FutureBook Award Shortlists Reflect Diversity in Publishing Innovation

In News by Porter Anderson

Drawn from an ‘eclectic mix of innovation’ and from nominees in 10 countries, the 2017 FutureBook Award shortlists recognizes innovators in traditional and startup publishing.

Image – iStockphoto: Pinky Pills

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

Awards Presentation is December 1
Announced during the Frankfurt Book Fair, the eight shortlists of The Bookseller’s 2017 FutureBook conference recognize “companies and individuals who are playing a key role in driving innovation within publishing,” according to the FutureBook website.

The competition isn’t restricted to UK players. The original cohort of 110 entries comes from 10 countries.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is the sponsor of one of the most energetically contested categories, Disruptor of the Year, and its nominees include Ashleigh Gardner of Wattpad and Gustavo Lembert da Cunha of Brazil’s 20,000-member TAGlivros.com program launched in June 2014.

In his comments to Publishing Perspectives for our Frankfurt Show Daily coverage, Lembert da Cunha deftly put his finger on one of the more challenging transitions that digital has brought to the publishing world: the focus needed today on the consumer over the bookseller.

“Since I began working with books,” Lembert da Cunha said, “it’s been a surprise that a lot of publishers don’t really think about the person who’s going to read the book. They worry instead about the bookstores they sell to. And this is a mistake. Everybody needs to work together, thinking about one thing: the person reading what you publish.”

What adds diversity to this particular category, however—and perhaps ironically—is the fact that Penguin Random House UK’s Siena Parker is one of the nominated “disruptors,” as well, as is Sam Missingham, formerly of The Bookseller and HarperCollins UK and now running her Lounge Books site. The “disruptors” among us, in other words, might be found in the establishment, not just amid startups and outliers.

Arpita Das of New Delhi-based Yoda Press—she spoke on our The Markets panel of women executives in publishing—is among the Leader of the Year award shortlistees, a category sponsored by Mosaic Search and Selection.

At the end of September, Publishing Perspectives also met at the Matera Writing Conference in Italy with another “leader” category finalist, Emmanuel Nataf, CEO of Reedsy, who moved from Paris to London to co-found the editing and design “marketplace” for author services. Reedsy won the FutureBook BookTech nod in 2015 and continues to build business among authors, Nataf said, and the effort to gain more publisher clients is still developing as publishers evolve how they source their creative services.

Judges for the 2017 round of awards include Bec Evans, Prolifiko; Annie Stone, BookBub; consultant Nicole Yershon; Bookseller marketing conference director Miriam Robinson; Times reporter Oliver Moody; Paul Field, TouchCast; Gojimo founder George Burgess; FutureBook associate editor Molly Flatt; Ebury managing director Rebecca Smart’; Wonderbly’s Asi Sharabi; and Bookseller editor Philip Jones.

In his writeup of the awards, Jones sorts out six shortlistees for Penguin Random House UK; four for HarperCollins; three for JK Rowling’s Pottermore; and two for properties produced on Amazon Publishing’s Kindle in Motion platform.

Here’s the complete list of the shortlists.

FutureBook Leader of the Year

Arpita Das Yoda Press
Rebecca Herrmann Bolinda
Mads Holmen Bibblio
Crystal Mahey-Morgan Own It
Emmanuel Nataf Reedsy
Asi Sharabi Wonderbly

FutureBook Disruptor of the Year

Ashleigh Gardner Wattpad
Gustavo Lembert TAG Literary Experiences
Sam Missingham Lounge Books
Nikesh Shukla and Julia Kingsford The Good Journal and The Good Literary Agency
Dave Sherwood Bibliotech Education
Siena Parker PRH

FutureBook Campaign of the Year

Behind Her Eyes HarperCollins UK
HarperCollins 200 Years Campaign HarperCollins
IMAGINE The Quarto Group
Ken Follett’s A Column of Fire global serialisation Pan Macmillan & The Pigeonhole
Nasty Women 404 Ink
Penguin Pride PRH
Six New Beasts, One Fantastic Voice Pottermore
Start a Story PRH

BookTech Company of the Year

Griffindocs Media
Reading in Heels
The Hawaii Project 

FutureBook Book of the Year: Adult

Last Seen Online Fools&Geniuses
Louise Parker: Lean for Life – Optimum Weight Loss (iOS app) Octopus Publishing
Olive Green SuperMemo World
Ripper: The Secret Life of Walter Sickert, Kindle in Motion Amazon Publishing
The Sky Below: A True Story of Summits, Space, and Speed, Kindle in MotionAmazon Publishing

FutureBook of the Year: Children’s

Dan and Phil Go Outside enhanced e-book for Apple Ebury, PRH
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them audiobook Pottermore
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Kindle in Motion Pottermore
My Golden Ticket Wonderbly
The F2 Book App Blink Publishing

Platform of the Year: Consumer

BookGig HarperCollins UK
Canongate.co.uk Canongate
Humble Bundle Humble Books
Ottolenghi Cookbooks Online PRH
RiffleBooks.com Riffle
The Penguin Podcast PRH

Platform of the Year: Reference/Education

Bibliotech Education
Bloomsbury Publishing Platform Bloomsbury
Collins Dictionary HarperCollins
Junction Junction Education

The FutureBook Award winners are to be named on December 1 at the FutureBook conference in London, returning this year to 155 Bishopsgate in Liverpool Street. More information is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.