As anyone who knows me will appreciate, I’m not one for the limelight – much better to plug away doing the best job we can for our authors, customers and partners. BUT I have to say that receiving this award was amazing!
I was sure we couldn’t win as we were shortlisted with three fantastic publishers Berghahn Books, Bloomsbury Publishing and SAGE Publications. How could we beat that? Despite the determination that we wouldn’t win, on the day the tension mounted as the preceding awards were announced at the IPG Awards Dinner.
The shortlisted names were read out and why they had been shortlisted. For PP the judges said
“Policy Press had a standout year in 2015, publishing a range of important, influential and well-reviewed books, experimenting with activities including short reads, apps and freemium content and hitting record turnover.
“It has increased sales and stepped up its publishing in a difficult market, and that takes a lot of nerve,” judges said. “It really punches above its weight.”
and the winner is…..Policy Press
Then we heard it ‘the winner is …. Policy Press’ – I could have cried (and nearly did).
Assistant Director Julia Mortimer, who has been with me from the start of Policy Press, and I headed for the stage – what to say? Well to start with I was pretty speechless – as you can see from this photo:
All I knew was I wanted to say three things:
– that this award was for the team, both present and past, who made it happen and who are all so committed and passionate about our mission to make a difference and to provide the best service to our authors and partners;
– that highlighting the social problems society faces – whether here, in Europe or around the world – and trying to find ways to improve life for disadvantaged people is vitally important;
– that from the moment I went to my first IPG event, I have received advice and mentoring from many other wonderful publishers, including our group of excellent UK university presses. There can be few industries that show such support for each other, even when in competition.
I think I said this in a roundabout way, I probably went on too long, but I meant every word sincerely and deeply.
This recognition by our industry means so much to me, and to the team. It means that all the hard work over 20 years incrementally building a business from its tiny start was worth it.
It says ‘thank you’ to the amazing authors, editors and partners that we work with and without whom we could not have won the award. It also shows that the faith the University of Bristol has shown in us has been repaid a little.
Many thanks to the IPG for all the support to independent publishers over many years, to the Frankfurt Book Fair for sponsoring the award and to the judges for carefully assessing the individual merits of presses from large multinationals to small university presses.
I always aimed that the work we do will make a difference – to improve lives, to make things a little bit better – and I think that on Thursday evening I actually felt that perhaps that might be true!
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