Sunday, 28 November 2010

Prizes and Sales

A recent article in the Bookseller reported on the sales push winning prizes gave books. Some of the quantities are surprising - for example...

"Last year's winner of the overall Book of the Year, Christopher Reid's A Scattering (Arete), has sold 12,700 copies to date. The previous recipient of the award, Sebastian Barry's The Secret Scripture(Faber), has sold 376,00 copies to date across all editions."

But then if you investigate a little further, it turns out that A Scattering is a collection of poems, and poetry collections do not sell well, even if they are the Costa Book of the Year.

Prizes are lovely to win (so I've been told) and sales pay the bills, and you can't take everything you read in the press at face value.

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