Entertainment & Arts

JK Rowling 'overwhelmed' by book prize win

JK Rowling Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rowling's work has been a big boost to the publishing industry

JK Rowling says she's 'thrilled' to have picked up the outstanding contribution prize at the British Book Awards.

"Twenty years ago I would hardly have believed I'd have a book published, let alone an accolade as wonderful as this," she said.

The Harry Potter and the Cursed Child script, which she created with John Tiffany and Jack Thorne, was 2016's biggest seller.

Every year Rowling has released a new Potter tale, the book market has grown.

Image copyright Serpent's Tail
Image caption Perry's second novel was published by Serpent's Tail last year

In 2007, final Potter book The Deathly Hallows took the sector to an all-time high of £1.79bn.

Rowling paid tribute to the book industry behind the awards: "Tonight is really all about you, the booksellers, without whom of course there would be no bestsellers.

"I want to thank you all for supporting my books throughout the years - this award is really for you! Thank you!"

But Harry Potter and the Cursed Child failed to win best children's book of the year.

It was beaten by mythical teen novel The Girl of Ink and Stars by Kiran Millwood Hargrave.

Word-of-mouth hit The Essex Serpent was the overall winner at the trade awards, also known as the Nibbies, taking the coveted book of the year title.

Sarah Perry's gothic novel went on to become a Waterstones Book of the Year and sold over 200,000 copies - 40 times more than the initial sales target.

"I am absolutely delighted the extraordinary work of my team at (publisher) Serpent's Tail has been honoured in this way. It's a prize for everybody. The team understood everything I wanted to achieve - and they achieved it for me," Perry said.

Astronaut Tim Peake triumphed with a win in the non-fiction: lifestyle category for his collection of images of planet Earth taken from the International Space Station in Hello, is this Planet Earth?


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