PassPorter Wins Benjamin Franklin Award!
In April 2000, PassPorter was nominated as a finalist for a Benjamin Franklin Award - The Best First Book by a New Publisher (The Bill Fisher Award). The Ben Franklins are sponsored by the Publishers Marketing Association, the largest trade association for independent book publishers, and are announced on the eve of the huge Book Expo America, the biggest national convention in the book industry. All the publishers -- large and small -- are there to sell to the book stores, the printers are there to sell their services to the publishers, and so on.
June 1st was the award ceremony, and we're incredibly proud and happy to announce that....
What a moment it was! They had given almost all the other awards already. To compare it to the Oscars, it was like waiting through all the Best Cinematography in an Animated Short Subject, Best Supporting Actress in a Disaster Film, and Best Director of a Big Budget Blockbuster awards. The only awards left were Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Picture [or in this case, Best First Book by a New Publisher, Book of the Year (marketing budget under $10,000) and Book of the Year (marketing budget over $10,000)]. These are the awards with the big buildup, where the presenters gave speeches before the award instead of just reading off the list of finalists and announcing the winner.
"The authors of this year's winner are not new to books. They are accomplished authors. They are new to publishing, though. Like so many books published by PMA members, this book grew out of a personal and perceived need."
"The winner of this year's Bill Fisher Award is PassPorter Walt Disney World, by Jennifer Watson and Dave Marx...."
We were utterly floored. We did one of those acceptance speeches (...and we'd like to thank our mail carrier, the guy who changes our oil..."), and all sorts of folks were congratulating us (and suggesting we do lunch, take meetings, and all sorts of stuff). We then had dessert with Howard Fisher and the winner of last year's Bill Fisher Award.
Well, we've gone on longer than we should have, but we're still basking in the afterglow. We know the Ben Franklins aren't the Pulitzer or National Book Award, but this is the awards program we've been hoping to win all year long -- recognition by our fellow independent publishers. Not that the awards are open only to small publishers. IDG Books (publisher of the Dummies books and :::gasp::: The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World), Harper Collins and a number of other large publishers won awards for other books, too. (Yes, Harry Potter and Star Wars Episode I also won awards.) In fact, IDG issued a very cool press release about this. We've included it to the right, because it makes our accomplishment seem even cooler than it really is.
Each copy of the new edition, PassPorter Walt Disney World 2000, will proudly display our gold Benjamin Franklin award seal on its cover:
Thank you all for sharing our happiness!
Award Winner List The complete list of Benjamin Franklin Award Winners
Benjamin Franklin Details - Information on the award itself, categories, and so on.
PassPorter 2001 - More information on the new 2001 edition!
Related Press Release: