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The 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards—The Winners

The Independent Publishers Guild is delighted to announce the 13 winners of the 2016 IPG Independent Publishing Awards. They are:
Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year NOSY CROW
Ruth Killick Publicity Trade Publisher of the Year ONEWORLD
IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year NOSY CROW
Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year POLICY PRESS
Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year PG ONLINE
IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year HOW2BECOME
Nick Robinson Newcomer Award MEZE PUBLISHING
The Bookseller International Achievement Award PAVILION BOOKS
Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award FABER & FABER
Nielsen Digital Marketing Award HOW2BECOME
Alison Morrison Diversity Award BARRINGTON STOKE
IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year SAM RICHARDSON, SPCK
GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award GRAHAM BELL, EDItEUR

Leading the list of winners is children’s publisher Nosy Crow, named Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year. It caps a remarkable rise for the company, which published its first books just over five years ago. Nosy Crow becomes the tenth winner of the flagship Award, joining Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Templar Publishing, Alastair Sawday Publishing, Earthscan, Continuum, Constable & Robinson, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Academic & Professional Division, Usborne Publishing and Search Press.
Nosy Crow also won the IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year Award. It was one of the five publishers on the shortlist for the Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year, alongside Oneworld, this year’s Ruth Killick Publicity Trade Publisher of the Year; Policy Press, Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year; PG Online, Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year; and How2Become, IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year.
Like Nosy Crow, How2Become was a two-time winner at the 2016 Awards, also receiving the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award. Other publishers honoured included Meze Publishing, winner of the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award; Pavilion Books, recipient of The Bookseller International Achievement Award; Faber & Faber, winner of the Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award; and Barrington Stoke, winner of the Alison Morrison Diversity Award. For five of the nine winning publishers—Oneworld, How2Become, Meze Publishing, PG Online and Policy Press—it was the first time they had picked up IPG Independent Publishing Awards.
The list of winners is completed by two individuals: Sam Richardson of SPCK, IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year; and Graham Bell of EDItEUR, winner of the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award.
All 13 winners were honoured at a Gala Dinner on Thursday 3 March, staged at the Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire as part of the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference. They were chosen from shortlists featuring 22 different publishers plus five individuals and three publishing service providers.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “We had an exceptionally strong field of entries for our tenth anniversary Independent Publishing Awards, and we congratulate all those who have emerged as winners from such competitive shortlists. Publishing continues to face many challenges, but this year’s Awards show that the independent sector is vibrant, diverse, innovative and flourishing.”
The IPG would like to thank the sponsors of the 2016 Independent Publishing Awards: Fox Williams LLP, The Bookseller, The Book Trade Charity, The Frankfurt Book Fair, Grantham Book Services, Ingram Content Group, Nielsen, Publishers Licensing Society and Ruth Killick Publicity.
The IPG is grateful to all the judges of the Awards: Ed Armitage, ecommerce director, Waterstones; Graham Bell, executive director, EDItEUR; Ann Betts, former managing director of client services, Nielsen Book; Nicholas Clee, editor, BookBrunch; Gareth Cuddy, chief executive, Vearsa; Elise Dillsworth, founder, Elise Dillsworth Agency; Pete Duncan, PD Associates; Mary Elliott, associate, Fox Williams LLP; Peter Faber, partner, Fox Williams LLP; Andrew Furlow, sales and marketing director, Icon Books; Jonathan Griffin, head of digital services, Publishers Licensing Society; Jo Henry, vice president, insight and analytics, Nielsen Book; Ruth Jones, director of publisher business development, Ingram Content Group; Peter Lake, group business development director, John Smith Group; Stephen Lustig, business development director, Eurospan; Jonathan Nowell, former president, Nielsen Book; Sarah Shaffi, online editor and producer, The Bookseller; and Tom Tivnan, features and insight editor, The Bookseller.
Judges’ comments about each of the winners follow.

Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year

Nosy Crow won the overall Fox Williams Independent Publisher of the Year Award for its remarkably rapid and well-managed growth since launching, driven by outstanding print and digital content. Judges admired its very high standards of production, maximisation of backlist and truly global approach to sales. Excellent digital marketing, a focus on social responsibility and an ability to forge publishing partnerships also stood out. “Nosy Crow has a terrific brand and a very impressive knowledge of its market,” said the judges. “It is a superb all-rounder and a resolutely independent publisher.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were the winners of the four other Publisher of the Year categories: How2Become, Oneworld, PG Online and Policy Press.

Ruth Killick Publicity Trade Publisher of the Year

Oneworld won this Award from its first ever shortlist placing, following a stellar year in which its books won ten prizes, including the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. But it did much more besides, launching new crime and children’s lists and growing sales even without its Booker winner. “This is a fantastic company that takes risks and does innovative things. It has been plugging away for a long time and it feels like its time has come,” said the judges.
Also shortlisted for this Award were Faber & Faber, Head of Zeus and Pavilion Books.

IPG Children’s Publisher of the Year

Nosy Crow wins here for the third time in five years, and grew its sales again in 2015. As well as strong front and backlist sales, it promoted itself vigorously via apps, masterclasses and free children’s book groups. “Nosy Crow clearly has huge passion for its books, and it has been very good at building services around its publishing,” judges said. They also admired its partnerships with the National Trust and British Museum, its care of staff and charitable work.
Also shortlisted for this Award were Barrington Stoke, Bloomsbury Publishing and Quarto Publishing Group UK.

Frankfurt Book Fair Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year

Like Oneworld, Policy Press wins this Award after being shortlisted for the first time. It had a standout year in 2015, publishing a range of important, influential and well-reviewed books, experimenting with activities including short reads, apps and freemium content and hitting record turnover. “It has increased sales and stepped up its publishing in a difficult market, and that takes a lot of nerve,” judges said. “It really punches above its weight.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Berghahn Books, Bloomsbury Publishing and SAGE Publishing.

Publishers Licensing Society Education Publisher of the Year

PG Online was another first-time nominee at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards, having been founded in 2013. But it has made a very fast impact in its specialism of computer science education, and judges especially liked the interactive and editable elements of its resources. “It has got turnover going very quickly indeed and is exploiting its niche with some targeted publishing,” they said. “It’s a small team with a great attitude.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Bloomsbury Publishing, Bright Red Publishing and Illuminate Publishing.

IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year

How2Become wins this Award after being shortlisted for last two years, and achieved best-ever turnover in 2015. Website visits and viewers of its popular YouTube video content reached record levels too, and nearly two thirds of its sales were made direct to consumers via its website. It invested in staff and pushed further into the education sector too. “It’s great at social media, great at getting publicity and great at selling direct to its users,” said the judges.
Also shortlisted for this Award were SPCK and V&A Publishing.

Nick Robinson Newcomer Award

Meze Publishing has quickly built a reputation in regional cookbooks, produced to high standards and energetically promoted, including well beyond the book trade. Judges liked the fresh way its team has approached book publishing, having previously worked in the magazine sector. “Meze’s publishing has great quality, local focus and a strong sense of its market. It has clear plans and there is huge potential to grow.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Orenda Books and PG Online.

The Bookseller International Achievement Award

Pavilion Books wins this Award for echoing the remarkable UK success of Millie Marotta’s colouring book franchise in international markets. It adroitly handled coedition partnerships and rights deals, as well as logistics like stock control and printer liaison as sales rolled on. “Managing success is as much of a challenge as managing failure, and Pavilion did that brilliantly in 2015,” the judges said. They noted international success well beyond Marotta too.
Also shortlisted for this Award were Accent Press, Nosy Crow and Walker Books.

Ingram Content Group Digital Publishing Award

Faber & Faber wins this Award for a second time in three years, this time for its app interpretation of Iain Pears’ novel Arcadia, which interweaves strands of the story in an immersive experience. The freemium app has been critically acclaimed and is driving interest in the print version of the book too. Judges said: “Faber sees digital as another way of publishing rather than a flashy use of technology—the app is part of a great package rather than a standalone.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Bloomsbury Publishing and Nosy Crow.

Nielsen Digital Marketing Award

How2Become adds this Award to the Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year prize for a multi-strand approach to marketing, making smart use of video content in particular. Its CRM, data analysis and SEO work were strong too. “This is a really interesting use of multiple channels that you don’t see often enough in publishing,” judges said. “It can be hard to engage people with content like this, but How2Become has gone at it hammer and tongs.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Accent Press, Faber & Faber and Nosy Crow.

Alison Morrison Diversity Award

Barrington Stoke has championed accessibility and inclusivity in books by encouraging dyslexic and hesitant readers—something that benefits all of publishing. “Barrington Stoke is really thinking about the full range of ways to get children interested and confident in reading,” said the judges. They also liked its launch of new lists in 2015 and its commitment to diversity in both its book content and its workforce, including via internships.
Also shortlisted for this Award were Carcanet Press and Oneworld.

IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year

Sam Richardson of SPCK has led the turnaround of a flagging brand in the Christian sector. Looking afresh at the business’ strengths and weaknesses, he has made solid structural improvements, broadened the range of publishing and weaved in more digital activity. Judges commented: “In the face of an incredibly challenging market, Sam has rebooted SPCK and helped to stand it apart in its niche—a remarkable achievement.”
Also shortlisted for this Award were Joshua Brown of How2Become, Ola Gotkowska of Nosy Crow and Rachel Williams of Quarto Publishing Group UK.

GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award

Graham Bell of EDItEUR wins this Award for his work to help independent publishers improve their bibliographic data standards. His activities include extensive support in metadata and ONIX skills, including via the IPG’s Tim Rix Training Programme. “Graham is unfailing in his efforts to support us,” said one IPG member. “The entire book supply chain has been positively impacted by EDItEUR’s activities, and they deserve every recognition they get.”