LBF International excellence awards for publishers, bookstores, tech

Sustainability, inclusivity and technology in publishing recognized

The London Book Fair 2023 will take place 18-20 April 2023 at Olympia London.

The winners of The London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards were announced on 11 April, with companies from Turkey and the US both taking home the top awards.

Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) is the inaugural winner of the Sustainability Initiative Award, introduced this year. Judges recognized the organization’s “holistic approach… which covers their operations and their influence within staff, suppliers and through the content they publish.” The judges were also impressed by Bloomsbury Publishing’s solar-powered office and passionate staff who appear eager to embrace the changes needed to achieve net zero.

Minoa (Turkey) is the winner of the coveted Bookstore of the Year Award, which the judges highlighted for being an exemplary bookstore, as well as a beautiful “must-see” tourist attraction in Istanbul. The panel agreed that Minoa is “a lab our of love, serving their community through a team that is valued by both Minoa’s owners and its customers.” The bookstore, located in the Akaretler district, was also praised for its event space, cafe, and used-book library.

Following their International Excellence Awards shortlisting in 2022 (during which they received a Special Commendation), Macmillan Audio (USA) has taken home the Audiobook Publisher Award for 2023. The judges were impressed by the “breadth of their publishing and their commitment to diversity and new voices” and highlighted the US company’s casting workshops and dedication to building careers for audiobook narrators as particularly inspiring.

Returning to the UK, this year’s Inclusivity in Publishing Award has been handed to Bonnier Books (UK), which marks the second time the publisher has picked up the Award, following their win in 2020. The judges noted that the UK publisher has “embedded inclusivity in their values and genuinely invested in making an impact across their organization.” The panel also commended Bonnier Book’s focus on “improving access to those from lower socio-economic backgrounds to the sector, their efforts to remove financial barriers for those starting out and to increasing equity in family policies.”

Gareth Rapley, director of The London Book Fair, said: “We are proud to announce the winners of the International Excellence Awards 2023. Year after year, the book industry proves itself to be innovative and resilient during challenging times, and our 2023 winners represent an inspiring array of talent, from bookstores creating community hubs to major publishers advocating for greener and more inclusive working environments to those advancing the limits of audio production. We look forward to spotlighting our winners at The London Book Fair 2023.”

The winners of the International Excellence Awards 2023 will be acknowledged during an invite-only ceremony for Klaus Flugge, the recipient of this year’s LBF Lifetime Achievement Award, at Olympia London on Wednesday 19 April.

The full list of this year’s International Excellence winners:

Sustainability Initiative Award

  • Bloomsbury Publishing (UK)

 Bookstore of the Year Award

  • Minoa (Turkey)

Audiobook Publisher of the Year

  • Macmillan Audio (US)

Eligible for entries from the UK only:

Inclusivity in Publishing Award

  • Bonnier Books

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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