2014 Australian Book Industry Awards announced in Sydney

The 14th Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced in Sydney tonight in front of Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Minister for the Arts George Brandis, with Graeme Simsion’s celebrated novel THE ROSIE PROJECT taking out the coveted Book of the Year award.

Other big winners included the recipient of the 2013 Man Booker Prize, THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton, for International Book of the Year and the multi-award-winning debut BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent, who beat illustrious fellow contenders Richard Flanagan, Fiona McFarlane, Christos Tsiolkas and Tim Winton to scoop Literary Fiction Book of the Year. The full list of winners is below.

The ABIAs judging panel awarded the night’s top accolade to THE ROSIE PROJECT because of author Graeme Simsion’s passion and energy in promoting it, and because Text Publishing – which also took out Small Publisher of the Year in the business awards – achieved great success in launching a debut author in a difficult market, commending in particular the publisher’s “exemplary” marketing, social media and publicity campaigns. The judges called the book “an engaging, comic story”.

Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of the Australian Publishers Association said: “Congratulations to the winners and to everyone involved with all the shortlisted books. The MC was moved to song about the book industry. The guests of honour were a Prime Minister who’s an author and an Attorney-General who’s an avid reader. One of the prize-winners was a VC, and the Book of the Year prize was awarded to a novelist whose other books are on data modelling. It’s hard to imagine a better demonstration of how alive the book industry is and how central it is to Australian life.”

The winners were announced tonight at a dinner at Doltone House in Sydney’s Pyrmont, and they represent Australia’s finest and most popular writers and industry personalities. The ABIAs are divided into two categories: book awards and business awards. In the business awards, the highly anticipated Lloyd O’Neil Award for Outstanding Service to the Australian Book Industry was award posthumously to legendary novelist Bryce Courtenay, who passed away in 2012. His wife Christine Courtenay accepted the honour on her late husband’s behalf. The Pixie O’Harris Award for Distinguished and Dedicated Service to the Development and Reputation of Australian Children’s Books went to Angela Namoi, Children’s Rights Director at Allen & Unwin.

The 2014 Australian Book Industry Awards go to:


Industry award winners are:

Ann Poublon’s Excellent Bookselling Career

Lloyd O'Neil Award Memories

Lloyd O’Neil was made a member of the Order of Australia in 1991 in recognition of his distinguished service to the local publishing industry. The award that commemorates this exceptional figure recognises the long service of similarly outstanding individuals in the Australian book world. Ann Poublon, influential Perth-based bookseller and long-time Dymocks franchisee, received the honour at the 2012 Australian Book Industry Awards and remembers her shock on the night.

“Winning the prestigious Lloyd O’Neil was something I never ever expected,” Mrs Poublon said. “I was truly surprised to be called up by my friend Ross Gibb who presented me with the Award, and I felt greatly honoured and also very humble about it, as I could not understand why I was chosen.”

Ann is the 22nd recipient of The Lloyd O’Neil Award and a member of an elite group of accomplished and dedicated book industry professionals, the full list of whom you can find here:

Lloyd O’Neil was a pioneer of Australian publishing. He began his career as a bookseller in Angus & Robertson’s Castlereagh Street store and went on to become an insightful and talented publisher, printing popular mass market titles that captured the mood of the Australian public and developing hugely successful educational and travel lists. He ended his career as an associate director with, and adviser to, Penguin Books Australia and agreed to give his name to this award before he passed away in 1992.

“I just do what I enjoy most. I love the industry, the publishers, publicists, reps and my staff who I work with every day, and hope that I will be able to continue doing what I enjoy for some time to come. I just missed not having my family with me on the Awards night to share it with me as they are very much part of what keeps me going. I am grateful to all who voted for me.”— Ann Poublon.

2014 Australian Book Industry Awards Shortlists Announced

Shortlists Announced

The 14th Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) shortlists were announced this morning in Sydney, revealing a stellar list of nominees that includes 2013 Man Booker Prize-winner THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton for the inaugural International Book of the Year award and, for Literary Fiction Book of the Year, the multi-award-winning debut novel BURIAL RITESby Hannah Kent.

Literary Fiction Book of the Year is traditionally a hotly contended category and the competition has never been fiercer than in 2014. The other nominees are Tim Winton’s EYRIE, Christos Tsiolkas’ BARRACUDA, Richard Flanagan’s THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTHand Fiona McFarlane’s THE NIGHT GUEST. Full shortlists can be found in the following pages.

Another notable inclusion is Nikki Gemmell, writing as NJ Gemmell, nominated for Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years) for her children’s debut THE KENSINGTON REPTILARIUM. Graeme Simsion’s popular bestseller THE ROSIE PROJECT receives a nomination in General Fiction Book of the Year category.

“Our congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and their publishers,” said Michael Gordon-Smith, Chief Executive of the awards’ organising body the Australian Publishers Association. “It’s an accomplishment worth celebrating to have stood out among the best of Australian writing and publishing. Once again this year, Australia’s national book awards, the ABIAs, will be a showcase of great books that have won popular appeal, critical acclaim or commercial success.”

International bestseller Matthew Reilly, nominated in the General Fiction Book of the Year category for THE TOURNAMENT, said today: “I’m honoured and excited to see THE TOURNAMENT shortlisted. What I like about the ABIAs is that they are not just about the story of a given book, but rather about how well that book is published in its totality. That means the whole package: from the story to the cover design, to the marketing and to liaising with booksellers. THE TOURNAMENT, as something of a departure for me, posed some tricky problems for my publisher, Pan Macmillan, and for booksellers, and yet they came through with flying colours and made it the top-selling Australian fiction title for 2013.”

“Australians should know that our publishing industry is not only world-class, it is world-leading,” Mr Reilly continued. “I deal with publishers all around the world and I can tell you that Australian publishers beat them hands down. These awards celebrate that and I’m glad to be a part of it.”

The shortlists represent Australia’s finest and most popular writers and industry personalities and have been compiled by a panel of more than 100 booksellers and publishers. The winners of the prestigious annual awards will be announced on Friday 23 May at a gala dinner, which will this year be hosted by award-winning satirist and musician Casey Bennetto, at Doltone House in Pyrmont, NSW.

The shortlists are:

International Book of the Year:

  • THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt (Little, Brown)
  • AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED by Khaled Hosseini (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • THE LUMINARIES by Eleanor Catton (Granta Books)
  • HARD LUCK: DIARY OF A WIMPY KID by Jeff Kinney (Puffin)
  • I AM MALALA by Malala Yousafzai (Orion)

General Fiction Book of the Year:

  • ELIANNE by Judy Nunn (William Heinemann Australia)
  • WATCHING YOU by Michael Robotham (Sphere)
  • THE HUSBAND’S SECRET by Liane Moriarty (Macmillan Australia)
  • THE TOURNAMENT by Matthew Reilly (Macmillan Australia)
  • THE ROSIE PROJECT by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)

Literary Fiction Book of the Year:

  • BARRACUDA by Christos Tsiolkas (Allen & Unwin)
  • EYRIE by Tim Winton (Hamish Hamilton)
  • THE NIGHT GUEST by Fiona McFarlane (Hamish Hamilton)
  • BURIAL RITES by Hannah Kent (Picador Australia)
  • THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH by Richard Flanagan (Vintage Australia)

General Non-fiction Book of the Year:

  • THE GOOD LIFE by Hugh Mackay (Macmillan Australia)
  • ON THE TRAIL OF GENGHIS KHAN by Tim Cope (Bloomsbury Publishing)
  • THE STALKING OF JULIA GILLARD by Kerry-Anne Walsh (Allen & Unwin)
  • MURDER IN MISSISSIPPI by John Safran (Hamish Hamilton)

Illustrated Book of the Year:

  • THE FOOD OF VIETNAM by Luke Nguyen (Hardie Grant Books)
  • THE NEW CLASSICS by Donna Hay (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • LOVE ITALY by Guy Grossi (Lantern)
  • I QUIT SUGAR by Sarah Wilson (Macmillan Australia)
  • GURRUMUL by Gurrumul and Robert Hillman (ABC Books)

Biography of the Year:

  • A LONG WAY HOME by Saroo Brierley (Viking)
  • PONTING: AT THE CLOSE OF PLAYby Ricky Ponting (HarperSport)
  • NED KELLY: THE STORY OF AUSTRALIA’S MOST NOTORIOUS LEGEND by Peter FitzSimons (William Heinemann Australia)
  • THE CROSSROAD by Mark Donaldson, VC (Macmillan Australia)
  • MADNESS: A MEMOIR by Kate Richards (Viking)
  • EVERYTHING TO LIVE FOR: THE INSPIRATIONAL STORY OF TURIA PITT by Turia Pitt with Libby Harkness (William Heinemann Australia)

Book of the Year for Younger Children (age range 0 to 8 years):

  • THE VERY BRAVE BEAR by Nick Bland (Scholastic Press)
  • RULES OF SUMMER by Shaun Tan (Lothian Children’s Books)
  • THE 39-STOREY TREEHOUSE by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Pan Australia)
  • RUBY RED SHOES GOES TO PARIS by Kate Knapp (HarperCollins Publishers)
  • ALPHABETICAL SYDNEY by Hilary Bell and Antonia Pesenti (NewSouth Books)
  • KISSED BY THE MOON by Alison Lester (Viking)

Book of the Year for Older Children (age range 8 to 14 years):

  • THE KENSINGTON REPTILARIUM by NJ Gemmell (Random House Australia Children’s)
  • WEIRDOby Anh Do (Scholastic Press)
  • ALICE-MIRANDA IN PARIS by Jacqueline Harvey (Random House Australia Children’s)
  • THE LAST THIRTEEN #1:13 by James Phelan (Scholastic Australia)
  • RANGER’S APPRENTICE 12: THE ROYAL RANGER by John Flanagan (Random House Australia Children’s