How do I enter the Awards?
You can submit your entries quickly and easily here. You will need to register a few details before getting started. The Awards are open for members of the Independent Publishers Guild based in the UK and Ireland.

When is the deadline?
The deadline for all entries is midnight on 1 February 2023.

What do I need to submit?
For each entry, you will be asked to supply no more than 1,000 words of copy that shows how you have met the Award’s criteria. This is your chance to tell us about your achievements and persuade the judges that you should win!

The entry form will also require you to supply some basic information about your company. For our Publisher of the Year categories, we ask for some brief financial information about your business; there is more about this below.

You are able to upload images of five book covers (from books published in 2022) to support your submission. There is no need to supply any books or supplementary material, but please feel free to include links to any websites or other digital material that you wish judges to see.

How much does it cost to enter?
Nothing—the Awards are completely free.

Which categories should I enter?
As many as you like! There is no limit, though you should remember that each category requires a separate submission, each tailored to the specific criteria.

If you are not sure which Publisher of the Year category is for you, we define the market sectors as follows. You should choose the one that is most appropriate to your publishing. 

Trade Publisher of the Year covers companies whose core publishing activity is aimed at a consumer audience.

Academic & Professional Publisher of the Year is for companies whose core activity supports students in higher education (18 years +) and / or the professional markets.

Children’s Publisher of the Year covers companies whose core publishing is for consumers up to the age of 16.

Education Publisher of the Year is for publishers whose core activity supports teaching or learning in the schools sector (ages 3 to 18).

Specialist Consumer Publisher of the Year is for companies who do not fit neatly into the other four categories—perhaps because their publishing is limited to a particular subject or because they sell their books direct to customers.

If you are in any doubt about which categories you are suited to, please contact us for guidance.

What period do the Awards cover?
Your entries should cover the calendar year from 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022. Please tell us as much as you can about what you have done in this period. You may use previous years for context, but your entry will be judged on achievements in 2022.

What will the judges be looking for?
The Awards have different sets of criteria, so please read them carefully before preparing your submission.

Publisher of the Year
In the five Publisher of the Year categories, our judges look for outstanding publishing businesses that demonstrate the following seven qualities.

  • A robust business strategy
  • High quality commissioning, editing, design and production
  • Successful sales and marketing
  • Detailed customer and market knowledge
  • High levels of customer service and satisfaction
  • Commercial success and sound business practice
  • Innovation, creativity and vision.

Newcomer Award
This is open to companies that have been set up within the last five years. Judges want to see evidence of companies’ vision, strategy and engagement with their market, and of their impact in sales, marketing and publicity terms. The Award is open to publishers large and small, and embraces companies just starting out as well as those who are now settling in to their work. As well as impact so far, our judges assess companies’ potential and strategies for growth.

International Award
This Award celebrates success on the global stage. It can cover the sale of rights, co-editions or exports, and may refer to a single initiative or a whole strategy. Judges look for entrepreneurial vision, strong sales results and an ability to extract maximum value from international markets.

Diversity and Inclusivity Award
This Award recognises efforts to make publishing a more diverse and inclusive industry, in both its output and its workforce. We welcome entries that reflect achievements in many aspects of diversity, including publishing for under-represented communities, support for those with disabilities or special needs, initiatives to promote multiculturalism through books and efforts to make publishing a more inclusive and accessible industry to work in. Whatever the focus, entries should show evidence of success and the differences made.

Marketing Award
The Marketing Award rewards campaigns, initiatives or events that bring publishers’ content to people’s attention and generate sales. Entries should cover specific projects rather than a body of work, and include evidence of strategic planning and research, clear objectives, imaginative techniques, good execution and commercial success.

Young Independent Publisher of the Year
This Award is open to all people under the age of 35 at 31 December 2021. It aims to recognise outstanding achievement by the rising stars of our industry, and accomplishments from all publishing functions and at all levels will be considered. Whatever their role, entrants must provide firm evidence of their contributions and impact on their business. Nominations can be made either directly by the individual or by colleagues.

Sustainability Award
This celebrates publishers that have made a positive impact on the world around them. It recognises both strategic and practical work to reduce environmental impacts, through supply chain, printing, office, waste management or other initiatives and innovations. Entries may also address social and economic aspects of sustainability, such as constructive engagement with communities, employees and partners. Entries should inspire others to act on sustainability and provide firm evidence of results.

Audio Award
The Audio Award is given for high achievement in audiobooks and other spoken content. Entries should bring to life the journeys of audio products including production, marketing and publicity, and explain any partnerships behind them. Judges will want to see evidence of commercial success in downloads, streaming and physical sales: not necessarily bestseller status, but relative to publishers’ resources and expectations. They will consider everything from single titles to full audio strategies. Publishers’ podcasts and other forms of audio are also eligible if they demonstrate a positive impact on revenue and profile.

Metadata Award
The Metadata Award celebrates publishers that have worked hard on the quality of their data about books and other content. Entries should set out the strategic thinking, processes and practical changes behind improvements in metadata. Publishers will need to provide clear evidence and examples of how they have raised the profile, discoverability and sales of titles, and judges will also consider any endorsements and formal accreditation. This Award is your chance to showcase all the ways you keep your metadata accurate, extensive and effective.

Why do I need to send you financial information?
You will see that some entries to our Awards require some information about your financial performance. This helps to give our judges a full picture of your company. Please include as much data as you are able.

Please be assured that financial information is treated in the strictest confidence. It will never be disclosed outside of the judging process. You may have concerns that your financial performance is not as strong as you may wish, by comparison with either previous years or your publishing counterparts—but remember that our judges view financial figures with the context of the market and the size of your operation firmly in mind.

If you have any remaining concerns about your financial information, please contact us for a confidential discussion.

What happens to my entry?
The Independent Publishing Awards are judged by carefully chosen panels of industry experts, who share decades of experience in publishing. They give every entry fair, equal and careful attention, and all submissions are treated in the strictest confidence. We guarantee that no information about your entry or company will be shared beyond the judging room.

After the judges have completed their deliberations, shortlists in all our categories for which entries are invited will be revealed. The winners will be announced at a lunchtime ceremony on Wednesday 22 March 2023. The Awards ceremony is a wonderful celebration of independent publishing, and all IPG members are warmly invited to join us.

How is the overall Independent Publisher of the Year chosen?
This Award requires no nominations, since it is chosen from the winners of each of the five Publisher of the Year categories. This is the flagship Award and goes to the company that, in the opinion of the judges, has demonstrated exceptional achievement in its publishing and has delivered highly impressive results above and beyond those of their peers.

How do I nominate for the Services to Independent Publishers Award?
This Award is open to both individuals and organisations and is open to all areas of the industry from booksellers to consultants to distributors, printers and beyond—those go the extra mile to serve independent publishers.

To make a nomination, simply tell us in 300 words or less why an individual or company deserves the Award. It should be based on services and achievements in 2022 rather than a longer period. Send your nominations to us via the Awards platform, or by email to
[email protected].

I need more help!
We’ll do all we can to encourage you in the entry process. If you need some inspiration for your entry, check out the top tips listed below and check out our Skills Hub tips too. If you have any questions at all about the entry process, don’t hesitate to contact us.


1. Read the entry form carefully

Look especially closely at the criteria on which our Awards will be assessed, then try to include as much evidence of how you meet them as possible.

2. Don’t put it off

Please do not worry that you might not meet all the criteria or that you have not nominated yourself for anything before. Submitting an entry need not take long, and you have absolutely nothing to lose!

3. Be open with your figures

We understand that some entrants may be hesitant about submitting financial data. The information that we request helps to create a full picture of your company, and is always treated in the strictest of confidence.Feel free to explain your financial data or add more figures that you consider relevant in your supporting material (up to 1,000 words).

4. Make your supporting material readable

This is your shop window. Try to engage the judges and take them inside your company. Avoid clichés and jargon, break down your entry into sections if you like, and use bullet points to make key points.

5. Think about the year in question

Make sure your submission is tightly focused on the period covered by our Awards criteria. You can use previous years for context, but please tell us as much as you can about achievements in this period.

6. Gather your evidence

Our judges like to see any proof of claims that you make about your performance. So if you have published a bestseller, provide some sales figures. If you have struck some good rights deals, tell us how much they were worth. Again, all data will be treated in complete confidence.

7. Don’t worry if it has not been a record year

Judges always bear the context of the market in mind, so a solid performance in challenging conditions might be considered just as impressive as a record year in easier markets.

8. Don’t be modest

There is no need to be shy about your achievements or nervous that others may not appreciate them. If you are proud of what you have achieved, say so!

9. Share your passion

Judges like to see evidence of companies’ enthusiasm and care for what they do. If you enjoy what you do, convey it in your entry.

10. Talk to us

We are always very happy to answer any queries you may have about the Awards, to suggest which categories might be appropriate for you to enter, and to allay any concerns you may have. Please call us on 01437 563335 or email us.

It was an honour to be shortlisted but when we actually won we were overjoyed. For a small, niche publisher like Carcanet, based well north of London, recognition is especially welcome. To win this particular award underlined one of our priorities. A real achievement! Katie Caunt, Carcanet