2024 Selfies Book Awards winners announced

Selfies 2024 winners and runners up. Front row l-r: Jennifer Watson and Jill Michelle Smith; J.F. Penn; Julia Boggio. Back row l-r: Vsevolod Batishev’s representative, Kirstie Watson


London (12th March 2024) – BookBrunch has today announced the winners of the Selfies Book Awards – established to reward the best in self-publishing – for the best adult fiction, the best children’s book and the best general non-fiction book self-published in the UK in 2023.

At the ceremony, held in Author HQ at The London Book Fair, the adult fiction category was won by Shooters by Julia Boggio.  The book, said the judges – agent Sophie Hicks, author and publisher Toby Faber and NielsenBook data analyst Chris White – was “a fun and enjoyable read, which kept its pace and interest to the end”, that fitted “perfectly within its romantic comedy genre” while offering an excellent marketing campaign that leveraged the author’s connections effectively.

In the children’s book category, the winner was Extraordinary Extinct Prehistoric Minibeasts: A First Guide to Fossils by an author/illustrator duo who were also shortlisted in 2022, Jill Michelle Smith and Jennifer Watson. The judges – Gareth Rapley of the London Book Fair, lecturer and ex-publisher Clare Somerville and children’s book blogger Hannah Millington – praised the book for its “fun content…that engages kids in the natural world” and its “excellent marketing tools” that had resulted in the book being stocked in Waterstones, with the authors doing radio shows and school and museum visits.

Two titles were highly recommended in the children’s book category, The Witch’s Cat and the Trouble with Tidying Up by Kirstie Watson (an author who had also been shortlisted in 2023), praised as “very well written…[with] a lot of surprising elements to keep the reader entertained”, and Secrets at No. 6 by a an author who had previously won this award and who has been shortlisted every year, Jemma Hatt. This appealed to the judges for its “fast-paced narrative with accessible social history angle and an appealing feisty heroine”, as well as a strong marketing campaign.

In the memoir/autobiography category, the winner was Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways by J.F. Penn, a book which the judges – publisher Clare Harington, PR agent Helen Lewis and IngramSpark development manager Ben Hughes – said was “beautifully produced”, “well written and very engaging”, with a “mixture of the personal, practical and philosophical”, while the “combination of practical tips and personal reflections” made it the perfect companion for anyone walking one of these ancient ways.

A special commendation in the non-fiction category went to The Book. The Ultimate Guide to Rebuilding a Civilisation by Vsevolod Batischev, a “steampunk handbook for the future [that was] witty, weird and wonderful”. The book had raised a very impressive amount of money on Kickstarter and Indiegogo and had sold extremely well.

“Every year we are impressed anew with the professionalism and energy of the authors on our shortlists, and this year we delighted to have such worthy winners in all three categories. We commend them to every book reader out there!” said Jo Henry, managing director of competition organisers BookBrunch.

Launched in 2018, the Selfies are sponsored by Ingram’s award-winning self-publishing platform IngramSpark® and run in collaboration with the London Book Fair, Nielsen BookData and LitPR.  The Selfies Awards are judged on the quality of the writing; the production values of the book; an enticing cover and blurb that successfully addresses the target audience; and an effective and creative marketing and publicity strategy that has the potential for great sales.  Each winner receives £750 in cash and a profile in BookBrunch, while all shortlisted authors gained free entry to the London Book Fair Authors’ HQ, where a series of events aimed at indie authors was programmed.



Adult Fiction shortlist:

Shooters by Julia Boggio. When Stella Price’s life explodes, she needs to reinvent herself, so she picks up her old camera and decides to try her hand at wedding photography. When she meets Connor Knight, the best wedding photographer in the world, she dislikes him immediately, but he notices her talent and offers to teach her – probably more than she wants to learn.

Ostler by Susan Grossey. After the horrors of war and the hardships of guarding convicts in Australia, ex-soldier Gregory Hardiman is enjoying the quiet life of an ostler at a Cambridge coaching inn. But when the inn’s cook is found drowned in the river, Gregory finds himself caught up in the unexpectedly murky world of college life in the town.

Like Me by Katharine Light. It’s summer 2008 and Jessica had not expected to be a divorced, exhausted mother of small children. When she meets Sam again, Jess cannot stop her fantasy life fast-forwarding to an idyllic happy ending. But both Jess and Sam have reasons not to delve into the past…

Hidden Depths by Jason Mann. Catherine Carlyon, facing the bleak prospect of years in prison after being sucked into a fraud by a man she thought loved her, has found a possible way out – but disappearing comes at a price. An epic adventure in the North Atlantic will take her to her limits and beyond.

Darcy: A Pride and Prejudice Variation by Alice McVeigh. McVeigh puts the spotlight on Darcy in this imaginative re-telling of Austen’s classic tale. In a timeless story of love amid the clash of social classes, Darcy is faced with a terrible choice: to stay in London to force Wickham’s hand – or to go to Rome, to salvage his family’s reputation.

The Eagle and The Cockerel by Alan Rhode. Britain has long-since left the Union, but tensions between European countries remain and the international balance of power is firmly weighted towards China and the US. Seizing the opportunity for an unexpected comeback, disgraced former Paris mayor Vincent d’Amont makes an outrageous proposal: France and Germany should unite to create a new superpower: Charlemagny.

Artificial Wisdom by Thomas R. Weaver. It’s 2050, a decade after a heatwave that killed four hundred million across the Persian Gulf, including journalist Marcus Tully’s wife. Now he must uncover the truth: was the disaster natural? Or is the weather now a weapon of genocide? An enthralling murder mystery with a vividly realised future world.

Children’s Books shortlist:

How to be Me by Amy Dodero champions body positivity and celebrates diversity, with its ‘proud to be me’ message resonating boldly from each of its 32 beautifully illustrated pages.

Toby and the Wizards of Wildhaven by Sally Doherty. When the witches invite Toby on holiday, he’s looking forward to a break from his dilapidated house and leaking roof but they arrive to find a trail of destruction. What has happened to the wizards? And can a mouse in disguise provide some clues?

Secrets at No. 6 by Jemma Hatt. Edwardian London, a forbidden friendship and a house filled with secrets. A new mystery adventure for ages 8-12 from the award-winning author of The Adventurers Series.

Daddy’s Scared of Beasties by Kristin McNeil breaks gender stereotypes through a hilarious tale of mini-beast vs daddy. Written in rhyme and featuring facts on 10 common garden creatures, it’s a perfect read for 3-6 year old mini-beast lovers.

Awaken the Dawn by Ellis K. Popa. A cryptic puzzle. A family secret. A deadly betrayal. Awaken the Dawn is YA suspense with a supernatural twist and a mystery in the form of a scavenger hunt.

Maximus the Mouse by Lisa Read. Travel to the corners of Bear’s wildest imagination as he searches for a birthday present for Maximus the Mouse. With so many wondrous ideas, but none of them quite right, will he be able to find the perfect gift before the big day?

Extraordinary Extinct Prehistoric Minibeasts: A First Guide to Fossils by Jill Michelle Smith and Jennifer Watson. Unearth a prehistoric world with this fascinating first guide to fossils, ideal for helping families with young children to identify some of the most common types found across the UK from ammonites and belemnites to ancient sea urchins and sponges.

The Witch’s Cat and the Trouble with Tidying Up by Kristie. The Witch’s Cat does NOT like tidying up. So, when he stumbles across a magic wand, he can’t believe his luck! The job will surely be easier with a swish and a flick of magic! What could possibly go wrong?!

General Non-fiction shortlist:

The Book. The Ultimate Guide to Rebuilding a Civilisation by Vsevolod Batischev is an astonishing visual instruction manual that shows how to create a wide range of mechanisms, with over 400 pages of beautifully detailed illustrations.

Intelligent Hands: Why Making is a Skill for Life by Katy Bevan. Making improves our mental agility and has a positive impact on our mental health, yet recent years have seen a decline in craft and creative education in schools. Intelligent Hands aims to enlighten the uninitiated and persuade the nay-sayers as well as offer inspiration and information for the converted.

The Flexible Foodies by Lynn Davis is a true culinary bible, aimed at everyone from complete novices to mature explorers, as well as a memoir, a travelogue, a library and a compendium.

Girl Uprooted by Lena Lee. Growing up, Lena Lee never knew where she belonged. The daughter of a diplomat, she moved countries every three years. By the time she returned to South Korea, Lena’s inner and outer lives were worlds apart. Who was she? And where, if anywhere, was her home?

The Richmond Sketch Journal by Charles Leon. A stunning celebration of the fabulous Royal Borough of Richmond Upon Thames and the local area viewed through the eyes of artist and designer Charles Leon

Yes – The Tormato Story by Kevin Mulryne. The music of Yes indelibly shaped the original sound of progressive rock. This is the absorbing story of the final Yes album of the 1970s, uncovering myriad fascinating twists and turns for the first time.

Pilgrimage: Lessons Learned from Solo Walking Three Ancient Ways by J.F. Penn. Whether you feel a call to pilgrimage or a need for change in your life, Pilgrimage is the perfect guide to help embark on a journey of self-discovery, and discover the transformative power of walking solo.

HIT: Once Upon a Field by James Walker explores the struggles of addiction and epilepsy with a gripping narrative that seamlessly shifts from coming-of-age biography to true crime page-turner.

Cookham, Beaconsfield, Amersham and High Wycombe by Katie Waistell. A range of accessible walks from 2 to 7 miles long, varying in terrain, each with a wow factor and all illustrated by a hand drawn watercolour map.


BookBrunch is a daily news service and information site for the book industry.  Joint editors Nicholas Clee and Neill Denny have nearly 50 years’ experience covering the book trade between them.  Since launching in 2008 BookBrunch has been reporting industry news on a daily basis to over 7,000 publishing professionals around the world.  In the last 14 years BookBrunch has published thousands of news stories and opinion pieces and interviewed some of the most influential book trade figures. For more details, to register to receive the daily newsletter or to subscribe to BookBrunch services, go to www.bookbrunch.co.uk.

IngramSpark, owned by Ingram Content Group, is an award-winning publishing platform offering global print and eBook distribution through a single source. IngramSpark also offers a wide array of author education through its blog, podcast, newsletter and free Ingramspark Academy that helps an author learn about the business of publishing.  To learn more about IngramSpark, go to www.ingramspark.com.

The London Book Fair is the global marketplace for rights negotiations and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Author HQ is the place at The London Book Fair for established and aspiring authors where LBF host a seminar programme featuring a fantastic line up of speakers including publishers, authors and agents. For more information go to londonbookfair.com.

LitPR is a prize-winning publicity agency specialising in building author brands. The team of eight is built on the 23+ years’ experience of Helen Lewis, NCTJ-trained journalist, fully accredited PR and Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. LitPR specialises in working with indie authors – helping them to establish their author platform, build their brand, and connect them with their target readers in a strategic and optimised way. The team has experience of working on 650+ campaigns, with self-published debuts to New York Times bestsellers by the ‘big 5’, and on campaigns for authors around the world, over the past 12+ years. To learn more go to www.literallypr.com.

NielsenIQ provides a range of services to the book industry internationally, aiding the discovery and purchase, distribution and sales measurement of books.  We are proud to run the ISBN and SAN Agencies for UK & Ireland as well as providing search and discovery services for booksellers and libraries.  Our research services provide retail sales analysis for both print and e-books alongside research from our Books and Consumers Survey.  For publishers we offer a range of services from assigning an ISBN to your book to adding your metadata to our database and promotional tools to help market your book. If you would like to to know more visit: www.nielsenbook.co.uk.