Trevor Noah wins Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award in SA

The Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2017 went to Trevor NoahThe Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award is bestowed upon a local author for a South African-published book that booksellers most enjoyed selling, or that sold so well that it made a difference to the bottom line of booksellers across the country.

The prize this year went to Trevor Noah for his book, Born a Crime and other stories, which was published by Pan Macmillan in South Africa. Noah was not present to receive the prize at the convivial awards evening on 22 August, however, his publishers were delighted to attend in his stead. Andrea Nattrass, Noah’s publisher at Pan Macmillan, arranged for him to record a short acceptance speech, which was broadcast to the audience at the awards.

In his speech, he thanked booksellers, publishers and the sponsors, Nielsen Book for the award, along with his English teacher who had originally inspired him to read.

Once a year the booksellers and publishers of South Africa gather at co-joined Annual General Meetings (AGM) to discuss the industry at large.

‘By bringing together booksellers from around the country each year to discuss matters pertinent to the business of bookselling, we are able to identify many concerns in the industry and work together towards solutions,’ explains Guru Redhi, president of the SA Booksellers Association, which organises the AGM with the Publishers’ Association of South Africa (PASA).

Recognition of respective roles

The AGMs are designed so that while booksellers can meet to discuss getting high-quality South African books into the hands of book buyers, their publishers are able to discuss the creation of these books just next door.

‘The SA Booksellers Association (SABA) strives to work with PASA to encourage healthy trade relations that recognise the respective roles within the book value chain – of publishers as creators and wholesale distributors, and booksellers as the retailers of books,’ says Redhi. 

Mpuka Radinku of PASA says the AGMs are co-located to encourage PASA and SABA members to have closer networking opportunities and share ideas.

‘This process happens in formal and informal settings, which fosters deeper discussions on issues that affect the business operations of these two important [book value chain] stakeholders.’

The following booksellers were awarded:

  • Academic bookseller of the year: Van Schaik Bookstore
  • Education bookseller of the year: Adams Bookshop
  • Library supplier of the year: Hadeda Library Suppliers
  • Trade bookseller of the year (chain stores): Bargain Books
  • Trade bookseller of the year (independent): The Book Lounge

Publisher’s awards went to:

  • Trade publisher: Penguin Random House
  • Education publisher (Large): Pearson Education SA
  • Education publisher (Small): The Answer Series
  • Academic publisher: Juta & Company

The short-listed books for the Nielsen Booksellers Choice Award 2017 were:

  • Born a crime and other stories
  • Emily Hobhouse Geliefde verraaier
  • JAN A breath of French Air
  • Kook saam Kaaps
  • Koorsby Deon Meyer, Published by Human & Rousseau
  • My own liberator by Dikgang Moseneke, Published by Picador Africa.

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