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Australian independent booksellers are pleased to announce the Shortlist for The Indie Book Awards 2017.

The Indie Book Awards, as chosen by independent booksellers, members of Leading Edge Books, reward and promote excellence in Australian writing. Galina Marinov, National Group Manager of Leading Edge Books says, ‘There are no bigger supporters of Australian writing and publishing in this country than independent booksellers. Their love of book, knowledge and passion for Australian stories play indispensable role in keeping Australian publishing and culture alive. The 2017 Indie Book Awards Shortlist is a tribute to the enormous depth and breadth of writing talent in this country. We are excited to be supporting and working on the Indie Book Awards campaign again and look forward to the announcement of the Category Winners and the overall Indie Book Awards Winner on 20th March.’

Affectionately termed ‘indies’, Australian independent booksellers have a proud reputation for choosing the best in Australian writing, with many of the shortlisted books in previous years going on to be bestsellers and win other major literary awards. Since its inception in 2008, the Indie Book Awards have chosen Breath by Tim Winton, The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do, Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey, All That I Am by Anna Funder, The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman, The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan, The Bush by Don Watson and The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood as previous overall winners.

The twenty shortlisted books will be vying for the top spot as the Indie ‘Book of the Year’ for 2017. Panels of expert judges (all indie booksellers and avid readers) will choose the winners in the five book categories – Fiction, Debut Fiction, Non-Fiction, Children’s and Young Adult. Independent booksellers from around the country will then vote to select their favourite book for the year. The category winners and the overall ‘Book of the Year’ winner will be announced on Monday, 20th March, 2017 at the Leading Edge Books Annual Conference Awards Dinner, at the Marriott, Surfers Paradise.

The Shortlist for The Indie Book Awards 2017 is:


The Good People by Hannah Kent (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Where the Trees Were by Inga Simpson (Hachette Australia)

The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (Allen & Unwin)


The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)

Ghost Empire by Richard Fidler (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

Fight Like a Girl by Clementine Ford (Allen & Unwin)

Everywhere I Look by Helen Garner (Text Publishing)


The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley (Affirm Press)

The Midnight Watch by David Dyer (Penguin Books Australia)

The Dry by Jane Harper (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Goodwood by Holly Throsby (Allen & Unwin)


Circle by Jeannie Baker (Walker Books Australia)

Pig the Winner by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (Illus) (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Wormwood Mire by Judith Rossell (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)


Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)

The Road to Winter by Mark Smith (Text Publishing)

Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland (Penguin Books Australia)

Statements from some of the 2017 Indie Book Awards shortlisted authors:

'Australian independent booksellers are the lifeblood of this country's literature. Their support and celebration of Australian writers and readers is unrivalled, and they ensure the vitality and strength of storytelling in this nation through their dedication to uniting both parties whenever possible. I am deeply grateful to our indies for putting my books into so many hands. To be shortlisted for this award by the very people who have already given me so much support, is an honour indeed. I am indebted to you all.' Hannah Kent, author of The Good People

‘Independent booksellers are the lifeblood of Australian literary culture, an enduring bridge to the world of language, ideas and story. So many of my own personal reading discoveries over the years have come from booksellers who champion and hand-sell a book that's captured their hearts and minds. I'm eternally grateful for that!’ Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos

‘Our incredible Indies put my books in the right readers’ hands, and the right books in my hands, too.’ Inga Simpson, author of Where the Trees Were

‘Independent booksellers are extraordinary supporters and connoisseurs of Australian literature. Their role in shining a light on local writing, particularly in the case of challenging or stylistically confronting work, cannot be overestimated. The sheer volume and scope of writing that passes through their hands, and the phenomenal book knowledge-bank they acquire as a result, makes recognition by the Indies a significant honour. I'm absolutely elated that The Hate Race has been recognised in this way, in such a strong year in Australian non-fiction.’ Maxine Beneba Clarke, author of The Hate Race

‘Independent booksellers are the lifeblood of this industry. You'll never find a group of people more passionate about books, words and language than the families you find working at indie stores. Support your local independent bookseller!’ Clementine Ford, author of Fight Like a Girl

‘I’m delighted that The Midnight Watch has been shortlisted for an Indie book award. My novel felt the warm enthusiasm of independent booksellers even before its words were finalised, and during and after publication it continued to benefit from their zeal and passion. In this day of tweets and posts, I loved the Indies’ face-to-face fostering of communities of avid readers. The Midnight Watch has been supported by a year of bookclubs, talks, fine wine and fellowship, and I am very grateful!’ David Dyer, author of The Midnight Watch

‘We are thrilled to be included on the Indie awards shortlist. The only thing better than being shortlisted for an indie award—apart from winning an indie award of course—is browsing in one of Australia’s many well stocked, carefully curated, wonderfully staffed independent bookstores!’ Andy Griffiths, author of The 78-Storey Treehouse

‘It's such an incredible honour to be handpicked by independent booksellers for the Indie Book Awards 2017 shortlist. Independent booksellers are the lifeblood of the industry in Australia, and have been instrumental in fostering the careers of Aussie authors for decades. They are the most important people in cultivating word-of-mouth buzz, and their recommendations to readers carry an incredible amount of weight. Again, I feel so privileged to have made the shortlist.’ Krystal Sutherland, author of Our Chemical Hearts

‘Independent bookshops are critical to our industry. The staff, with their knowledge and passion, put the perfect recommendation in my hands. It’s because of them that I have read the unexpected books that have fed my creatively. It’s because of them that someone, somewhere, is reading my book.’ Cath Crowley, author of Words in Deep Blue

‘If I want to see and hear about the latest and best Australian books I’ll go to one of our Independent Bookshops.’ Jeannie Baker, author Circle.

The Indie Book Awards would like to gratefully acknowledge the 2017 Awards Sponsors: HarperCollins Australia, Pan Macmillan Australia, Hardie Grant, Hachette Australia, Bonnier Publishing and Hardie Grant Egmont, and Awards supporter: Simon & Schuster Australia.


For more information on the Indie Book Awards