Self-Published Author Bennett Scoops Irish Bord Gais Children’s Book Award

Photo: Ger Holland Photography
Self-published author Benji Bennett has won the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year Jnr. Award at this year’s National Irish Book Awards, announced last night at a gala event in Dublin for Irish publishers and booksellers. Bennett’s self-published When You Were Born was one of six nominations in the children’s junior book category of the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards.
Ireland’s premier national book award is unusual in that unlike other prestigeous book awards, it does not preclude self-published titles from being nominated—requiring only that a title should be written by an Irish author, published within the year of the awards, and in print and availble through Irish book wholesalers. Titles are nominated and voted on equally by a panel of book industry experts and public online voting. There were a total of 12 awards at the gala ceremony last night in Dublin, with John Banville winning the Lifetime Achievement Award, and Roddy Doyle winning the Novel of the Year Award for The Guts.
This is actually Benji Bennett’s second time to win the children’s category award (first in 2009) having self-published seven books since 2008. Bennett publishes his series of illustrated story books under his Adam’s Printing Press imprint and will be in line for the overall Irish Book Award to be announced on December 17th. Bennett began self-publishing books following the sudden death of his young son Adam from a brain tumour in 2007.

I spent so much time trying to create magical moments for Adam to remember his childhood with fondness. I never once thought that these memories were actually for me to remember and cherish the short time I had with Adam. If every child gets an extra 10 minutes of play time, an extra hug and a kiss and are told that they are loved at the end of each day, well, that’s OK. — Benji Bennett

His first book, Before you sleep, was published on his son’s first year anniversary. With an initial print run of 10,000 books most people thought that Bennett had finally lost his mind. However his faith in Adam and the bedtime stories he shared with him were not misplaced and the first print run sold out within six weeks when Before you Sleep became a bestseller.
Since then Bennett has continued to write and has published four bestselling books in the Adam’s Adventure series. He received a further two Irish Book Award nominations for Adam’s World of Wonders and Adam’s Pirate Treasure.
A few year’s ago TIPM covered a self-publishing conference in Ireland where Bennett appeared and spoke on the subject of self-publishing books. Here is the short article and a snippet from Bennett’s session.

Bennett repeated the mantra for the day; self-publishing is a business, and you have to use professionals, and be prepared to work hard and promote your book. Bennett used the award-winning Cartoon Studio to design his first book, and he felt the key to his success was achieving proper distribution and using a PR agency. — TIPM, October 2010

Mick Rooney – Publishing Consultant
If you found this review or article helpful, but you’re still looking for a suitable self-publishing provider to fit your needs as an author, then I’m sure I can help. As a publishing consultant and editor of this magazine, I’ve reviewed and examined in detail more than 150 providers throughout the world like the one above. As a self-published and traditionally published author of nine books, I understand your needs on the path to publication and beyond. So, before you spend hundreds or thousands, and a great deal of your time, why not book one of my personally tailored and affordable consultation sessions today? Click here for more details.

If you would like to leave a comment on an article older than one week, please use the Blogger comment facility rather than the Facebook comment app as we do not monitor FB comments as regularly.