Galaxy National Book Awards coverage shake-up

Galaxy National Book Awards coverage shake-up

The Galaxy National Book Awards ceremony will not be broadcast in full this year, instead being showcased in a six-part series on More4, with submissions for the awards closing on 16th September.  

The six-part series, one more episode than last year, will be called "Booked-Winners of the Galaxy National Book Awards", and will run in a 5 p.m. slot on Saturday nights on More4 from 12th November to 17th December. 

The series will still be produced by Cactus TV, with the format of the episodes changing. The first five episodes will feature a celebrity author chat, interviews with the individual category award winners from the awards night, which aim to give a flavour of the event.

The sixth episode will announce the Galaxy Book of the Year, the public's favourite of the five category winners, following a national poll which will be backed by a PR, marketing and social media campaign.

Alastair Giles, Agile Marketing m.d., said the decision had been taken to change the format of the series following a meeting with the Trade Publishers Council: "Their feedback was that from a trade perspective, it really helped sales, they were thrilled from a campaign point of view, but we've restyled the TV event . . . The actual awards show itself, and it was up against some tough competition including the 'X Factor' final, didn't get the types of figures that we had hoped for." 

He added: "The TV series [this year] is a platform for the campaign as it runs for six weeks, and gives a platform building to the overall book of the year."

There will be up to 12 categories in the awards this year, with final details and sponsors to be confirmed, including a lifetime achievement award, popular non-fiction book of the year, and new category, audiobook of the year, sponsored by Audible.

Giles said that the official app will be released again this year, and retailers and libraries will be provided with PoS, stickers, and an official winners magazine.

On the value of the awards to the industry, Giles said: "Hopefully [it is] very important. I've been involved for about 10 years. It's an industry collective campaign and we've spent a lot of time as an industry narrowing down what we think will work best and I think we've got it as near as possible to perfect. Galaxy are very supportive - it's not costing the industry as much to put together any more and now we've got a series to use as a backdrop at this most important time in the run-up to Christmas. We are raising the profile of books at the most important time."

The shortlists will be confirmed to publishers and retailers on 26th September, with a media launch on 20th October. The awards ceremony will be held on 9th November.