Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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2013 ABIA winners announced

The winners of the 2013 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced on Friday 24 May at the Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney.

This is the second time that the awards have been presented as part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and many of the festival guests were on hand to present some of the awards. Guest of honour at this year’s awards was Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, who confessed his love of books and bookshops—his local bookshop is Books in Print in Melbourne—and said that the Federal Government continues to recognise the role of local book publishing in Australia and is committed to maintaining parallel importation restrictions.

David Throsby, chair of the Book Industry Collaboration Council (BICC), also addressed the attendees at this year’s event, announcing that the BICC will propose that a permanent, industry-wide council be established following the conclusion of the BICC process in coming months. He said the council will be named the Book Industry Council of Australia and will likely be established later this year.

The Light between Oceans scoops awards
M L Stedman’s debut novel The Light between Oceans (Vintage) collected three awards at this year’s ABIAs, taking home the Book of the Year Award as well as Literary Fiction Book of the Year and Newcomer of the Year. Stedman’s novel has been nominated for numerous awards this year, including the Miles Franklin Literary Award, and in March was named Indie Book of the Year.

The ABIA for General Fiction Book of the Year was awarded to The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (A&U) and the award for General Nonfiction Book of the Year was presented to QF32 by Richard de Crespigny (Pan Macmillan). My Journey by Jim Stynes and Warwick Green (Penguin) was named Biography of the Year.

The ABIA for Book of the Year for Younger Children was presented to The Very Hungry Bear by Nick Bland (Scholastic) and the Book of the Year for Older Children Award was won by The 26-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan).

The ABIA for Illustrated Book of the Year was shared by The Lost Diggers by Ross Coulthart and Lake Eyre by Paul Lockyer (both HarperCollins), while Random House picked up the award for International Bestseller of the Year for Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James.

The Pixie O’Harris Award, which recognises distinguished service to the development of Australian children’s books, was awarded to academic and children’s book specialist Maurice Saxby. Penguin’s Bob Sessions, who recently announced his retirement, was awarded the Lloyd O’Neil Award for outstanding service to the Australian book industry. Sessions told the room that winning the award was a particular honour as Lloyd O’Neil had a lasting impact on Sessions’ career, helping him establish his own publishing business, which was eventually bought by Penguin.

Publishers and booksellers honoured
Allen & Unwin was again named Publisher of the Year, taking the top honour for an impressive 12th time, and also picked up the award for Publisher Marketing Campaign of the Year for The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. Text Publishing was named Small Publisher of the Year for the second year running.

Shearer’s Bookshop in Sydney was named Independent Bookseller of the Year for the third year running, with co-owner Barbara Horgan thanking the trade for its support during the store’s recent move, while co-owner Tony Horgan thanked Barbara for her tireless work. Shearer’s Bookshop also won the Bookseller Marketing Campaign of the Year for its Diary of a Reading Kid promotion.

Dymocks Melbourne was named Chain/Franchise Bookseller of the Year and Perth’s Boffins Bookshop was named Specialist Bookseller of the Year for the sixth year running. Regional Bookseller of the Year was presented to Lorne Beach Books in Victoria.

The Book Industry Digital Innovation Award was awarded to Bolinda Audio for its BorrowBox Digital Library Solution, while United Book Distributors won the Distributor of the Year Award for the fifth consecutive year.

To see a list of the finalists for this year’s awards, click here.   



Category: Local news