Bloomsbury leads the way with three nominations across its imprints on the 14-strong longlist for the £23,000 William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award 2011.
Behind the Boundary: Cricket at a Crossroads by Graeme Wright (A & C Black), Babysitting George by Celia Walden (Bloomsbury) and Among the Fans: From Ashes to the Arrows, a Year of Watching the Watchers by Patrick Collins (Wisden Sports Writing) get the nod for Bloomsbury.
Also on the starting blocks are two titles each from Vision Sports Publishing, Random House/Transworld, and HarperCollins, with Orion, Profile Books, Mainstream Publishing, Peridot Press and Rizzoli International Publications completing the line-up.
The winner will receive £23,000, as well as a £2,000 William Hill bet, a hand-bound copy of their book, and a day at the races. William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "As befits the world's richest sporting book prize, this year's longlist boasts a rich variety of subject matter: ancient and modern; tragic and triumphant; mainstream and controversial."
The judging panel for this year's award consists of chairman John Gaustad, co-creator of the award and founder of the Sportspages bookshop; broadcaster and writer John Inverdale; award-winning journalist Hugh McIlvanney; broadcaster Danny Kelly and columnist and author Alyson Rudd.
The shortlist will be announced on 28th October, with the winner announced at Waterstone's Piccadilly on 28th November.
The longlist in full:
Carlo Ancelotti: The Beautiful Games of an Ordinary Genius by Carlo Ancelotti with Alessandro Alciato (Rizzoli International Publications)
The Bicycle Book by Bella Bathurst (HarperPress)
Among The Fans: From Ashes to the Arrows, a Year of Watching the Watchers by Patrick Collins (Wisden Sports Writing)
Into The Arena: The World of the Spanish Bullfight by Alexander Fiske-Harrison (Profile Books)
Gold Rush: What Makes An Olympic Champion? by Michael Johnson (HarperSport)
The Ghost Runner: The Tragedy of the Man They Couldn't Stop by Bill Jones (Mainstream Publishing)
Racing Through The Dark: The Fall and Rise of David Millar by David Millar (Orion)
The Smell of Football by Mick Rathbone (Vision Sports Publishing)
A Life Too Short: The Tragedy of Robert Enke by Ronald Reng (Yellow Jersey Press)
32 Programmes by Dave Roberts (Bantam Press)
The Following Game by Jonathan Smith (Peridot Press)
Babysitting George by Celia Walden (Bloomsbury)
"Get In There!" Tommy Lawton – My Friend, My Father by Barrie Williams and Tommy Lawton Junior (Vision Sports Publishing)
Behind The Boundary: Cricket at a Crossroads by Graeme Wright (A & C Black)