Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Unity Books wins NZ Bookshop of the Year; Hedleys recognised with Lifetime Achievement Award

Unity Books in Wellington was named winner of the Nielsen BookData Bookshop of the Year Award at the Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards on 30 July in Auckland.

Unity Books, which was founded in 1967, was cited for its customer engagement. ‘Investing time, knowledge and professionalism across [the] relationships that make the business buzz, with an endless curiosity and willingness to explore whatever circumstance might further the aim of uniting the right books with the right people is what consistently sets this bookseller apart as exemplar to the trade,’ said judge Ben Brown.

David and Jenny Hedley from Hedley’s Books in Masterton were also recognised with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Hedley’s Books is New Zealand’s oldest family-owned independent bookstore and was founded by David’s grandfather in 1907. Since then, 19 Hedley family members have worked in the business.

‘Together they have worked tirelessly not just on the shop floor, hand-selling the joy of reading to whoever walks in, but also setting up innumerable festivals, countless book launches, large and small—and their warm-hearted family welcome is the highlight of any author’s tour, from George Harrison, to Tom Sainsbury,’ said David and Jenny’s son Alex, who presented them with the award.

Other award-winners announced on the night were:

Nielsen BookData NZ Publisher of the Year

  • Penguin Random House New Zealand

Emerging NZ Publisher of the Year

  • Michelle Hurley, Allen & Unwin

Emerging NZ Bookseller of the Year

  • Lisa Adler, Vic Books

NZ Bestseller Award

  • Lost and Found: My story of heartbreak and hope (Toni Street, A&U)

International Bestseller Award

  • Better Off Dead (Lee and Andrew Child, Bantam)

Marketing and Publicity Strategy of the Year

  • Courtney Smith and Abba Renshaw, Allen & Unwin, for Salad, Two Raw Sisters

Aotearoa Booksellers’ Choice Award

  • Greta and Valdin (Rebecca K Reilly, Te Herenga Waka University Press)

Sales Professional of the Year

  • Inna Carson, HarperCollins

Mana Māori Award

  • Kupu NgāRinga Tuhituhi, Māori Writers Festival.

The Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards were jointly organised by Booksellers Aotearoa NZ and the Publishers of NZ Te Rau o Tākapu.

Pictured: Alex, Jenny and David Hedley.


Category: Local news