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The Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award 2010/2011 Shortlist

Alert! The 2010/2011 Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award shortlist has been announced.

The award, which is accompanied by a cheque for R10 000, recognises the home-grown title that SA booksellers large and small took the most pleasure – and profit – in reading and selling last year.

Books LIVE is delighted to see three of our members on the list: Alex Smith, Cynthia Jele and Lauren Beukes are joined by Alexander Parker, Zapiro, Derryn Campbell and Evita Bezuidenhout. Jele and Beukes, of course, have already had, oh, a smidgen of success with their 2010 novels this year (cf the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, M Net Film Award and a little something-something called the Arthur C Clarke Award).

50 People Who Stuffed Up South AfricaAwesome South AfricaEvita's Kossie SikelelaFour Drunk BeautiesHappiness is a Four-Letter WordZoo City (SA edition)

Sponsored by Nielsen BookData in the UK, the award is looked after locally by by BookData/SAPNet, which runs the BookNews website. Without further ado, here is the shortlist:

The winner will be announced on 16 August 2011 in Cape Town. Last year, John van de Ruit took the gong, for Spud – Learning to Fly.

Here’s the Nielsen press release:

Nielsen announces The Booksellers’ Choice Award 2011 shortlist

Monday, 4 July 2011, Woking

Nielsen has been sponsoring The Booksellers’ Choice and the Sefika Awards for over 10 years and does so with great pride. We have worked with publishers, booksellers and writers in South Africa for even longer and The Booksellers’ Choice Award allows us to support and reward writing of a very high standard, whilst at the same time providing the opportunity for publishers and booksellers to work together to promote books and reading widely to book buyers.

Past winners include, John van de Ruit who won in 2006 and 2010, here is what he had to say about winning last year:

“It is especially good to have been honoured with this award just before the release of Spud the movie, which stars John Cleese, due out in time for the Christmas holiday season; I am grateful and delighted at the recognition.” John van de Ruit

“Penguin Books SA is immensely proud of our author, John van de Ruit, two-time winner of the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award for the book of the year 2010. The Spud series has broken all sales records in South Africa and Spud – Learning to Fly, was a winner from the start.” Alison Lowry, CEO, Penguin Books SA.

2011 shortlist:

• 50 People Who Stuffed Up South Africa by Alexander Parker with illustrations by: Zapiro published by Burnet Media
• Awesome South Africa: The Best, Greatest, Craziest, Biggest and Funniest by Derryn Campbell, published by Awesome SA Publishers
• Evita’s Kossie Sikelela by Evita Bezuidenhout published by Random House Struik
• Four Drunk Beauties by Alex Smith published by Random House Struik
• Happiness is a Four-letter Word by Cynthia Jele published by Kwela Books
• Zoo City by Lauren Beukes published by Jacana Media

The Booksellers’ Choice Award is chosen and presented by the South African book trade in recognition of outstanding contribution to the industry. It is awarded to the book that booksellers across South Africa have most enjoyed reading, selling or promoting over the past year. The award is only open to South African authors who are published in South Africa and celebrates the excellence and high standard of South African writing.

The Booksellers’ Choice and Sefika Awards are presented annually at the PASA and SABA Conference. This year the conference will be held at the Vineyard Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town; the prestigious ceremony will be held on Tuesday 16 August 2011 and the award will be presented by Simon Skinner, Sales Director, Nielsen BookData.

Simon commented on the award:

“I think this award is very important to the industry and allows Nielsen the opportunity of continuing its support. I am very much looking forward to the conference and seeing colleagues and finding out what new challenges are facing us and how we can tackle them. I wish everyone on the shortlist every success and would urge publishers to give their full and wholehearted support to booksellers to promote these titles in-store over the coming weeks.”

Best of luck to the shortlistees – and especially to the Books LIVE members!

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