JAMAICAN publisher Ian Randle has been selected for the Prince Claus Award in The Netherlands.
Randle, founder of Ian Randle Publishers, was chosen for his work in transforming the "knowledge, production and circulation in the Caribbean through his first, local, independent publishing house".
He is one of 10 persons worldwide to receive the annual award which honours outstanding achievements in the field of culture and development.
The award comes with a ¤¤25,000 cash incentive. Randle is currently in discussion with The Netherlands Ambassador to Jamaica, who is based in Cuba, to arrange a date for the presentation ceremony.
The other laureates are from Tunisia, Syria, Mexico, Kenya, and Somalia. Additionally, every year, one organisation is chosen for the award. This year's recipient was Eloisa Cartonera — a graphic arts and publishing cooperative which started in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer, Randle said he is honoured and humbled to be a recipient of the Prince Claus Awards, noting that only two Caribbean nationals have received it in the past — Jamaican Dr Erna Brodber (2006) and Trinidadian designer Peter Minshall (2001).
"I am totally elated. Considering that I do not know who nominated me for the award, it was totally unxexpected, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless," says Randle.
He attributes this latest accolade in part to the fact that he has always been a "global publisher".
"If I ever had doubts that this is a reality, then this award shows that we are indeed reaching our markets on the global scale," he noted.
IRP is currently run by his daughter, Christine. Randle's time these days is taken up dealing with matters relating to publishing development, advice and training.
He thinks the local publishing industry "has come along way".
"We have given authors the confidence to write and what we now have is a plethora of fiction and non-fiction authored by our own people."
As for the impact of technology on the book industry, Randle believes that although technology should be embraced, publishers will be producing books on paper for a long time.
"We can't be fooled into going 100 per cent electronic at this time. It has to be a gradual process of understanding the market and acting pragmatically."