Publicity: What Makes Your Book Worthy of an Award Nomination? What We’re Winning These Days and Why

In February 2015, Elsevier books won ten PROSE Awards, the “Oscars” of scholarly publishing, at the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Annual Conference. In addition, in 2014, five books won a prize and/or high commendation in the British Medical Association’s prestigious Medical Book Awards, and four more books were recently named as winners of a Text and Academic Authors Association TEXTY or Most Promising New Textbook award.


How a Book is Selected for Nomination

You might wonder what makes a book worthy of an award nomination? The Elsevier editorial team puts a lot of thought into which books should be nominated each year. Some of the criteria considered include:

– Is the book or reference work distinctive and innovative in some way?

– What contribution does it make to a field or body of knowledge? Does it make an original contribution?

– Does the work meet a gap in the current body of knowledge of a field?

– Has the book received outstanding reviews or praise from experts in the field?

– Is the writing characterized by originality of research or thought?

– Does the work include exceptional images, artwork, or graphics?

It’s never an easy task for the editorial team since so many of the books we publish meet many of these criteria.

Award Nomination Submissions

In 2014, we submitted 150 award nominations to various organizations for consideration. During that time period, Elsevier and its authors won 28 awards for books and reference works. As we recognize the importance of these nominations and subsequent awards, we will continue to nominate as many books as possible each year. In fact, we’ve already nominated more than 55 books this year.

Some of the Award Winners

While many books meet nomination criteria on one level, there are always a few books or reference works that stand out. Here are some examples of books that are among the award winners mentioned above:

2_ImmunePrimer to the Immune Response, Second Edition  – Tak Mak, Mary Saunders, Bradley Jett Society of Biology Book Award 2014: Postgraduate Textbook



3_SolarEncyclopedia of the Solar System, Third Edition – Tilman Spohn, Doris Breuer, Torrence Johnson PROSE Award 2015, Book: Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Earth Science


4_CompOrganicComprehensive Organic Synthesis, Second Edition – Paul Knochel, Gary Molander PROSE Award 2015, Reference Works, Multivolume Reference/Science



5_chemicalChemical Fate and Transport in the Environment, Third Edition – Harold Hemond, Liz Fechner-Levy Textbook Excellence Award – 2nd or Later Edition: Physical Sciences


How You Can Help

So, what can you do? Keep in mind the criteria we described as you write and edit. You’re likely already on the right path if you’re working with Elsevier and our editorial team, but there may be some minor (or major) things you can do to make your book an outstanding, award-worthy work:

– Unifying theme and flow throughout the book

– Unique and needed topic that meets a market need

– Editor engagement in creating chapter and section transitions, so the book reads like one cohesive unit

– Well-recognized international experts as contributors to the book

– Chapter authors who share your vision and commitment to delivering high-quality and unique content

If you have questions or suggestions about book awards in your field, please feel free to contact Michelle McMahon, Elsevier Publicity Manager.

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