Top L-R: Mikaela Loach, Lydia Davis, Katherine Rundell, Sophy Thompson from Thames & Hudson. Bottom L-R:- BooksforTopics, Nicci AKA The Kids Books Curator, Carrie Plitt & Octavia Bright from Literary Friction Podcast, Christopher Spencer AKA Cold War Steve
Bookshop.org, the online bookstore on a mission to support independent bookshops, is pleased to announce the winners of its annual Indie Champions Awards today.
Marking its second year, the Awards recognise authors, publishers, organisations and – new for this year – content creators that have gone above and beyond in championing independent bookshops in 2023.
The Indie Champions Awards were first launched in 2022 as a way of celebrating those who have taken concrete steps to financially support independent bookshops through Bookshop.org, alongside using the platform in innovative ways.
Spanning eleven categories, from podcasts to content creators, publishing professionals to children’s books, the Awards highlight winners’ year-long support for indie bookshops via Bookshop.org, including regular linking to indies through media partnerships; incorporating Bookshop.org into their digital campaigns; and helping Bookshop.org reach new audiences through the creation of book lists on its platform.
Winners of the Indie Champion Titles of the Year and Indie Champion List of the Year were decided based on sales generated for indie bookshops between January 1st — December 31st 2023.
The 2023 winners of the Indie Champions Awards are:
- Lydia Davis, author of Our Strangers
- Mikaela Loach, author of It’s Not That Radical: Climate Action to Transform Our World
- Katherine Rundell, author of Impossible Creatures
- Lifestyle and Culture
- Cold War Steve, author of the satirical annual
- Overall Publisher
- Publisher Professional of the Year
- Eleanor Slater, Trade Marketing Manager at HarperCollins
INNOVATIVE USE OF BOOKSHOP.ORG
NEW CATEGORY – CONTENT CREATOR
- Nicci, The Kids Books Curator,kids.books.curator (Instagram)
INDIE CHAMPION LIST OF THE YEAR
- The Rest is Politics – recommended reads from the popular podcast featuring Rory Stewart & Alastair Campbell, by Rossiter Books
INDIE CHAMPION TITLES OF THE YEAR
- Cold War Steve Annual 2024, by Cold War Steve
- Demon Copperhead, by Barbara Kingsolver
- Politics On the Edge, by Rory Stewart
- Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin
- Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
- Ultra-Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop?, by Chris van Tulleken
- Strong Female Character, by Fern Brady
- An Atlas of Endangered Species, by Megan McCubbin
- Prophet Song, by Paul Lynch
- Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times, by Katherine May
- It’s Not That Radical: Climate Action to Transform Our World, by Mikaela Loach
- Really Good, Actually, by Monica Heisey
- The Last Devil to Die, by Richard Osman
- Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan
- The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O’Farrell
- Why Women Grow: Stories of Soil, Sisterhood and Survival, by Alice Vincent
- The Bee Sting, by Paul Murray
- Normal Women: 900 Years of Making History, by Philippa Gregory
- Impossible Creatures, by Katherine Rundell
- The Secret of Cooking: Recipes for an Easier Life in the Kitchen, by Bee Wilson
For the full list of 100 Indie Champion Titles of 2023, please see this link.
Lydia Davis, author of Our Strangers, said: “I am so pleased to have won this award for Our Strangers and to have had a hand in supporting independent bookstores. I do feel that if we don’t support our corner indie, it will disappear. And so for many, many years now, I have bought books only through indies, with thanks to their hard-working, dedicated staff. They are essential for our growth and good health as thinking human beings. Indie bookshops—precious assets!
Mikaela Loach, author of It’s Not That Radical: Climate Action to Transform Our World, said: “Thank you so much to Bookshop.org and all the Indie booksellers for choosing me as your non-fiction author of the year for Its not that radical. The support has meant the absolute world. I love Indie bookstores more than lots of things and it really does mean so much to have had your support this whole year and beyond.”
Katherine Rundell, author of Impossible Creatures, said: “It is such a delight to win this award, thank you so much. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Bookshop.org and Indie booksellers across the country. There is nobody in the world who is as able to tailor a book recommendation to the precise shape and hunger of your soul as an Indie bookseller. They really are the doctors of the human imagination and I’m so grateful that they exist.”
Sophy Thompson, CEO of Thames & Hudson, said: “We’re delighted to be recognized as Overall Publisher of the Year for Bookshop.org’s second Indie Champions Awards. Indie bookshops are essential to the fabric of our communities, from fostering creativity to facilitating access to our favourite authors. As an independent publishing company, we have a particular attachment to independent bookshops and are committed to safeguarding their future. We are keen to empower our readers to support their local bookstore by raising awareness of Bookshop.org through links to the site, marketing content and author involvement.”
Eleanor Slater, Trade Marketing Manager at HarperCollins, said: “Being part of the IndieThinking team at HarperCollins has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my publishing career. The passion and dedication of booksellers is unrivalled, and I feel incredibly lucky that I get to work with so many brilliant independent bookshops to champion the books and authors we love. A huge thank you to Bookshop.org and indie booksellers for this award!”
Nicci, aka The Kids Books Curator, said: “I’m hugely grateful to have won the new Content Creator Award. My mission with The Kids Books Curator is to inspire, motivate and support children to develop a life long love of books. As a specialist Children’s bookseller myself, I’m delighted that book sales through my Bookshop.org UK affiliate store links and book lists champion UK independent bookshops, helping them to survive and thrive, as they are absolutely vital for local communities. 2023 has been an exciting year working with Bookshop.org UK, especially with the launch of the Children’s Book of the Month. I can’t wait to find out what’s in store for us working together in 2024!! Thank you Bookshop.org – I’m SO HAPPY – and thank you to my amazing online community for trusting in me!”
Carrie Plitt and Octavia Bright, co-hosts of Literary Friction said: “We are absolutely delighted to be named Podcast of the Year at the Indie Champions Awards. Independent bookshops, both online and in person, are essential to authors, readers, and the wider publishing world, not to mention that they are often the places where the best books get recognised and championed by passionate booksellers. The support of independent bookshops has always been at the heart of our message as a podcast, and over the years we have enjoyed our partnerships with places like Bookshop.org, Pages of Hackney, and Burley Fisher Books. It means so much to be recognised by the indies that we love.”
Alison Leach, Director of BooksForTopics said: “Thank you, Bookshop.org and the independent booksellers. At BooksForTopics, recommending children’s books is at the heart of what we do, and we love nothing more than seeing the best books reach the spotlight and find their way into the hands of children. We share this mission with independent booksellers up and down the country, who provide knowledgeable and thoughtful recommendations to readers on a day-to-day basis and work passionately to connect books and readers in the communities. In the book industry, this work brings heart and soul. Therefore, we are delighted to accept the Indie Champions Award for Most Innovative Use of Bookshop.org. It is a pleasure to champion Bookshop.org and independent bookshops via the BooksForTopics website and to work together to spread the magic of reading.”
Nicole Vanderbilt, Managing Director of Bookshop.org UK, said: “A warm congratulations goes to the winners of our Indie Champions Awards for 2023. These awards allow us to pay a well-deserved thanks to a broad range of individuals and organisations working year-long to support indies; our community would not be nearly as strong without their continued creativity and support. This year, we were excited to include a new category for content creators, highlighting the symbiotic relationship between the online world and bricks and mortar bookshops, and the advantages when the two work together. In coming years, we look forward to seeing how each awards category evolves to meet the ever-changing needs of readers and book buyers.
Recent figures released by the Booksellers Association showed a year-on-year increase in new bookshops opening across the UK, delivering a vote of confidence in the sector. However, the reported rise in shop closures also highlighted by the BA drives home the importance of the book world remaining vigilant in its support for indies – whose financial viability as small businesses also depends on their online sales. May the Indie Champions Awards continue to shine a light on those working tirelessly to support indie bookshops, and inspire others to follow in their footsteps.”
Follow #IndieChampions for the latest developments on social media.
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