John Makinson, Chairman and CEO, Penguin Group, announces that Penguin Australia was named Publisher of the Year at the Australian Book Industry Awards and Penguin Canada was named Publisher of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association. Both honors were presented at publishing industry awards ceremonies held this past weekend.
John Makinson commented, "To win the Publisher of the Year award in two such important markets on different sides of the world on the same day is probably a unique achievement. But each award is richly deserved in its own right. Gabrielle Coyne in Melbourne and David Davidar in Toronto have shaped publishing companies that stand comparison with any in the world. All of us at Penguin are enormously proud of what they and their colleagues have achieved, and delighted that those achievements have been recognized."
Penguin Australia CEO Gabrielle Coyne accepted the Publisher of the Year honor at the Australian Publishers Association event in Melbourne and commented that she "couldn't have been more delighted to accept the award on behalf of the creative, clever and inspiring people at Penguin." She paid tribute to "the company's spirit of collaboration, with authors, illustrators and photographers as well as booksellers, suppliers, agents and the media who together played an important part in Penguin's success over the past 12 months." It was the first time in nine years, and third time overall, that Penguin Group Australia had been awarded this major accolade.
Penguin Australia's achievement was reflected across the Australian Book Industry Awards book award categories, with Penguin authors and illustrators taking home awards in four of the seven categories for books. Maggie Beer accepted the prize for Illustrated Book of the Year Award for Maggie's Harvest; Kaz Cooke won General Non-Fiction Book of the Year for Girl Stuff. The Peasant Prince written by Li Cunxin, illustrated by Anne Spudvilas and based on Li's bestselling Mao's Last Dancer won the Book of the Year for Younger Children and Monica McInerney won the General Fiction Book of the Year for Those Faraday Girls. In addition, Geraldine Brooks' People of the Book, published in the U.S. by Penguin Group (USA), won Book of the Year.
At the Canadian Booksellers Association's 2008 Libris Awards at Book Expo Canada in Toronto, Penguin Group Canada President and Publisher David Davidar thanked authors, agents, booksellers and staff for their contributions to the company's Publisher of the Year honor. Davidar said, "The Publisher of the Year award recognizes the fantastic contribution made by each and every member of the Canadian team in bringing us to our present position of excellence. It's thrilling to have earned this vote of confidence from the Canadian publishing and book-selling industry." This represents the first time in twenty years that Penguin Canada has won this award and the third time overall.
Canadian authors Jack Whyte and Stuart McLean (both published by Penguin Group internationally) played a pivotal role in Penguin Canada's success, along with Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth and its sequel World Without End, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards, and Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert - each with long runs in the #1 bestseller spots on Canadian bestseller lists.
Penguin Group (www.penguin.com), one of the world's largest English-language trade book publishers, has established divisions and key market positions in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada,India, South Africa, New Zealand, China, and Ireland. Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the world's largest book publishing company.
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