So tonight was an evening of small black dresses and supportive underwear donned in publishing offices and bookshops at a scarily daylight hour. 700-odd people gathered in the London Hilton on Park Lane to celebrate the best practitioners in the industry.
Nosy Crow was shortlisted for two awards, Digital Strategy and Children’s Publisher of the Year – up against industry titans with many, many years, if not many, many decades, of history behind them, so we were proud to get as far as a shortlisting, based on our two years of publishing.
I’d have live tweeted the event, but it was hard to get a signal.
Anyway, here are the winners:
The Gerry Davies Award for Outstanding Achievement in the book industry went to former book supremo at W H Smith, Rachel Russell, for her work for World Book Day: she’s chaired the World Book Day committee twice.
The Sue Butterworth Young Bookseller of the Year went to Socrates Adams (excellent name!) of Blackwell’s in Manchester.
The Publicity Campaign of the Year went to Hodder and Stoughton’s publicists for A Street Cat Named Bob.
The Independent Bookseller of the Year was Linghams Bookshop in The Wirral.
There were two winners of the Library of the Year award, which was awarded this year for the first time: Devon Libraries and Dundee Libraries.
The Rights Professional of the Year was Jason Bartholomew from Hodder & Stoughton.
The Children’s Independent Bookseller of the Year was won by Octavia’s Bookshop in Cirencester.
The Literary Agent of the Year award was won by Maggie Hanbury of The Hanbury Agency, which is 30 years old this year.
The bookshop Manager of the Year was Ian Owens of Waterstones in Argyle Street in Glasgow. And Marion Akehurst, of Blackwell’s at the Wellcome Collection (a shop I love because, before Nosy Crow had an office, the cafe at the Wellcome Collection was our office) was highly commended.
Digital Strategy of the Year was won by Pottermore, described by judges as a “game-changer”.
Imprint and Editor of the Year was won by Fourth Estates’s Nicholas Pearson, after another remarkable year of Hilary Mantel publishing.
The Children’s Bookseller of the Year award was won by Sainsbury’s, which reminds me of the blog post I wrote in 2011, when Sainsbury’s, rather controversially, won the big bookselling prize at the industry awards ceremony that year.
The Marketing Campaign of the Year award was won for the campaign behind Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast And Slow (the only book for grown ups that I had read on the shortlist, as it happens).
The Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year award was won by Bloomsbury.
The Independent Academic, Educational and Professional Publisher of the Year award was won by Edward Elgar.
The judges commented on the strength of the entries for Children’s Publisher of the Year this year, but the award was won by Scholastic after the sales explosion generated by The Hunger Games. I felt pretty chipper about this, having run Scholastic for five years until 2009, and Imogen and Kirsty both worked there with me too.
The Independent Publisher of the Year award was won by Alma Books.
The National Bookseller of the Year award was won by Foyles, about whose quest to work out what a bookshop might be in the future we have written here.
The Publisher of the Year award was won by The Random House Group – up against their future merger partners Penguin for the last time, in all likelihood – after “reinventing a genre” and achieving startling levels of sales for Fifty Shades of Grey. Gail Rebuck acknowledged the backstage input of the digital team in the group’s success: 22% of their sales are digital now. But she emphasised that, even in times of extraordinary transition, “our future depends on discovering brilliant books and getting them to as many readers as possible”, whether we are publishers or booksellers (or, for that matter, librarians).