Long on Shortlists at London Book Fair: The Expanded British Book Awards

In News by Porter Anderson

With 23 categories and honors for both business and literature, the newly re-introduced British Book Awards are a suite of combined accolades, known to some as the Nibbies.

‘The Bookseller’s’ Cathy Rentzenbrink and Nigel Roby announce the British Book Awards’ 2017 shortlists at London Book Fair. Image: Porter Anderson

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Combining Industry and Book Prizes
Every time you round a corner at London Book Fair, you run into more books. And awards programs.

The industry’s zeal for honoring its best efforts are as ubiquitous this week as daffodils in this early London spring. Longlists, shortlists, and winners are rolled out, laid in, and sewn up in nearly hourly events around Olympia London.

The UK seems to love its awards programs more than most cultures, nurturing and celebrating long-running accolades—sometimes through name-changing sponsorship adjustments (as with the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction) and sometimes with long-stable, iconic names (as with the Man Booker Prize, which released its longlist this week).

In January, The Bookseller editor Philip Jones announced the acquisition of the Nibbies, the British Book Awards, from the estate of Publishing News’ founder, Fred Newman. On May 8, when these awards are presented at Grosvenor House, the program will unify the British Book Industry Awards and the British Book Awards for the first time since 2004.

Immediately one of the most potent of the prize programs in publishing, then, this newly expanded and re-branded British Book Awards, had its own ebullient moment at the fair on Wednesday (March 15) when shortlists were announced by The Bookseller’s Nigel Roby and Cathy Rentzenbrink. It’s unclear whether these awards’ traditional nickname, the Nibbies, is catching on, but no question about the joyous reception of its many lists of contenders.

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Having been promised by Rentzenbrink that there would be no Oscar-style mistakes in the announcements, a happy crowd gathered on the mezzanine of the National Gallery at Olympia London to toast category after category—23, all told—of prizes and their shortlisted contenders.

New this year is an Individual Bookseller of the Year prize, distinct from the Independent Bookshop of the Year honor.

If you’re at London Book Fair on Thursday (March 16), watch for the teal cover of the new supplement handed out during the announcements late Wednesday. It carries all the categories and shortlisters, plus ample congratulatory ads for many of them from publishers and others whose work is being held up for special regard.

The British Book Awards’ shortlist announcements hold the crowd’s attention at London Book Fair. Image: Porter Anderson

British Book Awards Shortlists 2017

Academic, educational and professional publisher of the year

  • Collins learning (HarperCollins)
  • Edward Elgar Publishing
  • Hodder Education Group
  • Jessica Kingsley
  • SAGE Publishing
  • Scholastic

Book Retailer of the Year sponsored by Bonnier

  • Blackwell’s
  • Waterstone’s
  • WH Smith Travel

Children’s Bookshop of the Year sponsored by Macmillan Children’s Books

  • The Edinburgh Bookshop
  • Scholastic Book Fairs & Travelling Books
  • Tales on Moon Lane
  • Tesco Stores
  • The Alligator’s Mouth
  • Waterstones

Children’s Publisher of the Year sponsored by Tesco

  • Bloomsbury Children’s Books
  • DK
  • Faber Children’s
  • Macmillan Children’s Books
  • Nosy Crow
  • Penguin Random House Children’s
  • Scholastic Children’s Books
  • Usborne Publishing
  • Walker Books

Editor of the Year

  • Camila Reid, Nosy Crow
  • Carole Tonkinson, Pan Macmillan
  • Jane Griffiths, S&S Children’s
  • Jenny Tyler, Usborne
  • Juliet Mabey, Oneworld
  • Lucy Malagoni, Little, Brown
  • Rachel Leyshon, Chicken House
  • Rowland White, Michael Joseph
  • Wayne Brookes, Pan Macmillan

Marketing Strategy of the Year sponsored by Nielsen

  • Beatrix Potter’s 150th Anniversary (PRH Children’s)
  • Born to Run (S&S)
  • #ByBook (Penguin)
  • DanTDM: Trayaurus and the Enchanted Crystal (Orion)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Pottermore)
  • Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan (Pan Macmillan)
  • Maestra (Bonnier Zaffre)
  • Pan Macmillan’s 2016 Christmas Campaign

Non-traditional Retailer of the Year sponsored by the Quarto Group

  • National Trust
  • Royal Horticultural Society
  • Royal Museums Greenwich
  • Snapplify

Publicity Campaign sponsored by the Publishers’ Publicity Circle

  • Essex Serpent, Anna-Marie Fitzgerald (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Simple, Caroline Brown, Ellen Bashford (Octopus)
  • Enid Blyton for Grown-Ups, Elizabeth Masters (Quercus)
  • Beetle Boy, Adele Michin, Liz Hyder (Riot/Chicken House)
  • Watching the Wheels, Kate Green (Pan Macmillan)
  • Animal, Sophie Portas (Faber)

Publisher of the Year sponsored by Bertram

  • HarperCollins
  • Little, Brown Book Group
  • Michael Joseph
  • Pan Macmillan
  • Penguin General
  • Quercus
  • The Quarto Group
  • Transworld

Rights Professional of the Year sponsored by Frankfurt Book Fair

  • Andrew Sharp, Hachette Children’s
  • Amy Hunter, Summersdale
  • Karine Marko, Quarto Group
  • Kate Hibbert, Little, Brown
  • Michele Young, Pan Macmillan
  • Monique Corless, Vintage
  • Ola Gotkowska, Nosy Crow
  • Sarah Scarlett, Penguin

Imprint of the Year sponsored by Clays

  • Avon, HarperCollins
  • Bluebird, Pan Macmillan
  • John Murray, Hodder & Stoughton
  • Penguin Ireland, Penguin Random House
  • Picador, Pan Macmillan
  • The Borough Press, HarperCollins

Independent Bookshop of the Year sponsored by Gardners

  • Chorleywood Bookshop, South-East England
  • Far From the Madding Crowd, Scotland
  • Forum Books, North England
  • Kenilworth Books, Midlands & Wales
  • Lindum Books, East England
  • Sarum Coll. Bookshop, South-West England
  • Tales on Moon Lane, London
  • The Gutter Bookshop, Ireland

Independent Publisher of the Year sponsored by Firsty Group

  • Bradt Travel Guides
  • Faber & Faber
  • Head of Zeus
  • Kogan Page
  • Nosy Crow
  • Oneworld
  • Summersdale
  • Unbound

Individual Bookseller of the Year sponsored by HarperCollins

  • Billy F K Howorth, Carnforth Bookshop
  • Cat Anderson, the Edinburgh Bookshop
  • Jo Heygate, Pages of Hackney
  • Rachel Murphy, Waterstones
  • Rebecca MacAlister, Blackwell’s
  • Rupert Jacques, WH Smith Travel
  • Steven Walsh, Gosh! Comics

Library of the Year sponsored by The Reading Agency

  • Barking Learning Centre
  • Camberwell Library
  • Plymouth Central Library
  • RNIB Library
  • Walsall Library Service
  • The Word Library, South Shields

Literary Agent of the Year sponsored by Orion

  • Camilla Shestopal, Peters Fraser + Dunlop
  • Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Associates
  • Eve White, Eve White Literary Agency
  • Juliet Mushens, Caskie Mushens
  • Rory Scarfe, Furniss Lawton
  • Sarah Such, Sarah Such Literary Agency

Children’s Book of the Year

  • The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher, Shane Devries (illus) (Puffin)
  • Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story by Nadiya Hussain, Clair Rossiter (illus) (Hodder)
  • Oi Dog! by Kes and Claire Gray and Jim Field (Hodder)
  • The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargreave (Chicken House)
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Thorne (Little, Brown)
  • The World’s Worst Children by David Walliams and Tony Ross (HC)

Debut Fiction Book of the Year

  • The Girls by Emma Cline (Chatto)
  • The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon (Borough Press)
  • My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal (Penguin General)
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell (Picador)
  • Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain by Barney Norris (Doubleday)
  • Golden Hill by Francis Spufford (Faber & Faber)

Fiction Book of the Year

  • Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber)
  • The Sellout by Paul Beatty (Oneworld)
  • The Muse by Jessie Burton (Picador)
  • Cartes Postales from Greece by Victoria Hislop (Headline Review)
  • This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell (Headline)
  • The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent’s Tail)

Crime and Thriller Book of the Year

  • The Widow by Fiona Barton (Bantam Press)
  • Dodgers by Bill Beverley (No Exit Press)
  • Night School by Lee Child (Bantam Press)
  • Lie With Me by Sabine Durrant (Mulholland Books)
  • Conclave by Robert Harris (Hutchinson)
  • I See You by Claire Mackintosh (Little, Brown)

Non-Fiction: Lifestyle Book of the Year

  • Hello, is this Planet Earth? by Tim Peake (Century)
  • Sidemen: The Book by The Sidemen (Coronet)
  • The Unmumsy Mum by Sarah Turner (Bantam Press)
  • Five on Brexit Island by Bruno Vincent (Quercus)
  • Lean in 15: The Sustain Plan by Joe Wicks (Bluebird)
  • The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking (Penguin Life)

Non-Fiction: Narrative Book of the Year

  • Mad Girl by Bryony Gordon (Headline)
  • When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Vintage)
  • The Outrun by Amy Liptrot (Canongate)
  • East West Street by Philippe Sands (W&N)
  • The Good Immigrant, ed by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound)
  • Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen (S&S)
About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. Prior to that he was Associate Editor for The FutureBook, a channel at The Bookseller focused on digital publishing. Anderson has also worked with CNN International, CNN.com, CNN USA, the Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and other media.