A very belated post this one but life has been manic since my last entry.

Here is a brief round-up of the winners at last week’s digital conference. News of these prizes didn’t appear in the national papers (or the London ones at least) – proof, I would say, of the conference’s inability to reach out to the mainstream.

It won’t be long before we see a digital publishing awards big as, say, the Booker or the Orange prize. FutureBook have stolen a march on everyone else so why not start promoting it as an inclusive, relevant and open event. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again but charging £350+ is not the way to go.

Anyway, here are/were the winners…

Best Adult App
The Waste Land (Faber & Touch Press)

This app explores, dissects and amplifies T.S. Eliot’s revolutionary poem. A worthy winner and the perfect example of how well something can be done if it is done right. The perfect combination of Faber’s literary excellence and Touch Press’s digital expertise.

Best Children’s App
Cinderella (Nosy Crow)

A colourful and interactive version of the popular fairytale. Apps of children’s books will no doubt be huge but not necessarily those which have been adapted from bestselling children’s books. Thanks to 1 million+ Ipads Apple hope to sell at Christmas, this time next year there will be a children’s app which is as popular as the The Gruffalo. Mark my words.

Best Reference App
The Human Body (Dorling Kindersley)

A bright and exhaustive offering from THE reference publishers – DK. Personally though, having swiped/flicked through this app myself I was left a bit disappointed. Despite the promising start, the images are mostly in 2D which was a bit of a let down.

Best start-up
Unbound

I’m a big fan of this ‘publisher’ and so was delighted to see that they came out on top in this group. The basic premise behind Unbound is they help authors present their book ideas which readers can then sponsor. By pledging different amounts of cash and thus helping get it printed you can guarantee yourself anything from a simple signed copy to all kinds of extras including invites to the launch party. A simple idea, done brilliantly well.

Best Technology Innovation
Bardowl

I hadn’t heard of Bardowl before they picked up what equates as the Best Newcomer Award. Put simply they are a Bath-based company who specialise in streaming business audiobooks. Quite niche but a great idea. I hope they do well.

Best Digital Marketing Campaign
The Night Circus (Harvill Secker)

A very clever website which as well as a very immersive game uses Twitter and Facebook to get readers to share snippets of the story.

Best Website
Lonely Planet

Who else?

And so, until next year when hopefully Futurebook will have the foresight to open their doors to everyone. Either that, or at least give me a free £350+ ticket!

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