How do I enter?
Simply complete our online entry form by selecting the Start My Award Entry option. We need to receive entries by Thursday 25 January 2018 at the latest. Remember to also send us the supplementary material outlined below.
I know a lot of companies are shy about entering themselves for awards, and we used to be one of those. But even the process of simply entering is invaluable. It is a great way to take a step back from day to day business to review what you are doing and where you are heading. Whether you win an award, get shortlisted or miss out, that’s the guaranteed benefit of taking part. Pete Duncan, Constable & Robinson
What information do I need to submit?
Please complete the entry form for your category in full. As part of your application, we would like you to send us no more than 1,000 words to show how you have met the criteria laid out for the Award. This is your opportunity to highlight your achievements and persuade the judges that you are worthy of an Award.
We also ask you to send us three of your books published over the last year—or digital products on suitable media if those are more appropriate. Please send these to: The IPG Independent Publishing Awards, IPG, 47 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3DP. As you will be submitting your Award entry online, all you need to send by post are your books.
We will do all we can to encourage you in the entry process. We have some to help you put together a compelling entry, and a to draw ideas from. Please contact us if you have any questions at all about the entry process.
What period do the Awards cover?
Your entries should cover the calendar year from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017. Please tell us as much as you can about your achievements in this period.
Why does the entry form ask for financial information?
You will see that entries to our Publisher of the Year categories require some information about your financial performance. Please include as much data as possible so that our judges have a full picture of your company.
Rest assured that this material will be treated in the strictest confidence, and that it will never be disclosed outside of the judging process. You may have concerns that your financial performance is not as strong as you may wish, by comparison with either previous years or your publishing counterparts. Please remember that our judges view financial figures with the context of the market and the size of your operation firmly in mind.
Not all categories require you to submit financial information. If you have any remaining concerns about your financial information, please contact us for a confidential discussion.
It means such a lot to everyone who works at Usborne to have been named IPG Independent Publisher of the Year. Anna Howorth, Usborne Publishing
Which Publisher of the Year Award should I enter?
The five market sectors are defined as follows. Choose the one that is most appropriate to your publishing. If you are in any doubt, please contact us for advice.
Trade covers companies whose core publishing activity is aimed at a consumer audience.
Academic & Professional is for companies whose core activity supports students in higher education (18 years +) and / or the professional markets.
Children’s covers companies whose core publishing is for consumers up to the age of 16.
Education is for publishers whose core activity supports teaching or learning in the schools sector (ages 3 to 18).
Specialist Consumer is for companies who do not fit neatly into the other four categories—perhaps because their publishing is limited to a particular subject or because they sell their books direct to customers.
What will judges look for?
Publisher of the Year
In the five Publisher of the Year categories, our judges are looking for outstanding publishing businesses that demonstrate the following seven qualities.
•A robust business strategy
•High quality commissioning, editing, design and production
•Successful sales and marketing
•Detailed customer and market knowledge
•High levels of customer service and satisfaction
•Commercial success and sound business practice
•Innovation, creativity and vision.
The Newcomer Award is open to companies that have been set up within the last three years. Judges want to see evidence of companies’ vision, strategy and engagement with their market, and of their impact in sales, marketing and publicity terms. The Award is open to publishers large and small, and embraces companies just starting out as well as those who are now settling in to their work. As well as impact so far, our judges assess companies’ potential.
International Achievement Award
The International Achievement Award celebrates success on the global stage. It can cover the sale of rights, co-editions or exports, and may refer to a single initiative or a whole strategy. Judges look for entrepreneurial vision, exceptional sales results and an ability to extract maximum value from international markets.
The Diversity Award is for independents publishing for minority communities in the UK. We encourage entries that reflect the full range and spirit of diversity—for excellent publishing for BAME communities; for efforts to reach out to those with disabilities or special needs; or for efforts to promote multiculturalism through books. The winner must demonstrate expert customer and market knowledge and support their submission with evidence of commercial and / or critical success.
Digital Publishing Award
The Digital Publishing Award is for independent publishers who have made great strides in the digital field. It is open to a wide range of electronic activity, and can be given for anything from a one-off project to a long-term publishing initiative. Whatever the activity, entrants should demonstrate creative use of technology, sound understanding of their target audience and commercial success in their field.
Digital Marketing Award
The Digital Marketing Award is a sister category to the Digital Publishing Award, but rewards publishers’ efforts to promote, publicise and sell their digital content. Judges want to see evidence of imaginative marketing techniques and clever use of technology to spread the word about a book, series or entire company. Creative marketing work via websites, email, apps or social networks would all be considered in this category.
Young Independent Publisher of the Year
The Young Independent Publisher of the Year Award is open to all people under the age of 35 at 31 October 2017. They may work in any capacity for any IPG member, and nominations can be made either directly by the individual or by his or her colleagues. The Award aims to recognise outstanding achievement by the rising stars of our industry, and accomplishments from all publishing functions and at all levels will be considered. Whatever their role, entrants must provide firm evidence of their contributions and impact on their business.
We felt delighted and honoured to be shortlisted for the award, especially with the company we had on the shortlist, so actually hearing our name read out all felt a little unreal. I don't think any of us could shift the grin from our faces for the next few days. Rick Jackman, Illuminate Publishing
What other Awards are there?
The overall Independent Publisher of the Year Award requires no nominations, since it is chosen from the winners of each of the five Publisher of the Year categories. This is the flagship Award of our Gala Dinner, and goes to the company that, in the opinion of the judges, has demonstrated exceptional achievement in its publishing and has delivered highly impressive results above and beyond those of their peers.
Nominations for The GBS Services to Independent Publishers Award may be made separately without the need to complete an entry form. This Award is generously supported by Grantham Book Services in memory of their former client services manager Julie Nix, who worked for the company for 30 years before her death in 2007. The Award honours those who, like Julie, have worked tirelessly to support independent publishers in the UK. Both individuals and companies may be entered.
All IPG members are invited to propose contenders via a short supporting statement that outlines the nominee’s contribution to independent publishing and why they are deserving of the Award. Please email your nominations direct to the IPG.
When you are running a company you are never quite sure if you’re doing the right things. Our Awards showed us that we are—and it gave us a huge boost. Alastair Sawday, Alastair Sawday Publishing
What happens to my entry?
The IPG Independent Publishing Awards are judged by carefully chosen panels of industry experts sharing decades of experience in publishing. Our judges give every entry fair, equal and careful attention, and all submissions are treated in the strictest confidence. We guarantee that no information about your company will be shared beyond the judging room.
After the judges have completed their deliberations, shortlists in all our categories for which entries are invited will be revealed in February 2018. The winners will be announced at the IPG Independent Publishing Awards Gala Dinner during our Annual Conference at Crowne Plaza Heythrop Park in Oxfordshire on Thursday 8 March 2018. The Awards night is a wonderful celebration of independent publishing, and all IPG members are warmly invited to join us.
It was an honour to be shortlisted but when we actually won we were overjoyed. For a small, niche publisher like Carcanet, based well north of London, recognition is especially welcome. To win this particular award underlined one of our priorities. A real achievement! Katie Caunt, Carcanet.