The first and biggest excitement to report was that we won the 2023 Children’s Publisher of the Year award at the Independent Publishing Awards run by the Independent Publishers Guild. This was unexpected. We were up against, among others, David Fickling Books, who have had a stellar year with Jamie Smart’s Bunny vs Monkey series, and Magic Cat, one of the most impressive publishing launches of recent few years. It was, amazingly, the seventh time we’ve won in 12 years.
Judges said, “Nosy Crow… had another superb year of international sales, overcoming a dip in business in China by finding more new markets. It established new authors in the UK while making the most of its backlist. Nosy Crow are so strong in every area … you can sense the heart and emotion there. What stands out all the time is the way that they don’t just buy big brands but create them.” I am so proud of the team. The truth is that the judges were right to point up the way we have managed so well in the context of a pretty dramatic reduction in sales to China over the last few years: we have seen our UK, export and rights and co-edition sales more than make up for this drop, but I’d be the first to say that the whole team is having to work harder to keep us on top – and we’ve grown the team to reflect this. To see this effort recognised was a big morale-boost for us, and those of us who were in the office on Thursday evening celebrated with fizzy wine at our weekly all-company meeting.
— IPG (@ipghq) March 22, 2023
We also got to hand over another Independent Publishing Award: The Ola Gotkowska Young Independent Publisher Award, which we sponsor in memory of Ola, our rights and then contracts manager who died from ALS at 36 just over a year ago. The award went to Will Dady, the publisher of Renard Press.
Meanwhile, we received news that we’d got our first Kirkus starred review for one of the titles in our Nosy Crow Inc launch list. But I can’t tell you which one until 29 March! Plans for the Nosy Crow Inc launch in North America are gathering pace daily: our first books are out in May. Kirkus stars are few and far between, and to have one is such a great stamp of approval for North American librarians, teachers and carers.
And finally, we had two books on the Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis picture book shortlist! We’ve never had a book nominated for this prestigious German prize before and so we were delighted to see the German editions of How To Count to One, written by Caspar Salmon and illustrated by Matt Hunt, and Frank and Bert, written and illustrated by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros in the six-book line up.
A good week all round…