We had the pleasure last week of hosting the annual judging of the IPG Independent Publishing Awards, resulting in the dozen shortlists that you can find here
. Hosted in a beautiful book-lined room off Bedford Square by kind permission of Yale University Press, it is always a stimulating and inspiring couple of days—and this year produced the toughest judging in the 11-year history of the Awards.
Despite an earlier than usual deadline, we received more entries for the Awards than ever before, and the quality across the categories was remarkable. It led our judges to pick four companies for many of the shortlists rather than our usual three, and made for a record 41 nominations across the 12 categories.
It says a lot for the depth and diversity of publishing within the IPG’s membership that competition was so strong, and we think the shortlists are a great reflection of the strength of independent publishing in the UK at the moment. There are no fewer than 29 different companies on the lists—another record—and the range in size and specialism is amazing. Ten have made the Awards shortlists for the first time ever, which shows how new start-ups are constantly rising through publishing and keeping more established operators on their toes.
Listening to our judges’ deliberations was a real privilege. In return for little more than bottomless coffee and a plate of biscuits they provided us with conscientious and articulate discussions and detailed consideration of every entry we received. Fortunately, our judges have not yet come to blows in all the years of the Awards, but some of their sessions in 2017 were long and hard. We thank them all.
It is always nice to see the pleasure with which the Awards shortlists are greeted by those who have made the cut. The reaction we have seen on Twitter
and elsewhere this week has given us another reminder of the popularity and value of the Awards. We know too, of course, that many other publishers will be disappointed at missing out on the shortlists, but please don’t be disheartened. Competition really was exceptional, and we know that those who didn’t make the cut this year will come back even stronger in 2018. We look forward now to celebrating the winners of the 2017 Awards—and success across independent publishing in general—at our Conference on Thursday 9 February.
To book places for our Annual Spring Conference and the gala dinner for the IPG Independent Publishing Awards, click here.