Faber & Faber scooped the top prize at this year’s IPG Independent Publishing Awards, being named Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year last night (2nd May).
The company, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary, was praised by judges for its “real turnaround story” and year of awards and shortlists. It triumphed at a ceremony hosted by comedian Sindhu Vee which also saw Kogan Page, SPCK and Bloomsbury receive two awards each.
Faber c.e.o. Stephen Page told the audience it was an “extraordinary honour”. He said: “This is really fantastic and people at Faber will be enormously proud of this. Independence is at the heart of Faber and it’s my job to make sure that we always are independent.”
Page said the firm had shown what was best about independent publishing and remained true to its roots by being “courageous about our tastes” in a year that saw its author Anna Burns awarded the Man Booker Prize for Milkman.
As the winner of the IPG Trade Publisher of the Year, Faber was one of five publishers shortlisted for the overall award, alongside the winners of four other categories: Kogan Page, which bagged the ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year, Bloomsbury Children’s Books, which was awarded Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year, Bloomsbury Publishing, recipient of PLS Education Publisher of the Year, and SPCK, the IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year for the third time in a row.
Revealing Faber’s win, Ingram’s senior vice president David Taylor praised them all, saying: “It’s a terrific shortlist which shows the amazing spectrum of independent publishing. These are all dynamic and forward-thinking publishers.”
Other winners included UCLan Publishing, which picked up the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award and is mainly run by students at the University of Central Lancashire. An emotional head of publishing Debbie Williams said: “This is the one that really means everything to us. We’ve only been going less than a year in our current capacity.”
There were joint winners of the Haremi Digital Publishing Award, with SPCK recognised for the second time for its podcast and apps, while arts and crafts publisher Search Press was awarded for its Half Yard Sewing Club.
Children’s publisher Nosy Crow picked up the IPG Marketing Award, while collective Zed Books bagged the Alison Morrison Diversity Award.
The Bookseller International Achievement Award was won by Kogan Page in its second win of the evening, following sharp growth in the US and online digital sales. M.d. Helen Kogan said, in an era of protectionism, it was important people “actually build bridges, not build walls”.
BooksoniX got the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award, while an overjoyed Zeshan Qureshi from Zeshan Qureshi Ltd thanked the IPG for all its help as he was named Inspired Selection Young Independent Publisher of the Year.
All 13 winners were announced at a gala dinner staged in the Heythrop Park Resort in Oxfordshire as part of the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference.
IPG c.e.o. Bridget Shine said: “We are thrilled to celebrate with the brilliant recipients of our 2019 Independent Publishing Awards. With independent publishing flourishing and membership of the IPG at a record high, competition for the awards was extremely high this year, and these winners are the very best of the best. They are publishers and individuals we can all be inspired by.”
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