We are delighted to announce that Jane Davis, author of Smash all the Windows, is the winner of the inaugural Selfies Award, sponsored by IngramSpark and run in association with The London Book Fair and Bookollective.

The novel, Davis’s eighth, explores the complex emotions of the families of the victims of a terrible disaster.  Thirteen years later, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be the cause of rejoicing – but the search for the truth has impacted their lives so dramatically that nothing can be the same again.

The Selfies shortlisted authors with, in front, Robin Cutler of sponsor IngramSpark (left), Jane Davis (centre) and Jo Henry, MD of BookBrunch (right)


Cover of winning Selfies title

The book isn’t just beautifully written however.  Davis also took on all aspects of the publishing process too: editing, production, marketing and sales.  With a healthy Twitter following, a Virtual Book Club, a well-read blog and excellent star ratings for her book, the judges (literary agents Kate Barker and Annette Crossland, Robin Cutler of IngramSpark, Emily Laidlaw of the London Book Fair and Jo Henry of BookBrunch) were hugely impressed with her achievement.

The judges were so struck by the quality of the shortlist that they also agreed to reward a runner-up certificate to Jane Steen for her historical crime novel Lady Jane Investigates, which had racked up impressive salesThis is the first title in a new series; Steen is also the author of the House of Closed Doors books.

The 2019 award recognises the best work of fiction self-published in the UK in 2018.  Submissions for the 2020 Award will open on 1st November 2019.

The shortlisted titles and authors were:

Anita Belli, Once Upon a Blue Moon

When Hollie bumps into Rory on Camden High Street on a wet day in February, it seems that her long held secret is about to be uncovered. They were lovers, years ago, until Rory took off to find his brilliant career, leaving Hollie stranded in the world of single parenthood, struggling to make ends meet. 

This is Anita’s second novel; she has a background as a dancer and filmmaker and is now a full-time writer and creative writing tutor, working within local communities, schools and libraries across Essex and London.

Jane Davis, Smash all the Windows

For the families of the victims of the St Botolph and Old Billingsgate disaster, the undoing of a miscarriage of justice should be a cause for rejoicing. For more than thirteen years, the search for truth has eaten up everything. Marriages, families, health, careers and finances.

Jane Davis is the author of eight novels; her first novel won the Daily Mail First Novel Award, while her seventh was Writing Magazine’s Self-Published Book of the Year 2016. Jane’s favourite description of fiction is ‘made-up truth’.

Caroline Goldsworthy, Tangent

Predators hunt the vulnerable, those alone, at the edge of the herd. As a junior Detective Constable, Ronald Carlson pursued a serial killer who preyed on the working girls of Lytham. Now, twenty years later, is the same killer back? Or is it a copycat?

Having moved to the outskirts of Ipswich for her job in telecommunications, Caroline Goldsworthy used the events of 2006 as the inspiration for Tangent, her debut novel and the first of the DCI Ronnie Carlson series of crime thrillers.

Mel Gough, He is Mine

NYPD detective Brad Moretti’s life is in tatters. Vivienne Aubert seems to have it all – a Hollywood career, supermodel looks, and a director husband – and yet a one-night-stand with rising superstar Damien Thomas makes her embark on a ruthless quest to make him hers.  Damien’s chance encounter with Brad sparks a prompt and rapidly growing affinity – which Viv is determined to terminate. Can Brad head off her delusional desires before she destroys his newfound happiness?

Mel Gough writes (mostly) M/M romance, usually with a twist on the hurt/comfort trope, and so far has self-published one novel and one novella.

Susan Grossey, Faith, Hope and Trickery

Rose Welford, the wife of a bootmaker, is smothered in her bed in the summer of 1828. Her husband quickly confesses to the crime, claiming that a message from beyond the grave told him to do it. At ever more popular gatherings in fields, factories and fine houses, a charismatic preacher with a history of religious offences seems to be at the heart of it all – but who, and what, can be believed when fortunes are at stake?

Susan Grossey worked in the world of anti-money laundering, advising organisations such as banks and casinos on how to avoid criminal money.  Having written more than twenty books about money laundering, she decided the time had come to turn to historical financial crime.

Kathleen Jowitt, A Spoke in the Wheel

Ben Goddard is an embarrassment – as a cyclist, as an athlete, as a human being. And he knows it.  Exposed by a positive drugs test, he quits professional cycling, sticks a pin in a map, and sets out to build a new life in a town where nobody knows who he is or what he’s done. But when the first person he meets turns out to be a cycling fan, he finds out that it’s not going to be quite as easy as that.

Kathleen Jowitt lives in Cambridge, works in London, and writes on the train. Her debut novel, ‘Speak Its Name’, was the first self-published book ever shortlisted for the Betty Trask Prize.

Heleen Kist, In Servitude

Grace thought her sister, Glory, led a perfect life. But when Glory dies in a car crash, Grace discovers she was laundering money for a local crime lord. What’s worse, Grace finds herself forced to take over her sister’s shady dealings. Convinced Glory was murdered, Grace seeks justice, but finds instead betrayal…

Heleen Kist was born in Holland, but now lives in Glasgow.  Her debut novel ‘In Servitude’ was inspired by Heleen’s expertise in small business finance mixed with her friend’s courageous idea to open a vegan cafe in a city renowned for its dubious diet.

Jane Steen, Lady Helena Investigates

1881, Sussex, and a reluctant lady sleuth finds she’s investigating her own family. Lady Helena Scott-De Quincy’s marriage gave new purpose to a life almost destroyed by the death of her first love. Such a shame their union wasn’t blessed by children . . . but she is content with her quiet country life until her husband is found dead in the river overlooked by their grand baroque mansion…

British-born Jane Steen has spent more than half her life in Belgium and the United States but has now returned to England, and is the author of House of Closed Doors series and the Scott-De Quincy Mysteries.

The judging panel to choose the winner consisted of:

Kate Barker, a literary agent who has worked in the publishing industry for 20 years as an editor, agent and ghostwriter. She was previously an Editorial Director for Viking, and has also worked for Bookouture, Curtis Brown and Orion.

Annette Crossland, who has worked in high-profile positions in some of the UK and USA’s most successful publishing companies, including Faber & Faber, Transworld Publishers & Bantam Doubleday Dell USA, Simon & Schuster, and No Exit Press.  She has worked with some of the top bestselling authors in the world, touring overseas with Elizabeth George, Dennis Lehane and Frances Fyfield, amongst others. She now owns a literary agency, A for Authors Agency Ltd.

Robin Cutler, a director of IngramSpark, and leads the development of that Ingram Content Group service for indie authors and publishers. During her career, she has published over 1000 books as Assistant Director at USC Press, and CEO and founder of her own trade imprint, Summerhouse Press. Robin most recently worked for Amazon/CreateSpace. She has broad knowledge of indie, academic and trade publishing and is an expert in content creation, distribution, on-demand models, and author strategies

Emily Laidlaw, an experienced member of The London Book Fair marketing team and freelance writer. She has worked on the editorial committees of Australian literary journals Kill Your Darlings and Voiceworks and her book reviews and author interviews appear regularly in trade journals including Books+Publishing.

Jo Henry, md of BookBrunch, having joined in 2018.  She started in publishing at Victor Gollancz, becoming Sales Director in 1989.   In 1993 she joined HEA’s Publishing Division as Head of Sales & Marketing and then moved to Book Marketing Ltd. (BML) as MD in 1995.  Following the acquisition of BML by Publishing News in 2007 she also became MD of the PN Group.  In 2010, BML was acquired by Bowker Market Research, which was in turn acquired by Nielsen Book in September 2013.  At Nielsen Book she led the consumer insight service as VP of Insight and Analytics.  She is co-founder of the Book Marketing Society and a former Chair of both the Book Society and the Book Trade Benevolent Society.

The judges were looking for:

  • A fantastic story that entertains and delights the reader
  • A well produced ebook or print book
  • An enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience
  • An effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy
  • Great sales potential

The Selfies have been established to recognise and reward the fantastic work being done by the many highly dedicated self-published authors working in the UK today.

The winner of The Selfies 2019 won £1,500 plus a special self-publishing package from sponsors IngramSpark for her next book. PR agency Bookollective will offer the winner a bespoke book cover design, created by award winning designer Aimee Coveney, and a book publicity campaign worth £1000 for their next book.  Shortlisted authors also received free entry to the London Book Fair and Author HQ, the meeting place for self-published authors.

In the inaugural year, the Award was for adult fiction titles only, but in future years it will cover other categories too. All titles had to be published in English since December 2017, and were from authors based in the UK who are predominantly or only self-published, ie where the author themselves acted as the publisher/creative director.  The Awards do not cover short stories or unfinished works.

Next Steps…

To keep updated with news about The Selfies 2020 please email  selfies@bookbrunch.co.uk.