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The 2010 Awards

The Independent Publishers Guild is proud to reveal the winners of the 2010 Independent Publishing Awards, run with The Bookseller and The London Book Fair. The dozen winners are:
The IPG Independent Publisher of the Year
EARTHSCAN
Also shortlisted for the IPG Independent Publisher of the Year Award were the winners of the four other Publisher of the Year categories: Bright Red Publishing, John Blake Publishing, Osprey Publishing and the Salariya Book Company.
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Trade Publisher of the Year
JOHN BLAKE PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted: Constable & Robinson, Gallic Books and Summersdale.
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Children’s Publisher of the Year
THE SALARIYA BOOK COMPANY
Also shortlisted: Top That! Publishing and Walker Books.
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Lightning Source Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year
EARTHSCAN
Also shortlisted: Hart Publishing.
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Education Publisher of the Year
BRIGHT RED PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted: English and Media Centre Publishing, Galore Park.
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Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year
OSPREY PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted: Hay House, Punk Publishing, Search Press.
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Nielsen Innovation of the Year
SEARCH PRESS
Also shortlisted: Accent Press, Earthscan.
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International Achievement of the Year
EARTHSCAN
Also shortlisted: Carlton Publishing Group and Search Press.
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Environmental Award
GREEN BOOKS
There was no shortlist for this award.
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Diversity Award
TRENTHAM BOOKS
Also shortlisted: Radcliffe Publishing, Royal College of Psychiatrists.
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Digital Award
TOP THAT! PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted: Accent Press, Earthscan, Jolly Learning.
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GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award
JOHN HAMPSON
Also shortlisted: Adrian Driscoll, David Segrue.
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Heading the 2010 honours board is Earthscan, chosen by the judges as the overall IPG Independent Publisher of the Year as well as Lightning Source Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year. It follows Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Templar Publishing and Alastair Sawday Publishing as the fourth company to win the prestigious overall award — and by winning the International Achievement of the Year prize too, Earthscan becomes only the second company, after Alastair Sawday, to win three Independent Publishing Awards in a single year.
Earthscan faced stiff competition for the flagship award from a shortlist that also included the winners of four other Publisher of the Year categories. Trade Publisher of the Year, after a string of high-profile bestsellers in 2009, is John Blake Publishing, while the Brighton-based Salariya Book Company picks up the Children’s prize. New Scottish revision specialists Bright Red Publishing scoops the Education Publisher of the Year title, and military experts Osprey Publishing the Specialist Consumer category. All five companies are first-time Publisher of the Year winners. Arts and craft specialist Search Press, shortlisted in three categories, receives the Nielsen Innovation of the Year award for a groundbreaking new range of art instruction books. The Environmental Award goes to Devon-based Green Books; the Digital Award to children’s specialist Top That! Publishing; and the Diversity Award to Trentham Books. Completing the set of winners is John Hampson,formerly of Arts Council England, who is awarded the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award.
The winners, selected by a panel of industry experts, received their awards on Saturday 20th March at a Gala Dinner at Beaumont House during the IPG’sAnnual Conference. Bridget Shine, Executive Director of the IPG, says: “Congratulations to our fourth set of very worthy Independent Publishing Award winners. Even after such a challenging year in the publishing industry, the level of competition for the awards was as high as ever, and we are grateful to our judges for their careful and professional deliberations. These winners represent the very best of independent publishing, and show just varied, dynamic and successful independents can be.”
The judges’ comments about each of the 12 Independent Publishing Award winners follow.

IPG Independent Publisher of the Year

The judges of this award admired Earthscan’s sound business sense, its passionate commitment to its environmental-based publishing and its bold but carefully calculated international ambitions. They noted in particular Earthscan’s performance and progress in 2009, resulting in striking increases in sales and profits while some other publishers struggled. “Earthscan is a solid, reliable and consistently successful publisher—a yardstick by which all independents might measure themselves.”

Trade Publisher of the Year

This is a first Independent Publishing Award for John Blake Publishing, which joined the IPG in 2009. The judges applauded the company’s string of bestsellers over the last year, and its ability to move faster than any other publisher in responding to market demands and filling gaps. “John Blake has been consistently successful in spotting opportunities and reacting quickly. It has pioneered a kind of publishing that bigger companies are now trying to mimic.” The judges also felt that the company’s publishing had drawn to the market people who were not frequent buyers in the past.

Children’s Publisher of the Year

After a place on this award’s shortlist last year, The Salariya Book Company has gone one better in 2010. It was singled out in this category for its strong sales growth amid challenging market conditions, and an innovative use of new technology across its publishing. “The Salariya Book Company is punching well above its weight in the market and carving out a clear niche for itself,” said the judges. They also admired the Brighton-based company’s evolution from a packager to a fully-fledged, professional and internationally-focused publisher in its own right.

Lightning Source Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year

Having been shortlisted in this category in each of the last three years, it is fourth time lucky for Earthscan in 2010. It was congratulated by the judges on its agility and expansion in 2009, both through organic growth and acquisition, and on its new schemes to improve its online sales and marketing. “Earthscan is a very well run company that is doing everything a publisher should be doing to be part of the digital age,” said the judges. “It has earned all the praise it receives.” Earthscan adds this Award to the overall IPG Independent Publisher of the Year and International Achievement of the Year Awards.

Education Publisher of the Year

This award caps a meteoric rise for Edinburgh-based Bright Red Publishing, which was launched only two years ago to focus on the Scottish revision market. Judges praised the impact made by the company, first by winning a tender to publish past exam papers and then by producing high quality, student-friendly books. They liked the company’s understanding of its target market and efforts to engage with it, and admired its dedication to customer service and order processing, both handled in-house. “Having had the courage to start up at such a difficult time, Bright Red has very quickly turned in some impressive sales.” Judges praised the particularly high standard of submissions in this category.

Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year

Another publisher to be shortlisted in 2009 before winning in 2010, Osprey Publishing was congratulated by the judges on its close attention to its military history niche. They particularly liked its sound electronic sales and marketing strategies, its strong, content-rich websites, and its improved merchandising. “Osprey is brilliant at identifying and understanding its buyers, and innovative in the ways it markets to them,” said the judges. They also admired Osprey’s integration and growth of its Shire Publications history and heritage list, acquired in 2007.

Nielsen Innovation of the Year

Arts and crafts specialist Search Press received this award for a new series of art instruction books helping painters to trace base images on to paper. Judges were impressed by the books’ production, sales and coedition interest. “This is a genuine product innovation that shows how Search Press has thought creatively about its business.” The judges also liked the evidence of the company’s in-depth knowledge of its niche market, which it has been serving for 40 years. “Innovation doesn’t just have to be about technology,” they pointed out. “This is a beautifully executed and very high quality product.”

International Achievement of the Year

Earthscan’s success in this category completed a hat-trick of Independent Publishing Awards. It was rewarded for a year in which it expanded in the US, both organically and via what the judges called an “inspired” company acquisition, and targeted new territories with ambitious but well researched strategies. Judges liked in particular its use of conferences and marketing campaigns to identify and reach its buyers around the world, and found ample evidence of its international success. “Earthscan is clearly passionate about its work, and what it has achieved internationally is hugely impressive.”

Environmental Award

This award is recognition of Green Books’ commitment to raising awareness of environmental issues over more than two decades — long before most other publishers found them fashionable or profitable. The judges were impressed by the company’s broad environmental list and evidence of its activity and success in 2009. They also admired Green Books’ efforts to make its activities as eco friendly as possible by, for instance, printing only within 150 miles of its Devon offices and using recycled paper wherever possible. “Green Books really does try to practice what it preaches,” said the judges.

Diversity Award

Staffordshire-based Trentham Books is another company to win an Independent Publishing Award in 2010 after several decades of support of its field. The judges admired both its wide range of books helping educational professionals to promote social inclusion and multiculturalism, and its dedication to diversity and equality over 26 years. “Trentham really knows its market and strengths, and displays total commitment to this area of publishing.” They also found evidence that Trentham’s books were welcomed and respected by professionals and had helped to change attitudes to diversity.

Digital Award

Having been shortlisted in 2009 for what was then called the E-publishing Award, Top That! Publishing is another company to go one step further in 2010. It impressed the judges with its innovative use of digital technology in its ‘The Astral Legacies’ fiction series for children, using a satellite mapping website at www.astrallegacies.com to get readers interacting with the stories and exploring well beyond the book. It was an ambitious but well executed idea that added great value to book buyers’ experience, they said. “This is a great mix of old and new technology. The Astral Legacies makes teaching and learning fun.”

GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award

John Hampson was acclaimed by judges for his staunch support of independent publishers over many years at Arts Council England. Until leaving the organisation earlier this year to take up a new job at the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, John was ACE’s senior strategy officer for literature. “In a very modest and selfless way, John has been an incredible supporter of independent publishing, always displaying fantastic vision and knowledge of the industry,” said the judges. “He has always listened to publishers’ concerns and questions, and always done whatever he can to help.”