Judges announced for expanded Books of the Year prize at revamped British Book Industry Awards 2016

Cathy Rentzenbrink, Director of Quick Reads, author of the critically acclaimed memoir The Last Act of Love and contributing editor at The Bookseller will chair an eminent panel of judges featuring authors, critics and leading lights from across the book industry for the newly expanded Books of the Year category at the revamped British Book Industry awards. 

The Book of the Year award was introduced in 2015 to showcase a book that best demonstrated the real value of publishing; a close collaboration between publisher and author that culminates in something extraordinary for the reader. This year new categories for fiction, children’s, non-fiction and debut titles are being introduced —from which an overall Book of the Year will be selected and announced at the awards ceremony on 9th May 2016.

The new name and expansion signifies a change in the development of the industry awards - produced by leading industry magazine The Bookseller which itself dates back to 1858 — and how the book trade presents itself to the wider world in 2016.

"It’s a great honour to be chairing the judges for our wonderful new Books of the Year awards. All our judges are professionally involved in the noble pursuit of bringing books to readers, whether that’s through book selling, journalism or outreach and are excellently placed to look at the runners and riders from 2015 and choose a winner. I think we are going to have a lot of fun surveying the best that this incredible industry has to offer." - Cathy Rentzenbrink

Joining Cathy Rentzenbrink on the panel for the Debut Category are Sam Baker, novelist and editor-in-chief of The Pool, Joe Haddow, Books producer BBC Radio 2, Matt Bates, Fiction Buyer W.H. Smith) and critic and broadcaster Alex Clark.  

The Fiction category is chaired by The Bookseller’s books editor Alice O'Keeffe alongside author, comedian and critic Viv Groskop, Chris White, Fiction Buyer at Waterstones, Alison Finch, books planning producer for BBC Radio 4 and author and journalist Sali Hughes.

Co-chairing the Children’s category are Charlotte Eyre and Fiona Noble, Children’s Editor and Children's & YA Previews Editor at The Bookseller; and judges include Melissa Cox, Head of Books at Waterstones, Gemma Malley, Director of Marketing, Communications and Engagement at Booktrust, author and The Reading Agency ambassador Bali Rai, freelance journalist Stuart Dredge and Carrie Morris from 2015 Independent Bookshop of the Year Booka Bookshop.        

The Non-Fiction category will be chaired by Caroline Sanderson, Associate and Non-Fiction Editor at The Bookseller with author, broadcaster and historian Kate Williams, Literary Editors of The Independent, Arifa Akbar and The Times Robbie Millen and Gary Powell, Assistant Buyer at Foyles.

The British Book Industry Awards represent a high point in the book trade’s calendar, with winners including Publisher of the Year, Book Retailer of the Year, and Independent Bookshop of the Year. The Books of the Year awards recognise the publishing as well as the books, with both author and publisher as recipients of the prize.

The revamped Awards will take place on Monday 9th May 2016 at a new home at Grosvenor House in central London.

"The new name places the emphasis on the book. Whether in print or e-book format our mission is to recognise the trade’s successes in getting more books in the hands of more readers.  We want to recognise the very best that has been produced by our authors and publishers." - Nigel Roby, Chief Executive and Publisher of The Bookseller

For all media enquiries please contact Annabel Robinson or Emily Banyard at FMcM on 020 7405 7422 or email annabelr@fmcm.co.uk / emilyb@fmcm.co.uk