J.K. Rowling, Jon Stewart and Stephen King were among the winners of the first annual Quills Awards, people's choice book prizes better known so far to the industry than to the public.
Rowling, author of the multimillion-selling Harry Potter books, won for book of the year and best children's chapter book for "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince."
Other winners included Sue Monk Kidd's "The Mermaid Chair" for general fiction and David McCullough's "1776" for history/current events/politics.
Stewart's "America (The Book)" won for best humor book and for best audio book. Stewart gave a brief monologue at the beginning of the ceremony but, in a comic twist, later was unavailable to accept the prizes, apparently having left.
King and Stewart O'Nan won in the sports category for "Faithful," their chronicle of the Boston Red Sox's 2004 season, when the baseball team broke a decades-long jinx and won the World Series.
The Quills include 19 categories, ranging from history and general fiction to sports, cooking and business. In a monthlong voting period that ended Sept. 19, fans picked their favorites by visiting the Quills Web site, quillsvote.com, and filling out e-ballots.
The winners were revealed at a black-tie ceremony at Pier 23 on the Hudson River, hosted by NBC news anchor Brian Williams and featuring Stewart, Martha Stewart and Kim Cattrall. On Oct. 22 an edited version of the ceremony will air from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. local time. Fourteen NBC stations have committed to televising it.
The awards, organized by NBC-TV and Reed Business Information, which issues Variety and Publishers Weekly, were started this year as a way of getting the public more interested in book prizes, reported AP.