Little, Brown Book vamp up awards with Publisher of the Year and Imprint of the Year wins

The book industry today celebrated the achievements of both publishers and retailers at The Bookseller Industry Awards’ star-studded reception at The Royal Courts of Justice, London, hosted by TV personality Clive Anderson.

The event was attended by representatives from all sectors of the book industry, from CEOs of major publishing companies, to independent booksellers and an array of famous faces from the world of books. Awards presenters included authors Maggie O’Farrell, Freya North, Philippa Gregory and Mark Billingham.

The prestigious Publisher of the Year Award was presented to the Little, Brown Group for its “consistent performance across the group and ticking all the boxes” when it came to demonstrating high quality publishing, commercial success and excellence across all publishing disciplines.  With sales of 16 million Stephenie Meyer books at home and abroad, plus the Orange prize for Marilynne Robinson’s Home, Little,Brown span the market from commercial to literary.  This was further in evidence as Little, Brown scooped its second award of the night for Imprint and Editor of the Year, presented to Virago’s Lennie Goodings by Amanda Ross, managing director, Cactus TV.  Lennie Goodings was credited for Virago’s ongoing period of growth, in a year that saw Virago win The Orange Prize, obtain a Richard & Judy Book Club selection, and reach the short list for The Man Booker Prize.   Eddie Bell, chairman of the Bell Lomax Moreton Agency presented John Blake with an award for Independent Publisher of the Year.

Retailers large and small celebrated award wins.  Independent chain Foyles was awarded Bookselling Company of the Year, a hotly contested category awarded to them for “becoming the best chain of bookstores in Britain today, standing out for its big values, bold ideas and bookselling prowess.”  The award, sponsored by bestselling author Martina Cole, was presented by her son Christopher Whiteside and Jane Morpeth from Headline, to Foyles’ chief executive Sam Husain and chairman Christopher Foyle. 

Neill Denny, Editor-in-chief, The Bookseller and chairman of judges, said:  “What these awards demonstrate is that British bookselling and publishing is full of success stories, from the largest publishers to the smallest independent bookshop. Little, Brown has shown a formidable range of publishing skills, while Foyles represents a case-study in high-quality, forward-looking bookselling.  Everyone who has won tonight deserves the highest praise.”

Other retail awards included the Sue Butterworth Young Bookseller of the Year, which was given to Claire Boothby, Waterstone’s Dorking.  Steve Orchard, from Blackwell Charing Cross Road won Manager of the Year, with WH Smith named Children’s Bookseller of the Year. One Tree Books (Petersfield) won the Independent Bookseller of the Year category, with The Mainstreet Trading Company (Edinburgh) winning Children’s Independent Bookseller of the Year, having also reached the Independent Bookseller of the Year regional shortlist.

For the second year running The Book Depository was crowned Direct Bookselling Company of the Year.  The judges said they “stunned us with their sales growth and continued slick customer experience”.  Sales were up 51% year-on-year, and the business now stocks 3.3 million titles with customers in 185 countries.

A full list of all the The Bookseller Industry Awards is attached, along with details of the publishing panel, which was drawn from expertise within the book trade and beyond.

The Bookseller Industry Awards were formed via the union of two major industry events; The Bookseller Retail Awards and The British Book Industry Awards, presented in this new format for the first time this year.  The awards took place at the Royal Courts of Justice on Monday 17th May, 2010 – the first evening of the Book Industry Conference, a two day conference bringing together leading industry professionals to debate matters at the heart of the industry.

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