Maths - No Problem! has been named Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year at this year's IPG Independent Publishers Awards.
The outfit, spearheaded by Martin Casimir, formerly managing director at Bloomsbury Professional, is the first ever education publisher to win the flagship award. It was deemed "an outstandingly dynamic, nimble and successful independent publisher" by the judges, who said it had made itself "indispensible" in its specialist area of maths education just a few years after launching in the UK.
Maths - No Problem! was also the winner of the Publishers’ Licensing Services Education Publisher of the Year following its "remarkable" growth. It produced the only Shanghai-style maths textbook to have passed muster with the Department of Education for its £41m new maths programme last summer and, according to the IPG, it has achieved "exceptionally high" customer retention rates, expanded its teacher support resources and ramped up its digital marketing.
"To build such a substantial business from a single subject in such a short space of time is extraordinary," the judges said. "It’s managed its growth extremely well, and many larger publishers could learn a thing or two from it."
Maths - No Problem was competing against four other category champions for the overall title, all of whom were also first-time winners at the Awards: Verso, named Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year for finding a receptive audience for its left-wing list and achieving "phenomenal" direct sales; Little Tiger Group, recognised as Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year after a year in which it drastically improved its retail partnerships, production values, rights trading and digital marketing; Emerald Publishing, named ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year having "stayed nimble and responsive to customers" in its 50th anniversary year; and SPCK, named IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year for its "amazing turnaround story" which saw in record sales in the challenging Christian sector.
Other newly-established publishers triumphing at the Awards were Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, which received the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award; and Cassava Republic Press, winner of the Alison Morrison Diversity Award. Nosy Crow received the Bookseller International Achievement Award for the third time in six years, and How2Become the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award for the third year in a row. For the first time in the history of the Awards, one category is shared, with Bloomsbury Publishing and Class Publishing named joint winners of the IPG Digital Publishing Award.
Two individuals were also recognised: Sam Hutchinson of b small publishing was named IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year. "Like a true independent publisher, he does it all," the judges said.
Lynette Owen was meanwhile honoured with the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award for her support of many IPG members’ rights trading. "Lynette is peerless in her field,” said one member of the judges. “She is the leading authority on rights and brings every ounce of her experience to her work with the IPG. Independent publishers are lucky to have her.”
The awards were presented at a Gala Dinner on Thursday 8th March 2018 as part of the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference. They were chosen from shortlists featuring 42 nominations from 26 different companies, two other publishing organisations and five individuals.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine said: "From the biggest and best field of entries in the history of the Awards, these winners represent the very best of the independent publishing sector. We congratulate all of them, as well as all those who were shortlisted. The intense competition for the 2018 Independent Publishing Awards is proof if it were needed of the incredible range of diversity and dynamism within the IPG’s membership."