We are delighted to open submissions for the IBW Book Award 2015, and look forward to receiving submitted titles from publishers.

Click IBW Book Award Submission Form 2015 to download an IBW Book Award Submission Form.  You can email sharon.benton@booksellers.org.uk for more information.

Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) 2015, previously Independent Booksellers Week, will this year run from Saturday 20 to Saturday 27 June 2015.

We are now calling for entries for the IBW Book Award 2015, which plays a central role in the Week’s trade and consumer promotional activities.  The deadline to enter is Friday 20 February 2015 and publishers are invited to submit their IBW Book Award entries in three categories – Adult, Children’s and Picture Book.   Submitted titles need to be available in paperback at 20June 2015, and published between 1 January 2015 and 20 June 2015.

IBW Book Award titles are promoted to, and by, booksellers taking part in IBW.  The titles submitted by publishers will be voted on by all IBW booksellers to create the IBW Award shortlist which will be announced on 20 May 2015.   All shortlisted titles will be supported by in-store point of sale materials that will be on display in bookshops participating in IBW nationwide.  The three winners of the IBW Book Award will be announced on 20 June 2015 – the first day of this year’s IBW.

The IBW Book Award 2014 winners were (see below for more detail)- Adult Category: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan); Children’s Fiction category: Flora & Ulysses by Kate Di Camillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell (Walker Books) and Children’s Picture Book category: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld (Walker Books).



Winners for the Independent Booksellers Week Book Award 2014 (IBW Book Award) which, for the first time year included three categories – Adult, Children’s Fiction and, new for 2014, Children’s Picture Book.   The winners are:


Adult Category:

  • Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (Black Swan)

 Children’s Fiction category:

  • Flora & Ulysses by Kate Di Camillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell (Walker Books)

 Children’s Picture Book category:

  • A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Mark Hearld (Walker Books)

 There were ten adult titles and twelve titles in each of the children’s categories on the shortlists, which were selected by independent booksellers from nominations put forward by publishers.

The winning titles were judged by two separate judging panels comprising authors, booksellers and journalists, and the judging panels were chaired by the BA’s Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services.

 Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, Booksellers Association, said: “The winning books were chosen after much debate around each of the very strong, and varied, shortlists.  They are all perfect titles for independent booksellers to be enthusiastic about and hand sell.  The judges have chosen fantastic winners, and we are delighted to be able to showcase these books during IBW.”

 The judges praised the ambition, wit and breathtaking clarity in the way Kate Atkinson evokes wartime Britain and English family life in Life After Life, a novel that spans the most turbulent events of the 20th century in the run up to its second cataclysmic war.    Kate Atkinson will be at the Edinburgh Bookshop on 9th July when she will be presented with her IBW Book Award.

Kate Atkinson, winner of the Adult category, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Life After Life has won the IBW Book Award.  Independent booksellers have been a vital part of supporting my books and creating that essential word of mouth for all great writing. They are so knowledgeable and read so much.  I am enormously grateful for all the work they continue to do.”

 For the Children’s category, Kate DiCamillo’s Flora & Ulysses tells the unusual story of Ulysses, the poetry-writing squirrel, in a book that the judges said is brimming with warmth, wit, charm and quirky humour – with both child and adult appeal either as a shared or more challenging solo read.

 Kate DiCamillo, author of Flora & Ulysses, winner of the Children’s category, said:Flora and Ulysses is a story about superpowers and poetry and friendship.  And booksellers have consistently given all of those things to me.  I am absolutely thrilled with this honour.  I am (truthfully) a little bit undone.  Thank you.”    Kate DiCamillo is based in Minneapolis.

 The inaugural Children’s Picture Book category award was given to Nicola Davies for A First Book of Nature, praised by the judges for its inspiring text, stunning illustration, superb design and quality production – a “perfect marriage of words and stunning illustrations.”

Nicola Davies, author, A First Book of Nature, winner of the Children’s Picture Book category, said: “I couldn’t be more delighted about this prize from the people who know the most about books. Indy bookshops are the future because they offer guidance through the sea of books we don’t want to read to the ones we DO, instead of just throwing us in without a float or a compass like the big sellers do.”

This year’s judges for the Adult Category were Patrick Neale, Jaffe & Neale,  Sheila O’Reilly, Dulwich Books; Lisa Bywater, Foyles; Eithne Farry, book reviewer, Daily Mail and Sunday Express; and Rachel Joyce, author.  Both Children’s Categories were judged by Patrick Neale, Jaffe & Neale, Katie Clapham, Storytellers Inc, Lytham St Annes; Jenny Morris, ex-Lion and Unicorn bookshop; Brough Girling, Founder, Readathon; and Elen Caldecott, author.  The judging panels were chaired by BA Head of Membership Services, Meryl Halls.

 The winners of the IBW Book Award 2013 were A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate) for the Adult category and Wonder by RJ Palacio (Corgi Children’s) for the Children’s category.



Title Author Publisher
The Examined Life Stephen Grosz Vintage
Life After Life Kate Atkinson Black Swan
Longbourn Jo Baker Black Swan
Return of a King William Dalrymple Bloomsbury
The Broken Road Patrick Leigh Fermor John Murray
Reason I Jump Naoki Higashida Sceptre
Love Nina Nina Stibbe Penguin
The Goldfinch Donna Tartt Little, Brown
The Quarry Iain Banks Abacus
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Neil Gaiman Headline





Noble Conflict Malorie Blackman Random House
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made Stephan Pastis Walker Books
Flora & Ulysses Kate Di Camillo Walker Books
More Than This Patrick Ness Walker Books
A Boy Called Hope Lara Williamson Usborne
Picture Me Gone Meg Rosoff Penguin
The Worst Witch and the Wishing Star Jill Murphy Puffin
Half Bad Sally Green Penguin
Warp Book 1: The Reluctant Assassin Eoin Colfer Puffin
Fortunately the Milk Neil Gaiman & Chris Riddell Bloomsbury Children’s Books
The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon Jonny Duddle Templar
Hero Sarah Lean HarperCollins Children’s Books


Title Author Publisher
Sugarlump and the Unicorn Julia Donaldson & Lydia Monks Macmillan Children’s Books
Aunt Amelia Rebecca Cobb Macmillan Children’s Books
The Paper Dolls Julia Donaldson & Rebecca Cobb Macmillan Children’s Books
Mr Tiger Goes Wild Peter Brown Macmillan Children’s Books
The Pigeon Needs a Bath Mo Williams Walker Books
A First Book of Nature Nicola Davies & Mark Hearld Walker Books
Hooray for Bread Allan Ahlberg & Bruce Ingman Walker Books
Extra Yarn Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen Walker Books
Crayon Simon Rickerty Simon and Schuster Children’s Books
Meet the Parents Peter Bently & Sara Ogilvie Simon and Schuster Children’s Books
Happy Birthday Hugless Douglas David Melling Hodder
Best-loved Classics: Alice Through the Looking Glass Retold by Emma Chichester Clark HarperCollins Children’s Books


Patrick Neale, Former BA President and Jaffe & Neale Bookshop, Chipping Norton commented:

“The IBW Book Award is a fabulous prize. Authors respond so well to being chosen because they know people who are passionate about books have selected them. I am so pleased to be involved as Chair of the prize. There is such positivity around the prize which is so heartening for all High Street booksellers.”

The IBW Book Award 2014 will again be at the heart of the Week’s trade and consumer promotional activities. Shortlisted titles have been heavily promoted to and by all participating bookshops in the UK and Ireland during IBW and beyond.

For further information about terms and conditions, and an application form please contact Sharon Benton at the BA on Sharon.benton@booksellers.org.uk

Information on IBW Book Award 2013


Two US female authors win their first UK literary awards

Patrick Neale presents Ruth Ozeki with the IBW Book Award for The Tale for the Time Being at Jaffe and Neale

We are delighted to announce the winners for the annual Independent Booksellers Book Award 
2013 (IBW Book Award), which is supported by independent bookshops across the country.  The IBW Book Award is unique amongst book prizes as it is the only award chosen by independent booksellers in the UK.



 A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)


 Wonder – RJ Palacio (Corgi)


There were ten adult and twelve children’s titles on the shortlists, which were selected by independent booksellers from nominations put forward by publishers.  The winning titles were chosen by two judging panels comprising  authors, broadcasters and independent booksellers, and chaired by BA President Patrick Neale.

Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, Booksellers Association, said:   “We’re delighted to be able to award these two stunning novels which are so deserving of the IBW Book Awards. What is particularly special about these two choices is that they fabulously readable and rewarding – and exactly the sort of books that independent booksellers are best at selling.   There’s no substitute for engaging customers in conversation about books the bookseller is passionate about, and booksellers all over the UK & Ireland have been – and will continue to –hand sell these wonderful books.

The quality of this year’s shortlist was outstanding and we were gratified and impressed by the huge variety of titles submitted by publishers.  The IBW Book Award has been going for seven years now, and continues to highlight the vital links that exist between independent booksellers, authors and publishers.”

Patrick Jaffe of Jaffe and Neale Bookshop, BA President and Chair of the judging panels, commented: “Chairing the IBW award panels was a very uplifting experience. The judges were positive in their view of all the books shortlisted and passionate about real books and independent bookshops. It was a privilege to spend time with the judges and so refreshing to have the time to discuss books at length. But what made the judging so enjoyable was the books. The standard was so high, they all would have made perfect winners.

“The best bit is that the winners are perfect for independent booksellers to hand sell and be really enthusiastic about.  It’s essential to me that books that I recommend have the potential to change people’s lives for the better. I am wholeheartedly confident that the winners fit that bill.”

Ruth Ozeki, winner of the Adult category, said: “Independent bookshops are the keystone species of our cultural ecosystem. When they are endangered, the rest of our species is imperilled as well. When they flourish, so do we all. Luckily, we know this somehow. Independent booksellers are an adaptable and resilient lot, and readers and writers are loyal and stubborn, and together we form a strong relationship of symbiotic mutualism. I am forever indebted to the independent booksellers who have supported my work and enabled me, a tiny organism in this vast cultural ecology, to write and thrive”.

RJ Palacio, winner of the Children’s category, said: “I am thrilled to have won the IBW Book Award! Independent Bookshops were behind Wonder from the start and were instrumental in building the buzz and spreading the word. Independent Bookshops are the lifeblood of book publishing, quite simply they are awesome.”

Ruth Ozeki will touring several independent bookshops throughout the UK in the coming week, including events at Dulwich Book (South London), Lutyens & Rubinstein Bookshop(West London), Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights (Bath), Jaffé & Neale Bookshop(Chipping Norton) where she will be presented with her Award, Looking Glass Books(Edinburgh).

Ruth is also one of the five authors that will be creating Written Word posts in association with the Independent Alliance, which will be sold exclusively through independent bookshops for IBW. Ruth, Yann Martel, Mark Forsythe, Robert Macfarlane and Simon Armitage were asked to hand write a section of their work which will be beautifully reproduced as  A4 prints.

RJ Palacio will be in the UK in August to collect her Award from the Dulwich Bookshop, London.

We are delighted to announce the shortlist for the Independent Booksellers Week Book Award 2013 (IBW Book Award), supported by independent bookshops across the country.

Publishers were invited to submit titles from which independent members of the BA selected their best ten adult and twelve children’s books for 2013. The winning books will be chosen by two judging panels comprised of authors, broadcasters and booksellers, and chaired by BA President Patrick Neale.

The IBW Book Award is unique amongst book prizes as it is the only award chosen by independent booksellers in the UK.

IBW Book Award 2013 – Adult Shortlist


Title Author Publisher
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry Rachel Joyce Black Swan
HhHH Laurent Binet Vintage
Bringing Up The Bodies Hilary Mantel HarperCollins
Capital John Lanchester Faber
The Etymologicon: A Circular Stroll Through the Hidden Connections of the English Language Mark Forsyth Icon Books
Flight Behaviour Barbara Kingsolver Faber
The Song of Achilles Madeline Miller Bloomsbury
Walking Home Simon Armitage Faber
A Tale for the Time Being Ruth Ozeki Canongate
Behind the Beautiful Forevers Katherine Boo Portobello Books

 IBW Book Award 2013 – Children’s Shortlist 

Title Author Publisher
Wonder RJ Palacio Corgi
The Sacrifice Charlie Higson Puffin Books
Gangsta Granny David Walliams HarperCollins
White Dolphin Gill Lewis OUP
Oh No, George! Chris Haughton Walker Books
Dear Scarlett Fleur Hitchcock Nosy Crow
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever Jeff Kinney Puffin Books
Maggot Moon Sally Gardner Hot Key Books
WARP: The Reluctant Assassin  Eoin Colfer Puffin Books
The Secret Hen House Theatre  Helen Peters Nosy Crow
Matilda’s Cat  Emily Gravett Macmillan Children’s Books
Socks  Nick Sharratt & Elizabeth Lindsay David Fickling Books

 ‘Independent booksellers have picked a fantastic cross-section of titles this year. Both shortlists include real variety, with debut authors featuring alongside established names and even a previous winner.  It will be fascinating to see the judges’ final selections.’ - Meryl Halls – Head of Membership Services at the Booksellers Association

Shortlisted this year, comedian and author of Gangsta Granny David Walliams commented: ‘Thank you so much for voting for me. Thank you also to all Independent bookshops and booksellers for how hard and passionately they work to support and sell books. I’m grateful to you for the huge part you’ve played in the success of my books and delighted to be a part of IBW 2013.’

Rachel Joyce author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry also said: ‘What has moved me most of all in the publishing process is the passion and commitment with which the independent booksellers have embraced HF. Without this commitment to new writing from the booksellers and this inventive flair for sales, I fear that books like mine wouldn’t stand a chance.’

Shortlisted titles will be heavily promoted by and to all participating bookshops in the UK and Ireland during Independent Booksellers Week and beyond.  Shortlisted authors will have the opportunity to participate in bookshop events as part of IBW, and shortlisted titles will be promoted as a group to booksellers via high quality POS materials including posters, bookmarks and leaflets featuring the shortlist and winning booksThe IBW and BA websites will carry full information about the shortlisted titles.

The overall winners of the IBW Book Award 2013 will be announced on 29th June 2013, the first day of Independent Booksellers Week.

This year’s judges commented on their role in the judging process:


 “I am delighted to be chairing the IBW Book Award. There are lots of book prizes but this one is special. Every author I have ever met loves Independent Bookshops. So I know how much this award means to the winners.

I really look forward to reading the entries for both the Children’s and Adult categories and know that there will be a lot of real treats in store.” Patrick Neale, BA President and Jaffe & Neale Bookshop, Chipping Norton

 Adult Category

‘I am a huge evangelist for independent bookshops. They allow the encounters between books and readers to happen in unexpected ways. Buying books should be a conversation and these bookshops are spaces in which this is encouraged. I won the prize in the 2011 and remain very grateful for the success of The Hare with Amber Eyes, as much of its reach was due to independent booksellers enthusing about it to their customers. We will be an impoverished place if we allow these bookshops to disappear.’ Edmund de Waal

“I was delighted to be asked to take part as I feel it is essential that independent booksellers work closely with publishers on projects of this nature. It is really the bookseller who is at the chalk-face of the industry – we have the most conversations with the reading public and therefore have a real insight into what they want to read! Independent Booksellers Week is a brilliant initiative, which is really gaining momentum. Having top authors and celebrities reading books and talking about them in the run up to the Week can only be good for the campaign, which in turn can only do good for the industry.” Sally Johnson, Caxton Books & Gallery, Frinton-on-Sea

“My wife Victoria and I have run our two Independent Bookshops for three years now and have been increasingly enthusiastic supporters of Independent Booksellers Week. Last year we held author events on all 5 weekday evenings of the week and invited a range of authors along including a poet, a local author, a Sports book author, and two novelists including a first time author.

We are also passionate about running Independent Bookshops and feel that stocking the best quality writing we can is a huge part of what we do. It’s therefore a privilege to be part of the judging panel for the Independent Booksellers Week Book Award and help to select the winner from the shortlist selected by our fellow Indies.”Andy Rossiter, Rossiter Books, Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire

Children’s Category

“Reading with my children, and now my grandchildren, is the best way to really connect with them. I remember the magic of losing myself in a story when I was a child, from board books to novels. And losing yourself in a book is easier if you first find yourself in a proper bookshop. You should choose your bookshop like you choose your friends:  the best ones are well-informed but not bossy, welcoming but not interfering and they guide you without making you feel inferior. Above all, they’re independent!

This award celebrates children’s discovery of books, the enduring delight of reading and the survival of the independent bookseller- three things I find irresistible.” Janet Ellis

“I was delighted to be asked to participate on the Children’s Judging Panel for IBW. One thing that Independent Children’s Booksellers all have in common is the amount we read and the pleasure we find in sharing our enthusiasm for children’s books amongst the wider community, so it’s particularly special to be asked to judge an award that does just that. Much of my own working day is spent talking about books with Children’s Bookshop customers and it’s lovely to be able to reflect their views in the choices we will make for a nationwide award.”

Kate Agnew, The Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill, London

“I am delighted to be a judge for the Children’s Category of the IBW Book Award as it recognises the quality and diverse range of children’s literature that independent booksellers are passionate about and champion in the UK today.” Vanessa Lewis, The Book Nook, Hove



Last year, Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? By Jeanette Winterson won the adult category and the children’s prize was awarded to Eva Ibbotson for One Dog and His Boy.

For any queries, contact sharon.benton@booksellers.org.uk 020 7421 4640.





We are delighted to announce that the winner for the 2012 adult category is Jeanette Winterson for Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? (Vintage) and the children’s winner is Eva Ibbotson for One Dog And His Boy (Marion Lloyd Book


Jeanette Winterston: “This award is particularly important to me because independent bookshops are the life of the book business and those men and women who own and run them have read everything.  They love books.  And so for Why Be Happy to be chosen is an honour. I am delighted.”Marion Lloyds, Editor for Eva Ibbotson: “Eva Ibbotson, whose children’s books won many distinguished literary prizes over the course of her long writing life, would have been especially delighted to win one sponsored by independent bookshops.   Her own beautifully-crafted stories helped to turn many children into lifelong readers, and she greatly valued the expert role played by knowledgeable booksellers in matching the right book to the individual child.”    The shortlist of ten adult and twelve children’s titles were voted on by IBW booksellers, from nominations put forward by publishers. The winning authors were voted for by your bookshop customerswho picked up the IBW Book Award voting leaflets in-store. The leaflets form part of the IBW POS Kit.The shortlisted titles for 2012 are:

IBW Book Award 2012 – Adults’ Shortlist


Title Author Publisher
Why Be Happy When you Could be Normal? Jeanette Winterson Vintage
Pure Andrew Miller Sceptre
Now All Roads Lead to France Matthew Hollis Faber
The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes Vintage
Smut Alan Bennett Faber & Profile Books
On Canaan’s Side Sebastian Barry Faber
Sarah Thornhill Kate Grenville Canongate
All Hell Let Loose Max Hastings HarperCollins
Before I go to Sleep SJ Watson Black Swan
My Dear I Wanted to Tell You Louisa Young HarperCollins



IBW Book Award 2012 – Children’s Shortlist


Title Author Publisher
One Dog and His Boy Eva Ibbotson Marion Lloyd Books
Tom Gates: Everything’s Amazing (sort of) Liz Pichon Scholastic
Ella Alex T Smith Scholastic
The Fear Charlie Higson Puffin Books
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth Jeff Kinney Puffin Books
All Fall Down Sally Nicholls Marion Lloyd Books
There is No Dog Meg Roscoff Puffin Books
Never Say No to a Princess! Tracey Corderoy Alison Green Books
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop Kate Saunders Marion Lloyd Books
TimeRiders: Gates of Rome Alex Scarrow Puffin Books
Young Samurai: The Ring of Wind Chris Bradford Puffin Books
Blood Red Road Moira Young Marion Lloyd Books

All booksellers who participated in IBW received IBW Book Award shortlist posters featuring all 22 shortlisted titles.

Voting opened on the first day of IBW,  30th June, and closed on 31st August.

As you’ll remember, last year, Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal won the adult category and the children’s prize was awarded to Eoin Colfer for Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex.

Winners from 2011



Meryl Halls, Head of Membership Services, Booksellers Association, said: “We offer our congratulations to Edmund de Waal and Eoin Colfer, who both enjoy huge support from independents. This is the fifth Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize, and the quality of this year’s shortlist is testament to the important part the Prize plays in IBW.”

Edmund de Waal, winner of the Adult category, said: “Books need champions. Writing a book about a great-uncle in Tokyo and an art-form that no one can pronounce is not a sensible thing to do. I owe a huge debt to the real, passionate, independent, local, engaged bookshops for stacking my book next to their tills, talking about it, and pressing it into customers’ hands. It is these booksellers who have made my ‘niche’ book fly. I am delighted to have won the Independent Booksellers’ Book Prize this year, especially as the votes come from independent booksellers and their customers.”

Eoin Colfer, winner of the Children’s category, said: “It means a huge amount to me to receive an award from independent booksellers, as these are the people who really foster a love of reading in our young people. Their expertise and passion keep books alive and thriving in a competitive time, so to be honoured by these guys is to be honoured by people who really know what they are talking about, which makes the award mean so much more. A huge thank you to everyone involved in IBW.”

The Independent Booksellers Book Prize is unique amongst book prizes as it is the only award chosen by independent booksellers in the UKand their customers, giving publishers a prime opportunity to promote key independent titles into the independent sector.

A shortlist of ten adult and twelve children’s books were selected by a judging panel of independent booksellers from nominations put forward by publishers. Participating bookshops showcased the short-listed titles in special promotions that ran throughout Independent Booksellers Week (18th-25th June), with voting taking place from May until the end of August. Winners were selected by independent bookshop customers who cast postcard or email votes for their favourite books.

The shortlists for the 2011 IBW Book Award were:

Adult Shortlist

Title Author Publisher
The Hare with Amber Eyes Edmund de Waal Vintage Books
The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet David Mitchell Sceptre
Empire of the Clouds James Hamilton Paterson Faber and Faber
The Betrayal Helen Dunmore Fig Tree/Penguin
The Man in the Wooden Hat Jane Gardam Abacus
Skippy Dies Paul Murray Penguin
The Empty Family Colm Toibin Penguin
The Forgotten Highlander Alistair Urquhart Abacus
Peter Pan’s First XI Kevin Telfer Sceptre
The Butterfly Isles Patrick Barkham Granta

Children’s Shortlist

Title Author Publisher
The Dead Charlie Higson Puffin
CHERUB: Shadow Wave Robert Muchamore Hodder Children’s
The Kane Chronicles: Red Pyramid Rick Riordan Puffin
The Joshua Files: Dark Parallel MG Harris Scholastic
The 13 Secrets Michelle Harrison Simon & Schuster
Artemis Fowl & The Atlantis Complex Eoin Colfer Puffin
Time Riders: The Doomsday Code Alex Scarrow Puffin
An Imaginary Menagerie Roger McGough Frances Lincoln
Young Samurai: The Ring of Water Chris Bradford Puffin
The Saga of Larten Crepsley: Birth of a Killer Darren Shan HarperCollins Children’s
School According to Humphrey Betty G Birney Faber Children’s
Magicalamity Kate Saunders Scholastic

If you would like to see the shortlisted titles for the IBW Book Award 2010, click IBW Book Award Shortlist Titles 2010.

The Winners of the 2010 Award were Hilary Mantel for Wolf Hall and Michael Morpurgo for Running Wild. Both authors were delighted with their wins:

Running Wild win the Independent Booksellers Book Prize means a very great deal to me. I love being a small part of that buzz. I’m a happy bee today!’ Michael Morpurgo

Not long ago I did an event in Melrose at the wonderful Mainstreet Trading Company. I found myself plunged into a hive of enthusiasm and expectation. The place simply buzzed with books and people who love them.

Six months before Wolf Hall was launched I spoke about it in public for the first time at a meeting of independent booksellers, and the enthusiasm gave me a real lift – it was the first indication that the book was poised for success. Over my writing years I’ve become increasingly aware that a well-run independent bookshop can influence and inspire readers in the area it serves … and the taste and discrimination of independent booksellers are more important than ever in maintaining a lively reading culture.