Online independent bookshop, Tea Leaves and Reads, is a finalist in the Romantic Bookseller of the Year category for the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s (RNA) annual Industry Awards for 2022. The awards celebrate the hard work and talent of any person, group or organisation who has championed the broad genre of romantic fiction in a positive way.
The online bookshop and book club were created in 2020 by husband and wife team William & Kathryn Baldwin. It’s exactly what happens when your carefully planned wedding is delayed and you have a little extra time on your hands due to a global pandemic, says Kathryn. Throughout the difficulties of the past two years, they have created an online book club and specially themed book boxes to lift spirits, enhance personal gift giving and support authors. Now stocking an impressive collection of signed and special editions, the bookshop reaches all corners of the UK from humble beginnings in the north of Hampshire.
They commented, ‘We are both surprised and humbled to have been shortlisted for this incredible award. It feels wonderful to know that someone has appreciated our work and highlighted us in this way. We have loved supporting authors, and finding ways to navigate the challenges of the last two years, especially for writers and publishers, has been one of our ultimate goals. So to be recognised for what we have done through our love for books is truly amazing.’
Laura James, the RNA Industry Awards organiser, added, ‘I congratulate each and every finalist and thank them and the industry for the unwavering love they show writers and readers of romantic fiction.’
The awards have been held for the past eight years and are highly respected in the UK publishing industry. The finalists are nominated by the full and probationary membership of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, with a panel of independent judges selecting the shortlists.
The award categories are: The Romantic Bookseller of the Year, Inclusion Award, Indie Champion of the Year, Library or Librarian of the Year, Indie Editor of the Year, Cover Designer of the Year, Narrator of the Year, Media Star of the Year, Agent of the Year, and Publisher and / or Editor of the Year.
The winners of the ten awards will be announced during the Romantic Novelists’ Association’s Winter Party and Industry Awards ceremony, which is being held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London City, 8-14 Cooper’s Row, London EC3N 2BQ, on Friday 11th November 2022 at 6.30pm.
This year’s awards are sponsored by ProWritingAid, a manuscript editing software programme with in-app video learning for writers.