Australian Independent Bookseller

All the best books from your local independent bookseller



Australian Independent Booksellers are pleased to announce the Shortlist for The Indie Book Awards 2016. Independent booksellers of Australia, affectionately termed ‘indies’, 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.

The latest reports for the Christmas 2015 period reveal an increase in both volume and value of books sold in the Australian market, proving that the print book and bookshops are well and truly alive and thriving.

With a new category added this year in response to bookseller feedback, the twenty shortlisted books will be vying for the top spot as the Indie ‘Book of the Year’ for 2016. Panels of expert judges (all indie booksellers and avid readers) choose the winners from 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 Wednesday 23 March, 2016 in Sydney.

The Indie Book Awards are now considered the forerunners of all major Australian book 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 and The Bush by Don Watson as previous overall winners. Find out more about the awards here.

The Indie Book Awards category winners and the Book of the Year 2016 will be announced at an event in the Sydney CBD on Wednesday 23 March.

We would like to gratefully acknowledge and thank the official Category Sponsors of the Indie Book Awards 2016 campaign:

Allen & Unwin – sponsoring the Fiction Award

NewSouth Books – sponsoring the Non-Fiction Award

Hachette Australia – sponsoring the Debut Fiction Award

HarperCollins Children’s Books Australia – sponsoring the Children’s Award

Hardie Grant Egmont – sponsoring the Young Adult Award

And also thank our Awards Partners:

Macmillan Australia

Simon & Schuster Australia

The Shortlist for The Indie Book Awards 2016 is:


A Guide to Berlin by Gail Jones (Random House Australia)

The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (Allen & Unwin)

The Other Side of the World by Stephanie Bishop (Hachette Australia)

The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks (Hachette Australia)


Flesh Wounds by Richard Glover (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

One Life by Kate Grenville (Text Publishing)

Reckoning: A Memoir by Magda Szubanski (Text Publishing)

The Anti-Cool Girl by Rosie Waterland (HarperCollins Australia)


Relativity by Antonia Hayes (Penguin Australia)

Rush Oh! by Shirley Barrett (Pan Macmillan Australia)

Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Anchoress by Robyn Cadwallader (HarperCollins Australia)


Olive of Groves by Katrina Nannestad & Lucia Masciullo, Illus (ABC Books, HarperCollins Australia)

The 65-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton, Illus (Pan Macmillan Australia)

The Bad Guys, Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey (Scholastic Australia)

The Singing Bones by Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)


Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (Macmillan Australia)

Prince of Afghanistan by Louis Nowra (Allen & Unwin)

Ranger’s Apprentice: The Early Years 1: The Tournament at Gorlan by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)

Soon by Morris Gleitzman (Penguin Australia)

Flesh Wounds, I have to admit, is a strange mix of things – a bit funny, a bit sad, and most of all defiant about the effects of bad parenting. The book, contrary to the orthodoxy, says that many people survive quite difficult parents – and often do so with aplomb. That’s a lot to get over in a cover-blurb which is why I’m so grateful to all the booksellers who’ve said to customers, “you know what, you might like this”. Richard Glover, Flesh Wounds

"I am utterly thrilled and honoured to be shortlisted for the 2016 Indie Book Award. As I have toured the country I have been enormously impressed by the passion, dedication and expertise of the independent book community. Their love of books is infectious and continues to keep literature alive in the hearts and minds of everyday Australians. Thank you sincerely for this recognition and for your hard work. It inspires me to write more!” Magda Szubanski, Reckoning

“Not only do Independent bookshops provide vital opportunities for new writers to find an audience, they also help established writers maintain close links with existing ones. Terry and I are both thrilled and honoured that The 65-storey Treehouse has made the indies shortlist!” Andy Griffiths, The 65-storey Treehouse

“It's thrilling for The Secret Chord to be recognized on the Indie Book Awards shortlist.  Independent bookstores are our havens, the mooring from which we can launch forth on a thousand literary adventures.  What would our cities and neighbourhoods be without them?” Geraldine Brooks, The Secret Chord