The Indie Book Awards 2015 Shortlist Announcement

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Every December 170+ independent Australian booksellers take stock of the year in books and nominate their favourite Australian titles for the Indie Book Awards shortlist. The shortlist falls into four categories – fiction, non-fiction, debut fiction and children’s and YA books.

The Indie Book Awards shortlists for 2015 are as follows:


When the Night Comes by Favel Parrett (Hachette Australia)

Amnesia by Peter Carey (Penguin Books Australia)

Golden Boys by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Books Australia)

The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (Text Publishing)



This House of Grief by Helen Garner (Text Publishing)

Bush by Don Watson (Penguin Books Australia)

Where Song Began by Tim Low (Penguin Books Australia)

Cadence by Emma Ayres (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers Australia)



The 52-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (illus)(Pan Macmillan Australia)

Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

Withering By Sea by Judith Rossell (ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers Australia)

Laurinda by Alice Pung (Black Inc. Publishing)



Lost & Found by Brooke Davis (Hachette Australia)

Foreign Soil by Maxine Beneba Clark (Hachette Australia)

The Strays by Emily Bitto (Affirm Press)

After Darkness by Christine Piper (Allen & Unwin)

LEB Indie Award shortlist Poster 2015_F SMALL. jpeg

Judges from the Leading Edge group of booksellers will select the Indie Book Award winner of each category and the Indie Book Awards overall winner is voted on by the Leading Edge group as a whole.

The Indie Book Awards category winners and the Indie Book Awards overall winner for 2015 will be announced at an event in the Sydney CBD on Wednesday 25 March.

The Indie’s, as they are affectionately known, are the first cab off the rank on the Australian literary awards calendar and have become an excellent early indicator of the books to watch in the coming awards season. As the Bafta’s are to the Golden Globes, and to the Oscars – so the Indie Book Awards are the Australian literary awards early herald. Presented annually since 2008, the previous overall winners of the Indie Book Awards are Breathe by Tim Winton (Penguin, 2008), Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey (Allen and Unwin, 2009), The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do (Allen and Unwin, 2010/2011), All That I Am by Anna Funder (Penguin, 2012) The Light between Oceans by M L Stedman (Vintage, 2013) and The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan (Vintage, 2014). Flanagan’s instant classic went on to win several other prestigious literary awards in Australia and ultimately the 2014 Man Booker prize which was presented to him in London.

“Good Australian writing needs good Australian bookshops to prosper. Without them Australian writers are one more endangered species whose bush has been bulldozed”
– Richard Flanagan

The independent bookshops of Australia are feisty and adaptive small businesses powered by creative entrepreneurial owner-operator personalities. They are savvy marketeers and early adapters, passionate readers and popular culture buffs. They keep abreast of their customers’ interests and values and trade on a system based on authenticity, loyalty and trust. Independent booksellers personally select the books they stock and hand-sell – therefore it is those books and those choices that ultimately keep business fluid, staff employed, orders arriving in and most importantly customers returning for more great reads and spot on recommendations. An independent bookseller will only hand-sell a title when the quality of the book merits that sale, so we can see the Indie Book Awards shortlist represents the very best Australian books brought to market in 2014 as selected by those who really know their stuff – it’s worth listening to them.

The independent bookselling landscape is in very good shape:

· The independent booksellers have in the past 5 years increased their market share by 50%
· In 2014 the independent booksellers market share of the total Australian market was just under 30%
· The total Australian book market was valued at $937million in 2014
All figures provided by the Leading Edge Group and Nielsen Bookscan

In Australia our army of independent booksellers represent the grassroots frontline of our society’s intellectual good health and cultural exchange. There is no author who does not wish to be championed by independent booksellers; so invested are they in the success of the book – from writers support groups, first draft to final, early buzz, online blogs, bookstore front window displays to in-store signing sessions.

“As a reader and now as a debut novelist, independent booksellers have been fellow literature lovers, astute advisers and fonts of knowledge on the subject of quality writing. When publicising After Darkness, the indie booksellers I met went above and beyond to promote it, taking the time to understand the book’s themes, get to know me and craft a personal approach. The book reviews, blogs and awards they facilitated have had a huge impact on creating interest in my work and, more importantly, building a community of Australian readers and writers”
Christine Piper author of After Darkness

“I was delighted and honoured to hear that Withering-by-Sea had been shortlisted for this award. The independent booksellers have been very supportive of me, and of other Australian writers and illustrators, and so this award is a very special one. Thank you for choosing my book”
Judith Rossell author of Withering-by-Sea

“I am so excited about this YA announcement. I’m very grateful to independent booksellers all over the country who’ve so enthusiastically supported Laurinda.”
Alice Pung author of Laurinda

“The thing about booksellers is that when they read a book, they must not merely read it; they must read it from the point of view of everyone in the world, any person at all who might arrive in their bookshop. It’s an incredible skill, and one I’ve often thought might make things a little better for ourselves, were we all to learn it: the ability to understand another’s version of the world. Their customers might say, ‘I’d like a book that doesn’t have any sad bits,’ or ‘I’d like book that has dinosaurs but is set in the year 3000,’ or ‘I’d like a book that has a red cover and was in your window seventy-five years ago,’ and the bookseller will gallantly put their hands on hips, smile politely, and reply, ‘Never fear, dear customer. We have the book for you. Trust me.’ And we do trust them, these superheroes of the book world, and so we should, because they know all there is to know about all books everywhere. And if they don’t, they know how to find out. As an Australian author, I’m beyond grateful to our Indie booksellers for being so passionate and fearless and creative in their support of Australian writing. As an Australian indie bookseller, I’m beyond proud of my industry for being so passionate and fearless and creative in their support of Australian writing. Thank you for deeming Lost & Found worthy of shortlisting in the Debut Fiction category at the 2015 Indie Book Awards, for the respect you give my work and those of my colleagues, and for building bridges between Australian writers and readers. Indie booksellers rule, and we wouldn’t be a country that reads—and writes—without them”
Brooke Davis author of Lost and Found

“Independent bookshops are my home, a sanctuary from a busy world – a place where I find all of my favourite books. I have had so much support from Indies all around the country and I feel incredibly grateful. Thank you”
Favel Parrett author of When the Night Comes

“To be nominated for a debut fiction Indie Award is a quite singular honour. To see Foreign Soil, the product of gruelling years of writing, research and emotional energy, so well received by the Australian independent bookstores I spent so many years browsing, buying, loitering and being inspired in as an emerging writer myself, seems nothing short of miraculous – particularly in a year which has seen so many strong Australian fiction debuts”
Maxine Beneba Clarke author of Foreign Soil

“I’m over the moon to be shortlisted for the Indie Book Awards. It’s particularly meaningful to me because the Indies are voted by Leading Edge booksellers themselves, who are among the most passionate supporters of books, and who know the industry so intimately. This is a real honour!”
Emily Bitto author of The Strays

“Independent bookshops are the lifeblood of our industry. Without the knowledge and passion of independent bookshop staff it’s hard to imagine how I would have come across many of the non-mainstream books that have fired my imagination and fuelled my creativity over the years. It’s also difficult to imagine how my own books would have fared without their enthusiasm and support”
Andy Griffiths author of The 52-Storey Treehouse

“We are thrilled that Emma’s book has been so warmly embraced by readers across Australia. Although ostensibly a memoir, Cadence is hard to pigeon-hole: there are many layers to her book and Emma weaves them together with skill and grace. It is an absolute triumph for a first-time author, and we are delighted that Cadence has been shortlisted in the Indie Book Awards”
Brigitta Doyle, Head of ABC Books, HarperCollins Publishers

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