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IPG Independent Publishing Awards honour 2018 winners

The Independent Publishers Guild is proud to announce the 13 winners of the 2018 IPG Independent Publishing Awards. They are:
Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year
MATHS - NO PROBLEM!
Also shortlisted for the Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year Award were the winners of the four other Publisher of the Year categories: Emerald Publishing, Little Tiger Group, SPCK and Verso.
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Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year
VERSO
Also shortlisted for the Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year Award were Bloomsbury Publishing, Hurst Publishers and Zed Books.
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Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year
LITTLE TIGER GROUP
Also shortlisted for the Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year Award were Bloomsbury Publishing, Nosy Crow, and Walker Books.
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ProQuest Academic and Professional Publisher of the Year
EMERALD PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted for the ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year Award were Boydell & Brewer, Class Publishing, Edward Elgar Publishing and Kogan Page.
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PLS Education Publisher of the Year
MATHS– NO PROBLEM!
Also shortlisted for the PLS Education Publisher of the Year Award was John Catt Educational.
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IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year
SPCK
Also shortlisted for the IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year Award were Hoxton Mini Press, Quiller Publishing and Search Press.
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Nick Robinson Newcomer Award
BURLEIGH DODDS SCIENCE PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted for the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award were Old Barn Books and Otter-Barry Books.
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The Bookseller International Achievement Award
NOSY CROW
Also shortlisted for the Bookseller International Achievement Award were Kogan Page and SPCK.
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IPG Digital Publishing Award
BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING and CLASS PUBLISHING (joint winners)
Also shortlisted for the IPG Digital Publishing Award were Nosy Crow and PG Online.
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Nielsen Digital Marketing Award
HOW2BECOME
Also shortlisted for the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award were Nosy Crow and Pluto Press.
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Alison Morrison Diversity Award
CASSAVA REPUBLIC PRESS
Also shortlisted for the Alison Morrison Diversity Award were Carcanet Press and Otter-Barry Books.
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IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year
SAM HUTCHINSON, B SMALL PUBLISHING
Also shortlisted for the IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year Award were Ola Gotkowska of Nosy Crow and Emma Milman of Class Publishing.
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GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award
LYNETTE OWEN
Also shortlisted for the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award were Suzanne Collier, The Independent Alliance and Inpress.
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The Awards recognize the remarkable achievements of 12 different publishers and two individuals. Leading the winners is Maths – No Problem!, the first ever education publisher to win the flagship Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year Award. It was hailed by the Awards’ judges as an outstandingly dynamic, nimble and successful independent publisher that has made itself indispensible in its niche of maths education just a few years after launching in the UK.
Maths – No Problem! becomes the 12th winner of the prestigious Award, joining Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Templar Publishing, Alastair Sawday Publishing, Earthscan, Continuum, Constable & Robinson, Bloomsbury Publishing’s Academic & Professional Division, Usborne Publishing, Search Press, Nosy Crow and Edward Elgar Publishing.
As winner of the PLS Education Publisher of the Year Award, Maths – No Problem! was one of five publishers on the shortlist for the Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year Award. It was joined there by the four other Publishers of the Year, all of whom are first-time winners at the Awards: Verso, Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year; Little Tiger Group, Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year; Emerald Publishing, ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year; and SPCK, IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year.
Other newly-established publishers triumphing at the Awards were Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, which receives the Nick Robinson Newcomer Award; and Cassava Republic Press, winner of the Alison Morrison Diversity Award. Nosy Crow receives the Bookseller International Achievement Award for the third time in six years, and How2Become the Nielsen Digital Marketing Award for the third year in a row. For the first time in the history of the Awards, one category is shared, with Bloomsbury Publishing and Class Publishing named joint winners of the IPG Digital Publishing Award.
The two individuals recognised at the Awards were Sam Hutchinson of b small publishing, named IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year; and Lynette Owen, who is honoured with the GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award for her support of many IPG members’ rights trading.
The Awards were presented at a Gala Dinner on Thursday 8 March 2018 as part of the IPG’s Annual Spring Conference. They were chosen from shortlists featuring 42 nominations from 26 different companies, two other publishing organisations and five individuals.
IPG chief executive Bridget Shine says: “From the biggest and best field of entries in the history of the Awards, these winners represent the very best of the independent publishing sector. We congratulate all of them, as well as all those who were shortlisted. The intense competition for the 2018 Independent Publishing Awards is proof if it were needed of the incredible range of diversity and dynamism within the IPG’s membership.”
The IPG would like to thank the sponsors of the 2018 Independent Publishing Awards: Ingram Content Group, supporter of the overall Independent Publisher of the Year Award, Blackwell’s, the Frankfurt Book Fair, Gardners, GBS, Nielsen Book, ProQuest, Publishers’ Licensing Services and The Bookseller.
The IPG is also grateful to all the judges of the Awards: Graham Bell, EDItEUR; Chris Benson, Taylor Wessing LLP; Nick Clee, BookBrunch; Elise Dillsworth, Elise Dillsworth Agency; Marzia Ghiselli, Publisher Partnerships, Findaway; Jo Henry, Nielsen Book; Ruth Jones, Ingram Content Group; Stephen Lustig, SJ Music Publications; Sam Missingham, Lounge Books; Natasha Onwuemezi, The Bookseller; Steve Potter, Wordery; Ken Rhodes, Eurospan; Peter Saxton, Waterstones; Kieron Smith, Blackwell’s; and Chris Wold, consultant.
Judges’ comments about each of the 2018 IPG Independent Publishing Awards winners follow.
Ingram Content Group Independent Publisher of the Year and PLS Education Publisher of the Year
Maths – No Problem! receives these two Awards after another remarkable year of growth in its specialist area of maths education. It achieved exceptionally high customer retention rates, expanded its teacher support resources and ramped up its digital marketing. “To build such a substantial business from a single subject in such a short space of time is extraordinary. It’s managed its growth extremely well, and many larger publishers could learn a thing or two from it.”
Frankfurt Book Fair Trade Publisher of the Year
Verso receives its first ever Independent Publishing Award after finding a receptive audience for its left-wing list in 2017. Its creative marketing, led by social media and author events, has triggered substantial sales through its own relaunched website as well as in shops. “Verso has really reached out to the trade lately, and it’s paying off in sales,” judges said. “There was some very significant publishing last year and the level of direct sales is phenomenal.”
Blackwell’s Children’s Publisher of the Year
Little Tiger Group is recognised for a year in which it drastically improved its retail partnerships, production values, rights trading and digital marketing. The publication of A Change is Gonna Come showed its commitment to diversity too. “Little Tiger has listened to feedback and massively upped its game lately,” judges said. “It’s very well led and the team there clearly work their socks off.”
ProQuest Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year
Emerald Publishing receives this Award for achievements in its 50th anniversary year. It marked the occasion by reimagining not just its brand identity but its ecommerce website, publishing formats and Open Access offer, and it launched a new Author Hub too. “Emerald is a big company now, but it’s stayed nimble and responsive to customers,” said the judges. “What it’s achieved in the last year is very impressive.”
IPG Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year
SPCK enjoyed a very good year in the challenging Christian sector, with CEO Sam Richardson—Young Independent Publisher of the Year in 2016—continuing a reinvigoration of its brand and reputation. Responsive publishing, new series and apps and a wide range of partnerships contributed to record sales. “SPCK is an amazing turnaround story,” said the judges. “It’s taken the time to work out what its readers want and the best ways to get it to them.”
Nick Robinson Newcomer Award
Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing is recognised for quickly establishing itself as a top brand in its niche of agricultural science. It has already accumulated several hundred chapters of content and generated excellent feedback. “Burleigh Dodds has a very bright future,” said the judges, who also saw the value of its publishing in meeting the challenge of feeding a rising population. “It’s taking on some very important work, properly and seriously.”
The Bookseller International Achievement Award
Nosy Crow receives this Award for the third time in six years after another stellar year of sales. Judges admired its strategic, rounded and well-invested approach to global business, which sees it secure world rights to content wherever possible and leverage them to the extent that more than half its revenue is earned beyond the UK. “International is integrated into everything Nosy Crow does—it’s so ingenious in the way it exploits its rights,” they said.
IPG Digital Publishing Award
For the first time in the history of the Independent Publishing Awards, judges could not separate two publishers and decided to present the Award jointly.
Bloomsbury Publishing made big strides in developing its Bloomsbury Digital Resources division in 2017—a start-up-style unit to transform its academic and professional content. Technology is being deployed not just to serve Bloomsbury’s customers better, but to make it quicker and easier to develop content. “This is really impressive strategic thinking for the long-term—not just across one or two products but the whole range,” judges said.
Class Publishing is the joint winner for a bold change in the way it builds and sells its professional apps—from one-off purchases to subscriptions. As well as providing users with better and more up to date content, it has generated higher and more sustainable sales. “Very few companies have made the transition between sales models as successfully as this,” said the judges. It’s the rewards of a very strategic approach and a lot of bravery.”
Nielsen Digital Marketing Award
How2Become wins this Award for a third year in a row. The large majority of its sales now come through its website, driven by focused email marketing, targeted paid-for click-throughs, a new CRM platform for social media and more than five million visits to its YouTube channel. “How2Become is so sophisticated in the way it approaches its digital marketing, and superb at analysing what's working and what’s not,” judges said.
Alison Morrison Diversity Award
Cassava Republic Press had its first full year in the UK in 2017, but has already established itself as a leading source of writers of African descent. It has quickly picked up media coverage and several awards, and takes its work out into BAME communities and festivals. “It’s been great to see Cassava hit the ground running in the UK,” commented the judges. “It’s achieved a lot in a short space of time and is doing some valuable outreach work.”
IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year
Sam Hutchinson of b small publishing shows how the rising stars of the sector are often superb multi-taskers. Working with co-owner Cath Bruzzone, he does everything from stuffing envelopes and accounts to commissioning and creating new websites, and he increased b small’s sales and profitability in 2017. Judges said: “He’s forward-thinking and focused and has got to grips with the whole business. Like a true independent publisher, he does it all.”
GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award
Lynette Owen receives this honour for her help to countless independent publishers in the challenging field of rights. As rights consultant to the IPG she has advised dozens of members, and her books on rights and contracts are indispensable. “Lynette is peerless in her field,” said one member. “She is the leading authority on rights and brings every ounce of her experience to her work with the IPG. Independent publishers are lucky to have her.”
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