An independent publisher of “wild travel” books has become the first recipient of a prestigious new award.
Wild Things Publishing has been honoured with the first Small Press Of The Year Award, given to companies with revenues of less than £1 million.
The Bath-based press has published a range of travel books urging readers to move off the beaten track, including Wild Swimming, Hidden Beaches and The Scottish Bothy Bible.
The award has been set up to promote the rise of “small but mighty” publishing houses across the UK, with the winner announced at The London Book Fair.
Wild Things Publishing says on its official website that the company was set up to “get people outdoors, having amazing adventures. Back to where the Wild Things are.”
Its mission statement adds: “We don’t have fancy London offices and rely on a global WiFi’d network of designers, editors, writers, photographers and techs who believe in our work as much as we do. Ultimately… We want to live our dream.”
The travel publisher was one of nine firms presented with awards, both at a regional and national level, before being crowned the overall winner.
The company is now in contention for the Independent Publisher of the Year accolade at the British Book Awards.
Philip Jones, chairman of the British Book Awards, said: “In terms of look and feel you couldn’t distinguish a Wild Things book from one published by a larger competitor, yet the ambition to first exploit a gap in the market, and then to widen it, is there for all to see.
“It is exactly why this Small Press award is so important: these are publishers small in size, but mighty in impact. Wild Things Publishing was the stand-out winner in 2019 and I look forward to seeing how it fares against the larger independent publishers.”
Among the regional publishers also honoured at the event was West Midlands-based Practical Action Publishing, which publishes books to help communities free themselves from poverty and disadvantage.
The British Book Awards will be held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on May 13.