The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Independent Bookshop Week Book Award Winners Announced

IBW Book Award winners 2018

As voted for by local independent bookshops and judged by a panel of authors, booksellers and journalists, the three winners are Amor Towles for A Gentleman in Moscow (Windmill) in the Adult Category, Geraldine McCaughrean for Where the World Ends (Usborne) in Children’s, and Nicola Davies and illustrator, Emily Sutton for Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth (Walker Books) in Picture Books.

The winners will be presented with their awards in their local independent bookshop and all bookshops participating in IBW will be encouraged to showcase their work.

Winner of the Adult Category, Amor Towles said: “As an author, I can be struck by the lightning bolt of inspiration, rattle out an outline, marshal through a few hundred pages of narrative, spend three years bent to the drudgery of revision and, in so doing, create a little masterpiece. But none of that will matter if the product of my inspiration and effort never finds its audience. For a book to find its readership, it must first spark the interest of some initial reader who out of enthusiasm, whimsy, or compassion, feels compelled to pass the book along to a like-minded reader who, some days hence, will pass this back along to another. More often than not, this magical chain reaction begins with a reader who is in the employ of an independent bookstore. That is why I am so deeply honoured by this award - and why, whenever I prepare to drink from a glass of wine, I raise it first to the booksellers of the world.”

Winner of the Children’s Category, Geraldine McCaughrean commented: “And I thought June was lovely enough already! What a thrill. To launch Where the World Ends, I was driven round various Scottish independents and was taken aback by the warm welcome it had been given. ‘But then I suppose it is a book about Scotland,’ I thought. Now this! A vote of confidence from indies all over! I couldn’t be more pleased or honoured. Goodness, if I worked as hard a most booksellers, I would have to turn out six books a year, grow and fell the trees to make the paper, print, bind and illustrate them all while riding a unicycle and herding kangaroos into fourth‐floor accommodation. Thank you to everyone who afforded my book space in a crowded book world.”

Winner of the Picture Book Category, Nicola Davies and illustrator, Emily Sutton added: “We are thrilled that Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth has won the picture book category of the IBW Book Award! It’s so important to us that Independent Bookshops are supportive of our work and we appreciate everything they do to help build reading communities in their local areas. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to everybody that helped us create Lots and who continue to help it flourish.” 

This year the IBW Book Award judging panels was chaired by former Booksellers Association (BA) President, Rosamund de la Hey and current BA President Nic Bottomley, and included Joanna Cannon, author (The Trouble with Goats & Sheep, Three Things About Elsie); Debbie James, The Kibworth Bookshop; Sandy Mahal, UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature; Will Smith, Sam Read Booksellers; Yasmeen Ismail, author and illustrator (I’m A Girl!, Time for Bed, Fred); Wei Ming Kam, author (contributor to The Good Immigrant), blogger; Natasha Radford, Chicken & Frog Bookshop and Tony West, Alligator’s Mouth Bookshop.