After a wonderful year of sales, during which they were finalists in the International Bookstore of the Year competition at the London Book Fair, it is perhaps no surprise to see Time Out Bookstore win Nielsen Bookshop of the Year again in 2017. Their staff member Cait Kneller was also awarded Young Bookseller of the Year.
Judge, Joel Becker, CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association, praised Time Out’s nomination for thoroughly ticking all of the selection criteria. ‘To paraphrase a William Shakespeare line from the nomination, “Though she be but little, she is fierce.”’
Our judges noted that it was not an easy decision, singling out Volume, in Nelson as worthy of praise. Volume is clearly ‘a wonderfully curated bookshop with a high level of community engagement…’ says Becker. Nielsen Publisher of the Year for 2017 goes to Wellington-based children’s book publishers Gecko Press, for their passion and long term vision for the future. Judge, Elizabeth Jones, said on the night:
‘From very small and somewhat risky beginnings this publisher has both proved and consolidated its niche and grown a readership built on its innovative and successful brand communicating a confident, positive and energetic purpose and identity – both here and overseas.’
Winners of the Lifetime Achievement Award are the owners of The Children’s Bookshop in Wellington, Ruth & John McIntyre. John sadly passed away in June 2017, after a long illness. Ruth McIntyre continues to operate the store with her fantastic staff of children’s book-lovers, and the store continues to support local authors and publishers tirelessly.
The Special Industry Award this year goes to Victoria University Press, led by Fergus Barrowman. Nevena Nikolic, Nielsen’s Sales & Marketing Manager says, ‘You would be hard-pressed to find another publisher over the last year that has contributed more to the growing spotlight on our own stories.’
A new award in 2017 was the Young Publisher of the Year Award, which this year goes to Alex Hedley. Nikolic says, ‘His nose for intelligent writing has translated to commercial success for his employers and a significant contribution to the canon of NZ books.’
Sales Rep of the Year Tammy Ruffell is no stranger to this prize, having won it two years ago. A bookseller recommended her saying, ‘I can call, text or email with bizarre requests, and Tammy’s response is fast, efficient and well outside of the box.’
Allen & Unwin NZ won Publishing Marketing Strategy of the Year this year, with their campaign for non-fiction title Woman in the Wilderness, by Miriam Lancewood. Jones said: ‘Their strategy was impressive in bringing an unknown and unique story from a completely unknown writer into the market through a clever and well executed campaign across different media – tapping into different points of interest in the story – for diverse readers.’
The judges assured us, ‘The New Zealand book industry can rest assured there is much innovation and inspiration to be found in New Zealand publishing and bookselling. It would be difficult to find a more dedicated, hard-working and passionate group of individuals and organisations, than those that are collectively keeping books and literature at the forefront of NZ’s creative taonga.’
A full list of the 2017 Book Industry Award Winners:
Nielsen Bookshop of the Year – Time Out Bookstore, Mt Eden Nielsen Publisher of the Year – Gecko Press, Wellington Sales Rep of the Year – Tammy Ruffell, Lower North Island Rep, HarperCollins NZ Publishing Marketing Strategy of the Year – Allen & Unwin NZ for the campaign for Woman in the Wilderness, by Miriam Lancewood Young Publisher of the Year – Alex Hedley, HarperCollins NZ Young Bookseller of the Year – Cait Kneller, Time Out Bookshop Special Industry Award-winner – Victoria University Press Lifetime Achievement Award – Ruth & John McIntyre, The Children’s Bookshop, Wellington