The Nielsen Bestseller Awards 2021

Celebrating and thanking authors and booksellers

Debut novelist Richard Osman was the standout success of the night, as the only title to reach platinum status in the same year as publication. Matt Haig, Reni Eddo-Lodge, David Walliams and Tom Kerridge were also among those honoured.

Authors received honours for significant lifetime sales, as measured by Nielsen BookScan and PubTrack Digital across both print and e-book formats. The awards are based on UK sales volumes and were presented to those that passed sales thresholds during 2020 – Silver (250,000 sales), Gold (500,000 sales), and Platinum (1,000,000 sales). Twenty-seven titles were awarded Silver, Gold or Platinum status and the sales have helped contribute to another robust year despite the challenges that lockdown brought to the retail sector of the UK book industry with Nielsen Book estimating the total year at 202m print books sold to the value of £1.8bn. 

All titles that achieve Platinum status are inducted into the 21st century Hall of Fame, which now includes 149 titles. In 2020, eight books passed the Platinum Award million copy sales threshold. Although published in 2019, Charlie Mackesy’s The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse was the bestselling title of 2020 and achieved Platinum status, as did Richard Osman’s The Thursday Murder Club, who thanked booksellers in his acceptance speech:

"More than anything, a big thank you to all the people who have sold the book, all the booksellers up and down the country - it was such a tough year in 2020, and I know that's continuing at the moment. I hope in 2021 we can all sell an awful lot more books."

- Richard Osman

The winners

There were three children’s titles that achieved Platinum status: George’s Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney and The Boy in the Dress by David Walliams & Quentin Blake. Sally Rooney’s Normal People and Robert Galbraith’s The Cuckoo’s Calling also became Platinum bestsellers, as did the oldest inductee into the 21st century Hall of Fame Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, originally published in 1813. 

Penguin Classics Editorial Director Jessica Harrison reflected on the enduring success of Pride and Prejudice, stating:

"During lockdown last year we saw readers turn to the most iconic and enduring classics on our list, we saw sales of our main edition of Pride and Prejudice rise by 22%. It’s heartening to think that in difficult times, readers turn to classic books like Pride and Prejudice for solace and pleasure more than ever.”

- Jessica Harrison, Penguin Classics Editorial Director

Matt Haig enjoyed a superb 2020 and received three awards: Reasons to Stay Alive (Gold), How to Stop Time (Silver) and The Midnight Library (Silver) — the paperback edition of which is currently a UK #1 bestseller.

Gold Awards were also presented to: Reni Eddo-Lodge for Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, Beth O’Leary for The Flatshare, Lisa Jewell for The Family Upstairs, Harriet Tyce for Blood Orange, Kathryn Hughes for The Letter and Christy Lefteri for The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

Matt Haig Nielsen Bestseller Award

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Silver Awards were presented to: Lucy Foley for The Guest List, Bridget Collins for The Binding, Matthew Syed for You Are Awesome, Heidi Perks for Now You See Her and Erin Kinsley for Found. David Baddiel has crossed the threshold for four of his children’s books, The Person Controller, Head Kid, Birthday Boy & The Parent Agency.

Find out more about the Bestseller Awards and winners

To find out more about the awards, watch our announcements or see the full Bestseller Award winners and the Hall of Fame, visit our website here: 

A Ghost in the Throat Announced as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020

A Ghost in the Throat by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, a strikingly original combination of essay and autofiction, has been announced as the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2020.

The book titles competing for the accolade were the category winners from the recent An Post Irish Book Awards and the overall winner was revealed as part of a special television show aired on RTÉ One, hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan. You can still catch the show here!

A Ghost in the Throat marks Doireann Ní Ghríofa’s prose debut, and has received widespread acclaim for its stunning use of language and highly original approach, weaving together two complementary stories: the narrator’s own relationship with pregnancy and motherhood, and the life of eighteenth-century poet Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill.

One of Ireland’s most successful bilingual poets and essayists, Doireann Ní Ghríofa has published a number of collections in both English and Irish, including Clasp, Oighear, and Lies. Born in Galway, but having grown up in Clare, she now lives in Cork, and was awarded the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature in 2016. Doireann won the Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year in association with The Business Post at the recent An Post Irish Book Awards.

Today’s victory marks the third time publisher Tramp Press has won the Irish Book of the Year Award in the last five years, as A Ghost in the Throat joins Notes to Self, by Emilie Pine, and Solar Bones, by Mike McCormack, which claimed the award in 2018 and 2016, respectively.

Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Winner of the ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’, says: “I’m overjoyed with this spectacular award! ‘A Ghost in the Throat’ is a telling of my story, but it also tells the story of Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill, and I’m so thankful to all the readers who have taken both of us into their hearts. I accept this award with deep gratitude to each and every one of you. Míle buíochas libh go léir.”

Find out more about the An Post Irish Book Awards  and catch up on any news/videos over at their website!

 Congratulations Doireann and Tramp Press on a spectacular win!

Winners announced for the 2020 An Post Irish Book of the Year Awards!

2020’s An Post Irish Book Awards saw both new and established authors amongst the winners. Keelin Shanley, Graham Norton, and Professor Luke O’Neill were among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, held on this evening. Dara McAnulty and Sinéad Burke claimed victory with their debut books, while the Novel of the Year Award was won by Donal Ryan.

This year’s awards attracted a record number of votes from the Irish public, and, for the first time ever, audiences around the world were able to watch the An Post Irish Book Awards ceremony as it happened on If you missed the awards, you can still watch below

First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards showcase a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across sixteen categories, with this year’s awards ceremony taking place online due to the global pandemic. The Awards are Ireland’s biggest literary celebration, championing everything from novels and non-fiction to poetry, short stories and the Irish language.

This year’s awards ceremony was hosted by Evelyn O’Rourke, while the overall winner of the An Post Irish Book of the Year, will be unveiled in a television programme, presented by Miriam O Callaghan, on RTÉ One at 10.15pm on Thursday, 10th December.

Here are the 2020 winners of the An Post Irish Book Awards:

Below is the full list of winners for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020:

RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award

  • A Light That Never Goes Out – Keelin Shanley (Gill Books)

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

  • Champagne Football – Mark Tighe & Paul Rowan (Sandycove)

Bookselling Ireland Cookbook of the Year

  • Neven Maguire’s Midweek Meals in Minutes – Neven Maguire (Gill Books)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

  • After the Silence – Louise O’Neill (Quercus)

Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year in association with The Business Post

  • A Ghost in the Throat – Doireann Ní Ghríofa (Tramp Press) Best Irish-Published Book of the Year

  • Old Ireland in Colour – John Breslin & Dr Sarah-Anne Buckley (Merrion Press)

Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

  • Cnámh – Eoghan Mac Giolla Bhríde (Éabhlóid)

Dept51@Eason Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year

  • Savage Her Reply – Deirdre Sullivan, illustrated by Karen Vaughan (Little Island Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior

  • Break the Mould – Sinéad Burke, illustrated by Natalie Byrne (Hachette Children’s Books – Imprint: Wren & Rook)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior

  • The Great Irish Farm Book – Darragh McCullough, illustrated by Sally Caulwell (Gill Books)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • Diary of a Young Naturalist – Dara McAnulty, (Little Toller Books)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

  • Home Stretch – Graham Norton (Coronet, Hodder & Stoughton)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

  • In the Museum of Misremembered Things – Linda McKenna (In the Museum of Misremembered Things published by Doire Press) Short Story of the Year Award

  • I Ate It All And I Really Thought I Wouldn’t – Caoilinn Hughes (LitHub)

Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • Never Mind the Boll***s, Here’s the Science – Luke O’Neill (Gill Books)

Eason Novel of the Year

  • Strange Flowers – Donal Ryan (Doubleday Ireland)

Voting is now open for An Post Irish Book of the Year!

The winner will be announced in a TV show on RTÉ One on 10th December, and hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan. Cast your vote for the An Post Irish Book of the Year at – all voters are in with a chance of winning €100 worth of National Book Tokens!

Shortlists Announced for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2020

This year’s An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist includes Keelin Shanley, Graham Norton, Marian Keyes, Steve Cavanagh, Roz Purcell, Ross O’Carroll-Kelly, Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Rob Kearney, Mary McAleese, Bernard Brogan, Catherine Ryan Howard, Seán O’Brien, Liz Nugent, Mark Tighe & Paul Rowan, Louise O’Neill, Ray D’Arcy, Maggie O’Farrell, Neven Maguire, Emily Hourican, Roddy Doyle, Niamh Campbell, Luke O’Neill, Dara Ó Briain and many more!

Announced 20th October via a virtual video with Evelyn O’Rourke, this year’s shortlist features a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across sixteen categories.

Below, Evelyn introduces this year’s complete shortlist – can you spot any favourites?

Covid-19 has curtailed many things in our lives but happily it cannot stem the tide of literary creativity which The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate annually. This year we are delighted to bring you over 100 writers whose brilliant work represents the very best of 2020 writing in Ireland including many familiar faces alongside some new ones.

Big congratulations are in order for all of shortlisted writers,  illustrators, ghost writers and photographers. We thank them for their books and for helping us get through a difficult year.  Now it’s time for ordinary readers to get involved, primarily by casting their votes for their favourite books in each category.  You can also join the conversation on the awards over on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and via the following hashtags: #ReadersWanted #VotersWanted #APIBAS

The category winners will be announced in a virtual Awards Ceremony on November 25th hosted by Evelyn O’Rourke so be sure to tune in.  Then, on December 10th, a brand new TV programme – An Post Irish Book of the Year will be shown on RTÉ One and will be hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan featuring interviews with some of the winning authors and the announcement of  the overall An Post Book of the Year.

Here’s Evelyn with some of this year’s shortlisted authors, sharing their socially distanced thoughts on their nomination:

As official media partner of the An Post Irish Book Awards, RTÉ Radio 1 is this year continuing the ‘RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award’. Five of the station’s biggest names – Miriam O’Callaghan, Joe Duffy, Seán Rocks, Ray D’Arcy and Ryan Tubridy – have each selected their favourite book of the year, which they would like readers to vote for. To cast your vote for the RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award go to

The An Post Irish Book Awards celebrate and promote Irish writing to the widest range of readers possible. Each year it brings together a huge community passionate about books – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – to recognise the best of Irish writing talent.

Join with us in celebrating another wonderful year for Irish writing!

NB Literary Magazine: the Love Issue Cover Reveal and the Story Behind it

Did you know that Agile also publish literary magazine NB? Each quarter, we have the honour to write content, reach out to published authors and become magazine editors in the process of crafting a beautiful magazine about all things book related.

This issue, what with the year 2020 being as difficult as it has been, we chose the theme of ‘Love’. From romantic and familial love to friendships and companionships, we explored love across the world of books and how love can truly conquer all in this time of struggle.

With a special magazine issue, we needed a special front cover to convey love, hope and support – this is why we chose Soledad Garcia Savaria’s beautiful illustrations in the cover reveal below. Here is Soledad’s story behind the image and we hope it can make you smile as much as it did for us:

The story behind this illustration is a story of love; beautiful, warm, deeply fulfilling friendship love

The illustration was inspired by a photograph of me hugging my friends goodbye at the airport moments before leaving my home country with a one-way ticket in hand. I didn’t know when I was coming back but I knew it wasn’t going to be anytime in the near future; it’s much harder to say goodbye to dear friends with that in mind. I later came to realize that such an unbreakable bond cannot be altered by time or space, no matter how far or how long you’re apart. While abroad I discovered I carried that bond with me and that it’s expansive, it multiplies and grows, connecting us to networks of mutual loving support wherever we happen to find ourselves. The global pandemic proved to me that this support network is essential for our wellbeing, as C.S. Lewis wrote: “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

NB Literary Magazine UK

Being apart from my friends during lockdown inspired me to make the illustration as a way to express to them my infinite gratitude for giving immeasurable meaning to my life.

I see a true friend as someone who I can share my inner-most self, my mind and heart, and feel completely seen, safe, and understood. I have learned to accept my friends in a radical way, loving them unconditionally for all that they are, have been, and will be. By experiencing their love and acceptance I have also learned to love and accept myself to an extent I would’ve never imagined possible. Today I understand that when we are filled with self-love, we shine. And for every person shining, there are friends rekindling that light.

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

- C. S. Lewis

Soledad is a freelance graphic designer, illustrator and food-stylist based in Uruguay. To check out more of her beautiful creations, head to


Check out NB online for book reviews, blog tours, author interviews and more and get in touch with us on or for more information on author features, interviews and magazine advertisements!

NB Literary Magazine UK

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The winner has landed...

Last night on Wednesday 23rd September 7pm, the winner of the Arthur C. Clarke Award was announced as THE OLD DRIFT by Nanwali Serpell (Hogarth/Vintage)!
In its 34th year,  the Arthur C. Clarke Award is the UK’s most prestigious book prize for science fiction writing. Originally established with the support of Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the book award aims to promote science fiction in the UK and the award is presented for the best science fiction novel of the year.
Announcing this year’s winner, author and 2019 Clarke Award winner Tade Thompson (ROSEWATER) said:
“THE OLD DRIFT is, to me, the great African novel of the twenty-first century. The scale, the characters, the polish and lyricism of the passages all conspire to tell an unforgettable tale.
At last, a book that acknowledges that the African lives with the fantastic and mundane. At last, an African book of unarguable universality…”

"The Old Drift is, to me, the great African novel of the twenty-first century… Well-deserved win. This is why my faith in the Clarke Award is unshakable."

- Tade Thompson (2019 Clarke Award Winner)

For this year’s awards, we were honoured to help the Clarke Award out with a refreshed brand look – with some ‘out of this world’ imagery and social media assets to help market their book prize, the aim was for our designs and the winning book to reach as many sci-fi fans as possible.

If your prize could do with refreshed branding and imagery to help you reach the audience that you are looking for, get in touch on or chat to our designer today!

Arthur C Clarke Award Sci-Fi

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Wainwright Prize 2020 Winners Announcement

16-year-old Dara McAnulty wins the Prize for Nature Writing

The winner for the much-loved Wainwright Prize for UK Nature Writing has been announced at a virtual awards ceremony on September 8th. Diary of a Young Naturalist by Dara McAnulty chronicles the turning of the then 15-year-old’s world and breaks the mould of modern nature writing. As the youngest ever winner of a major literary prize, Dara’s book is an extraordinary portrayal of his intense connection to the natural world alongside his perspective as an autistic teenager juggling exams, friendships and a life of campaigning. Mike Parker’s beautiful On the Red Hill was awarded highly commended in the category.

Here’s Dara McAnulty sharing his thoughts on winning the Wainwright Prize for Nature Writing: 

Benedict Macdonald wins first ever Writing on Global Conservation Prize

This year’s prize has been extended to include a second category for books about global conservation and climate change, and Rebirding by Benedict Macdonald is its inaugural winner. Praised as ‘visionary’ by conservationists and landowners alike, Rebirding sets out a compelling manifesto for restoring Britain’s wildlife, rewilding its species and restoring rural jobs – to the benefit of all. Irreplaceable by Justin Hoffman was awarded highly commended in the category.

Here’s Benedict Macdonald expressing his thanks for winning the Wainwright Prize for Writing on Global Conservation:

Keep your eyes peeled for lots more videos and full interviews featuring both our winners and our judging chairs Julia Bradbury and Charlotte Smith – they’ll be up on our website very soon!

Named after nature writer Alfred Wainwright, this year’s prize feels more timely than ever as our need to reconnect with nature has never been stronger. Against the backdrop of the global COVID-19 pandemic, and with our natural landscapes under increasing threat from the climate crisis, nature and conservation writing has flourished. Now in its seventh year, the prize is awarded annually to the book which most successfully inspires readers to explore the outdoors and to nurture a respect for the natural world, with a new prize added to reflect the growing cry for action to meet climate change targets and halt the destruction of wildlife and natural habitats.

Julia comments: “The Diary of a Young Naturalist is a significant nature book – made all the more so because it is Dara McAnulty’s first, completed before his 16th birthday. Our Wainwright Prize winner this year is nuanced, passionate and caring. It’s a wonderful diary that fits around Dara’s personal endeavours and family experiences, but ultimately, shaped by the nature that surrounds us all. The judges were almost breathless from reading it and would like to call for it to be immediately listed on the national curriculum. Such is the book’s power to move and the urgency of the situation we face.”

The prize is supported by Frances Lincoln Publishers, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, the Wainwright Estate and in partnership with the National Trust. The £5,000 prize fund will be shared and presented to the authors of the winning books, as well as framed trophies featuring Jon Tremaine’s stunning artwork. Last year’s winner was Underland by Robert Macfarlane.

The judges were almost breathless from reading it and would like to call for it to be immediately listed on the national curriculum.”

The Chair of Judges for the new Global Conservation Prize was BBC Countryfile presenter, Charlotte Smith. She was joined by Adrian Phillips, conservationist; Rachel Woolliscroft, sustainability expert; and Craig Bennett, CEO UK Wildlife Trusts.

Charlotte said: “Rebirding is an immensely readable book on complex and contentious issues. As you’d expect, it considers the needs of birds, but also the future of rural communities in an interesting and engaging way. While not everyone will agree with Benedict Macdonald’s conclusions, they’ll enjoy arguing with him as they read!”

Rebirding is an immensely readable book on complex and contentious issues.

The prize is supported by Frances Lincoln Publishers, publisher of the Wainwright Guides, the Wainwright Estate and in partnership with the National Trust. The £5,000 prize fund will be shared and presented to the authors of the winning books, as well as framed trophies featuring Jon Tremaine’s stunning artwork. Last year’s winner was Underland by Robert Macfarlane.

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