Emerald Publishing has been named Independent Publisher of the Year at the 2020 Independent Publishers Guild (IPG) Awards.
Emerald took the award, sponsored by Ingram Content Group, as well as winning PLS Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year.
The judges said: "There’s a great energy about Emerald and you get a really good sense of what they want to achieve and how. A company that could be resting on its successes and set in its ways is screaming innovation, creativity and vision.”
On the academic front, the company was praised for the recent launch of its Emerald Insight research platform in addition to its Open Research website for the public.
The awards, now in their 14th year, were presented at an online event held today (Tuesday 22nd September). The shortlists featured a record 47 nominations, showcasing the work of 32 companies and four individuals
Emerald was one of five publishers on the shortlist for the Publisher of the Year award. It was joined there by The Paperback Bookshop Trade Publisher of the Year, Atlantic Books; Westchester Education Services Education Publisher of the Year, Bloomsbury Publishing; IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year, How2Become; and Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year, Nosy Crow–the fifth time the press has won this specific award in nine years.
Nosy Crow added to its success with the IPG International Achievement Award, while its senior rights manager, Michela Pea, was named The Bookseller Young Independent Publisher of the Year. The press and its staff have now won 17 IPG awards in total. The judges were impressed by Nosy Crow's energetic marketing, international reach, dedication to new and longstanding children’s writers and illustrators and commitment to diversity and sustainability. “It’s a consistently impressive business with a brilliant team of people across sales, rights and editorial,” they said. Commenting on Pea's win, they added: "Considering she’s only a few years into publishing she’s achieved an outstanding amount. She is obviously right at the heart of the business already."
Atlantic Books was a first-time winner at the awards and was applauded for continuing its "impressive business turnaround" in 2019. Its print and e-book sales both grew sharply, thanks in part to the success of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister the Serial Killer, and its fiction imprint. “Atlantic is a remarkable turnaround story and you can feel the enthusiasm right across the business,” said the judges.
Bloomsbury Publishing’s Education division received its award for the second year in a row, recognised for its domestic sales, good translation and co-edition deals, new audio and subscription models and smart marketing via educational conferences and other events. “Bloomsbury had a humdinger of a year in a tricky market… even considering the resources at their disposal, they progressed on all fronts,” judges said.
Boldwood Books received the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award for its "amazing innovation", while Kogan Page bagged the Digital Publishing Award for its Accessible E-Book Programme, a textbook service for visually impaired students.
Quarto won the Marketing Award for Zoe Tucker's Greta and the Giants. The campaign involved promising to plant a tree for every copy pre-ordered, and finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of its production processes.
Winning the award for the second time, Barefoot Books picked up the Alison Morrison Diversity Award for its "superb track record celebrating diversity in all its forms across childrens books".
“Barefoot don’t have to work hard at inclusivity or make a big deal of it—it’s just part and parcel of the way they work and what they publish," judges said.
Cambridge University Press received the Sustainability Award for its "influential contribution to sustainability" through publishing, and its internal commitment to the environment through projects such as solar panel installation.
The GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award went to Virtusales Publishing Solutions for its Biblio software and "superb customer service".
IPG c.e.o Bridget Shine said: “It’s a huge pleasure to take time out of a challenging year and celebrate the brilliant recipients of our 2020 Independent Publishing Awards. The achievements of all the companies and people on the shortlists are inspiring and show the dynamism and diversity of independent publishing in 2020. Congratulations to them all.”