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John van de Ruit Receives the Inaugural Nielsen SAPnet Gold Book Award

John van de Ruit signs

The Nielsen SAPnet Gold Book Award, presented for the first time this year, has gone to John van de Ruit for the exceptional sales of his series of Spud books, namely Spud, Spud: The Madness Continues, Spud: Learning to Fly, and Spud: Exit, Pursued by a Bear. The award was presented at the annual awards ceremony of the Publishers and Booksellers Associations of South Africa.

Spud SpudSpudSpud - Exit, Pursued by a Bear

Congratulations to Van de Ruit!

Press release

John van de Ruit was presented with a new award, introduced by Nielsen and SAPnet this year. The Nielsen SAPnet Gold Book Award is presented for exceptional sales to an author who has achieved continuous sales since the start of the Nielsen BookScan SA panel.

The award was presented to Ziel Bergh, Sales Manager, Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd on behalf of John van de Ruit at the PASA and SABA Conference (Publisher and Booksellers Associations of South Africa) as part of their annual awards ceremony when booksellers and publishers receive trade recognition from their peers. Numerous awards including the longstanding Sefika Award for Best Trade Publisher are presented annually alongside the Nielsen Bookseller’s Choice Award and for the first time this year the Nielsen SAPnet Gold Book Award.

When John van de Ruit was informed about this recognition he said: “I am hugely honoured to receive the Gold Book Award for South Africa’s Bestselling Author. Spud: Exit Pursued By a Bear was the final book in the Spud series and I’m thrilled that the series has ended on this note. The last eight years since the release of Spud have been the most exciting and inspiring of my life, and I feel blessed and hugely fortunate by all that has come my way. I would like to thank my publishers Penguin Books who took a chance on a greenhorn author and gave his book great lapping wings. Alison Lowry, my editor and literary guide deserves a standing ovation too. I would like to pay special mention to the booksellers of South Africa who work miracles in a very tough economic and literary climate. You are all as much a part of Spud’s success as I am. Finally I hope that the Spud series serves to inspire young and old South African authors to believe in the seemingly impossible.”

Simon Skinner, Sales Director, Nielsen BookData, said on presenting this award: “Both SAPnet and I are delighted to present this milestone award to John for his outstandingly successful Spud series of books. We also look forward to seeing more South African authors receiving this fantastic award in the months and years ahead.”

Freda van Wyk, Chief Operating Officer for SAPnet, Nielsen’s distributor in South Africa said :“John van de Ruit is a very popular author; he won the Nielsen Booksellers’ Choice Award in 2006 and 2010 and was shortlisted in 2008 and 2013 – he has an impressive track record and readers love Spud.”


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