Academic publisher Edward Elgar has been awarded the top honour of Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year Award at this year’s Independent Publishing Guild (IPG) awards after an “outstanding performance in a difficult market in 2016”, according to the judges.
As a "resolutely forward-looking business", expanding into law publishing and building digital platform Elgaronline, the judges praised the publisher for "punching way above its weight despite competition from far larger operators".
“Edward Elgar produced an outstanding performance in a difficult market in 2016,” the judges said. “It is a very well run and profitable company with excellent partnerships, great author care and consistently superb customer service.”
Edward Elgar celebrated its 30th anniversary last year.
As winner of the ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year Award, Edward Elgar Publishing was one of five publishers on the shortlist for the overall award, alongside the winners from four other categories: Faber & Faber, which won Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year; Nosy Crow, winner of Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year for an "unprecedented" fourth time in seven years; Maths – No Problem!, winner of Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year; and SPCK, which was crowned IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year.
Edward Elgar was joined as a double winner by How2Become, which won the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award while its operations director Joshua Brown was awarded the Ruth Killick Publicity Young Independent Publisher of the Year.
Usborne founder Peter Usborne with his son, Martin Usborne, founder of Hoxton Mini Press, and daughter-in-law (credit: Nicola Usborne)
Other winners included Hoxton Mini Press, winner of the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award, and Pavilion Books, recipient of the Bookseller International Achievement Award for the second year in a row following an "exceptional" year overseas. Pointing to the way Pavilion capitalised on the success of its Millie Marotta colouring books by building in new markets including India and South Africa and also reinvigoratating backlist sales in the US, the judges said: “Pavilion was coming off a stellar year [in 2015] but has worked out how to follow that success in a very strategic way".
Bloomsbury Publishing won the Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award and Oneworld, the Alison Morrison Diversity Award. The list of winners is completed by Bibliocloud with the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine congratulated the winners and nominees, saying: “It is testament to the strength of independent publishing in the UK that this has been the most competitive year in the history of our Awards. Our judges had to work long and hard to select the winners, who represent the very best of the independent sector.”
All 13 winners were announced at a Gala Dinner held tonight (9th February), staged at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire as part of the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference. They were chosen from shortlists featuring 41 nominations from 29 different companies and three individuals.