Sara Lloyd, digital and communications director at Pan Macmillan, has won FutureBook’s Digital Leader of the award, announced at this year’s FutureBook Conference. Other winners on the day included Penguin Random House for its Penguin.co.uk consumer website, Orion for the Julian Fellowes Belgravia digital book, and Nosy Crow for its Goldilocks and Little Bear, fairytale app.
Penguin.co.uk won the consumer Platform of the Year award for its consumer website; in the reference and education category the winner was Bloomsbury Fashion Central, Bloomsbury Publishing.
Judge Fiona Wilson, of The Times said of Penguin.co.uk: "From the podcasts to the Penguin Flipper, Penguin.co.uk surprises and delights with its imagination, design and original content that makes you want to keep exploring the website. Proof of the pudding: I bought a PRH book while I judged this entry."
Judge George Burgess, founder of Gojimo and the EdTech Exchange and past winner of a FutureBook Award, said of the Bloomsbury win: “We were really impressed with the breadth of Bloomsbury's fashion resources, in particular the various media types that ranged from videos to quizzes and flashcards. The user experience was impressive for an educational product, and it has been well thought out from both the student and the instructor's perspective.”
Bloomsbury also had a second winner on the day: Digital Achiever of the Year was won by Jenny Ridout, publishing director, Bloomsbury Publishing. The latter award was sponsored by the Frankfurt Book Fair; Lloyd’s award was sponsored by Mosaic Search and Selection.
Of Lloyd, Molly Flatt, FutureBook's associate editor, said: "In an incredibly strong field, Sara stood out because of the sheer breadth and depth of the impact she’s making on the publishing world. She’s obviously a great leader and mentor within Pan Macmillan, in a role with formidable scope that covers communications across the company, but she also sticks her neck out as a writer and speaker, inspiring industry-wide debate about the complex and challenging issues she deals with every day."
Judge Miriam Robinson of The Bookseller and The Literary Platform said of Ridout: "Jenny's foresight, creativity and tenacity in achieving some of Bloomsbury's most innovative projects, plus her proven facility at forging and leveraging partnerships were key reasons she stood out as this year's digital achiever."
Julian Fellowes's Belgravia, published by Orion Books, won the Digital Book of the Year in the adult category, the award sponsored by the London Book Fair. Nosy Crow’s Goldilocks and Little Bear won in the children’s category.
Best use of digital in a marketing/publicity was won by Penguin Random House, for its support of Richard Dawkins through the Mount Improbable website and campaign.
Flatt commented: "Our digital marketing shortlist this year truly reflected how far the industry has come. So many of the campaigns ticked a huge range of boxes, from sophisticated ad strategies to personalised social media outreach to hybrid live-digital events, but Mount Improbable won because it had at its centre such a bold, fresh and digitally-friendly idea. This was a team that knew its book, its author and its audience inside-out, and tackled the difficult task of creating buzz around a backlist book on a minimal budget with real creative flair."
Highly commended were Emma Barnes, c.e.o., Bibliocloud, in the Digital Leader category, and Rebecca Evans, head of innovation, Emerald Group Publishing, for Digital Achiever.
The BookTech award was won by Kadaxis, which uses data science to improve book discovery across the publishing value chain, with Story Tourist, "a kind of Pokémon Go for stories" - an app that allows readers to experience books at the very locations where the action takes place - highly commended.
The EdTech pitch-off was one by Jon Smith of Pobble, which allows teachers to showcase children’s work on an ‘online classroom wall’. The other EdTech shortlistees were Whizz Education, ToucanTech, DoodleMaths, boclips, and TeachPitch.
The FutureBookAwards are now in their seventh year, and were the first such awards to award innovation and excellence within the digital publishing community. Previous winners of the awards include Touch Press, Nosy Crow, Faber, Random House and Rough Guides.
Lloyd follows Hannah Telfer, managing director of Penguin Random House Audio, Nosy Crow founder Kate Wilson, Harlequin’s former m.d. Tim Cooper, Faber’s Stephen Page, Rebecca Smart, now of Ebury, and Sourcebooks publisher and chief executive Dominique Raccah.