e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “book awards”

Prizes galore

Congratulations to Eimear McBride for winning the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction. It’s nice to read about someone pushing the envelope of the novel out and being rewarded for their courage.

Also announced yesterday was the lower-key but still important HWA Debut Crown shortlist. The Historical Writers Association has decided that they too should have a range of  awards similar to those given by the Crime Writers Association (CWA).

It’s lovely to read about these successes. But I still wonder about those who don’t win them. Does the existence of a prizewinner affect other people’s sales? logo

As a reader I also wonder if all the hype and publicity skews what I read. While wandering round a bookshop I’m likely to pick up books I’ve heard of, even if I can’t recall why they seem familiar.

Does winning a prize affect a book’s long term sales? Or does it fade from popularity as fast as it would without the prize?

We seem to live in a world of awards and competitions. Is this a good thing? bad? totally irrelevant?


ABIA 2014 Book Awards shortlists announced

I don’t know much about the book scene in Australia, so I’m grateful to Booktopia for this information.

A new book award

Since I’ve started this blog and taken to browsing the web for literature news, I’ve come across some interesting events and awards in the book world.

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‘My Beautiful Genome; by Lone Frank, shortlisted in the General Biology category.

The one I’m blogging about now isn’t exactly literature – it is the Society of Biology Book Awards. They have just announced the shortlists – three categories (undergrad textbooks, postgrad textbooks, general biology) so three lists.

Choosing the judges must have been a task in itself: textbooks are such specialised reading. Did they wait until the entrants were in then choose judges accordingly, or did they invite a selection of people and hope they’d understand the books?

The Society website talks of this being the inaugural award, so presumably the first time they’ve given it. We have awards everywhere these days and I suppose it’s good for academics to be up for some – writing the books must be very hard work and the writers are not often rewarded with a wide readership.

But I do sometimes wonder about the books that don’t get mentioned on short or long lists. Do they do worse or better than they would otherwise? Does an award raise the profile of a type of writing to the benefit of all its producers? I doubt if we’ll ever know.

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