Hachette and Penguin Random House have earned 11 shortlistings each in the British Book Awards’ Books of the Year awards, with Pan Macmillan garnering three nods and Faber and HarperCollins both winning two nominations [full listings below].
Independent publishers are also represented with No Exit Press shortlisted for Dodgers by Bill Beverley; Serpent’s Tail for Sarah Perry’s historical novel The Essex Serpent, and Oneworld for last year’s Man Booker Prize-winning satire The Sellout by Paul Beatty. Orkney-based memoir The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate) is shortlisted in the new Non-fiction Narrative category alongside essay collection The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla and published by crowdfunding company Unbound.
The British Book Awards Books of the Year shortlists in six categories were unveiled yesterday afternoon (15th March) at the 2017 London Book Fair. Chair of the judges Cathy Rentzenbrink, contributing editor of The Bookseller, applauded the shortlist’s “innovation, experimentation, good old-fashioned story-telling and beautiful production values”.
The Bookseller acquired the rights to the British Book Awards, also known as the Nibbies, earlier this year, meaning this year there will be a unified book and trade award-giving for the first time since 2004. The prize has expanded this year with additional awards: Crime and Thriller titles have their own category, while non-fiction is split into Narrative and Lifestyle. The shortlists contain six books in each of the six categories, and recognize the author, illustrator and entire publishing team.
Last year marked “a step change” in the previously titled British Book Industry Awards with a revamp of the Books of the Year with four new categories including Children’s, Debut Fiction, Fiction and Non-Fiction with an overall Book of the Year prize introduced to “celebrate the books that best demonstrated the real value of publishing; a close collaboration between publisher and author that culminates in something extraordinary for the reader”.
Rentzenbrink said: "What a delight it is to be celebrating the huge variety on offer from UK publishing. Our shortlists are full of unleashed imaginations, smart ideas, brave new worlds and personal stories tamed on to the page. There’s innovation, experimentation, good old-fashioned story-telling and beautiful production values. It is a joy to judge this prize and to be able to consider every part of the journey from the author’s mind to the readers’ hands."
Sarah Shaffi, online editor at The Bookseller and deputy chair of judges, said: “At the core of the 36 fantastic books on our shortlist are great writing and great stories, which are illuminated by passionate authors, agents, publishers, retailers and more who help get the book from dream to reality. Celebrating the work of an entire team is key to our awards, and it’s wonderful to be able to shine a light on the many people involved in helping a book succeed."
The category winners will be decided by six panels of judges, and a separate panel will go on to choose the overall Book of the Year. The results will be revealed at an awards ceremony on 8th May at Grosvenor House in central London.
To reserve your place visit http://www.thebookseller.com/british-book-awards.
Books of the Year – 2017 shortlists
Fiction Book of the Year
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador)
Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop (Headline Review)
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)
Debut Book of the Year
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press)
The Girls by Emma Cline (Chatto & Windus)
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (Penguin General)
What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Picador)
Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris (Doubleday)
Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (Faber)
Crime and Thriller Book of the Year
The Widow by Fiona Barton (Bantam Press)
Dodgers by Bill Beverley (No Exit Press)
Night School by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland Books)
Conclave by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
I See You by Claire Mackintosh (Little, Brown)
Non-fiction: Narrative Book of the Year
Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (Headline)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (The Bodley Head)
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
East West Street by Philippe Sands (W&N)
The Good Immigrant, ed by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound)
Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (S&S)
Non-fiction: Lifestyle Book of the Year
Hello, is this Planet Earth? By Tim Peake (Century)
Sidemen The Book by The Sidemen (Coronet)
The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner (Bantam Press)
Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent (Quercus)
Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)
The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (Penguin Life)
Children’s Book of the Year
The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries (illus) (Puffin)
Oi Dog! Kes and Claire Gray and Jim Field (Hodder)
Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, Clair Rossiter (illus) (Hodder)
The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (Chicken House)
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (Little, Brown and Pottermore)
The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams and Tony Ross (Harper Collins Children’s Books)
Click here to see the shortlists for the trade categories.