, the promotion of her authors, and the prominence of the Changing the Story initiative within Hachette; but also on the small things, like recognising all of the talent that goes into the creation of each book with a credits page.
“In an industry that can be ‘small c’ conservative, Sharmaine is a ‘big r’ revolutionary, and it’s an absolute delight to recognise that with this award.”
Lovegrove has worked across the books business, as a publicist, bookseller, an agent, and as a literary scout, before setting up imprint Dialogue Books within Little, Brown.
The FutureBook Person of the Year prize, sponsored by Mosaic Executive Search, combines previous awards FutureBook Leader and FutureBook Achiever. Past winners have included Pan Macmillan’s Sara Lloyd and Sourcebooks founder and c.e.o. Dominique Raccah.
Lovegrove said: “After 20 years of working in the book industry it’s been a real privilege to swap sides and become a publisher and lead the charge of inclusive publishing at Dialogue Books. We are in challenging times and it’s clear that we are on the cusp of a shift to consider all people in our society as readers and as those who should be working alongside us to create great books. I am deeply honoured and humbled that my work at Hachette and Little, Brown is being recognised with this accolade from FutureBook and I pay tribute to my authors, my Dialogue Books team, and David Shelley, Charlie King, Nick Davies and Saskia Bewley and the thousands of readers that we are aiming to inspire with the books we publish.”
Jo Howard, managing consultant at Mosaic Executive Search, added: “Sharmaine makes an excellent choice. She is an innovative and imaginative leader, and portrays so many of the qualities that we look for in our candidates.”
Lovegrove is interviewed about Hachette's Changing the Story inclusivity and diversity programme, which she co-chairs with John Murray Press m.d. Nick Davies, here.