What it took to succeed in 2020

Yesterday, the PPA announced the winners of this year’s Independent Publisher Awards. James Evelegh looks at what the winning entries had in common.

By James Evelegh

What it took to succeed in 2020

How will you remember 2020? With a shudder perhaps? Ivor Eisenstadt, managing director of MGP, winner of the PPA Independent Publishing Company of the Year award last night, says he will remember it in a more positive light – as the year the publishing industry fully embraced change.

Listening to the judges’ comments at yesterday’s virtual awards, the impact of the pandemic and the positive response it elicited from the shortlisted entries, was a theme running through all the categories.

Judging by the winners, the key qualities for success in 2020 would appear to be:

  • Agility & speed: being able to pivot quickly and adapt to a strange new world where neither you nor your audience are where they would normally be
  • Imagination & innovation: being able to re-imagine hitherto successful business models and deliver commercially successful new ones
  • Persistence & resilience: with the economy in freefall, the determination and resolve not to become a victim of Covid-19
  • Passion & understanding: caring deeply about their audiences and understanding how they were coping, or not, during the pandemic, enabled the winners to brilliantly serve their communities at a time when they needed it most
  • High standards: a consistent theme running through all the winners this year, and indeed every year, was excellence of execution: outstanding design and production values, exceptional writing and brilliant editing.

Add excellence to a positive frame of mind and an innovative can-do attitude and success will be yours, never more so than this year.

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2020 PPA Independent Publisher Awards.

(Finally, talking of excellence, we are putting the finishing touches to the November / December issue of InPublishing magazine. If you’d like to be added to the free mailing list, then please register here.)