Aotearoa’s best bookshop and top publisher revealed

What was the biggest selling book of the publishing year, where might you find one of the best bookshops in the country and who took out the hotly contested Nielsen BookData New Zealand Publisher of the Year? Take a glimpse behind the scenes and read about who won what at the Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards.

Ruby Tui has done it again!

This time she’s scored for publishers Allen & Unwin at the Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards where her memoir Straight Up was recognised as the best-selling New Zealand title published between April 2022 and March 2023.

Organised jointly by Booksellers Aotearoa NZ and the Publishers Association of NZ Te Rau o Tākapu, the awards celebrate the outstanding booksellers and publishers in Aotearoa’s vibrant book industry. This includes naming the hotly contested Nielsen BookData New Zealand Publisher of the Year, which was presented to Allen & Unwin New Zealand. The judges praised the breadth of Allen & Unwin’s achievement across all aspects of their business, calling them “deserving and stand-out winners”.

“The team at Allen & Unwin prides itself on publishing strong, important, commercially successful books and this past year was their best yet.”

Allen & Unwin also received the Marketing and Publicity Strategy of the Year award, acknowledging their outstanding campaign for The Bookseller at the End of the World by Ruth Shaw.

Lamplight Books, a recently established bookstore in the Auckland suburb of Parnell, was named Bookshop of the Year at the Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Awards, held in Rotorua. The judges described Lamplight Books as a “beautiful, browsable space filled to the ceiling with books”.

Lamplight Books opened in June 2021 amid pandemic restrictions but has flourished despite the difficult trading conditions.

“We think Lamplight Books adds to the bookshop fabric of Auckland with clear buying parameters, carefully assessed and informed by their neighbourhood. Co-owners Courtney and Melanie have left no stone unturned in pursuit of customer comfort and experience, with space to display beautiful hardbacks, an inky blue 'living room' nook to browse fiction and non-fiction and a bright red table showcasing their favourite books.”

The judges were particularly thrilled to name Dahlia Malaeulu, owner of Mila’s Books, the first all Pasifika publishing company in the world, the Emerging NZ Publisher of the Year.

“In four years Mila's Books has solidified a reputation for producing culturally rich, accessible and quality stories and resources that reflect Pasifika values, languages, cultures and most importantly, our tamaiti. Through the various Mila’s Books projects, the stories of over 90 first time Pasifika authors (children, students, educators, parents) across Aotearoa have been shared with the world advancing Pasifika storytelling, with Pasifika, by Pasifika, for all of us.”

Ann Mallinson received the lifetime achievement in recognition of her significant contribution to publishing in Aotearoa New Zealand. In 1980 Ann and her husband David Rendel founded Mallinson Rendel, a trailblazer in New Zealand children’s publishing. Mallinson Rendel is the original publisher of Lynley Dodd’s world-famous Hairy Maclary series and describes her career highlight as the day when Lynely entered her office and read to her from the manuscript of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy.

Honoured and emerging: Ann Mallinson and Dahlia Malaeulu.

The full list of 2023 Aotearoa Book Trade Industry Award winners:

Nielsen BookData New Zealand Bookshop of the Year: Lamplight Books

Nielsen BookData New Zealand Publisher of the Year: Allen & Unwin New Zealand

Emerging NZ Publisher of the Year: Dahlia Malaeulu, Director/Publisher of Mila's Books

The Books and Publishing award for Emerging Bookseller of the Year: Anna Hoek-Sims, University Book Shop (Otago)

The Nielsen Bookdata New Zealand Bestseller Award (the best-selling NZ published title between April 2022 and March 2023): Straight Up, Ruby Tui (Allen & Unwin)

The Nielsen Bookdata International Bestseller Award (the best-selling international title between April 2022 and March 2023): No Plan B, Andrew and Lee Child (Penguin Random House)

Marketing and Publicity Strategy of the Year: Allen & Unwin NZ for The Bookseller at the End of the World, Ruth Shaw

The Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand award for Book of the Year: Lessons in Chemistry, Bonnie Gamus (Penguin Random House)

Sales Professional of the Year: Matthew Simpson, Client Services Manager Arotahi Agency

Mana Māori Award: Penguin Random House NZ, Māori Language Week Campaign 2022

The TitlePage Innovation Award: Coalition for Books Māori and Pasifika books campaign 2023

The Publisher’s Association of New Zealand Lifetime Achievement Award: Ann Mallinson