Filed under: Book news
A curious little item surfaced today in The Bookseller in the U.K.
Author Kes Gray, whose company Fizzbomb Books publishes his title Nuddy Ned, wanted to enter the Roald Dahl Funny Prize, but found the requirement for 40 free picture books and a £500 promotional charge, as well as a 60% discount on books ordered thereafter, prohibitive.
Gray’s complaint raises a fair question: is an award really credible if it puts up financial entry barriers? Here in Canada, the Scotiabank Giller Prize demands $1,500 per title from shortlisted publishers. Given the massive publicity boost that comes with a nomination, that doesn’t seem unreasonable to Quillblog, though some tiny presses might disagree.
In any case, the Bookseller story could use a little more context. Is the £500 an entry fee, or does it kick in only if the book is shortlisted? Is there a shortlist? Gray “found” the terms prohibitive, but do other publishers consider them unreasonable when weighed against the expected return? The story does include this bit –
Children’s publishers have seen a steep rise in the number of national and regional children’s book awards which publishers are expected to support in terms of finances, author attendance, and publicity material.
– but provides no further examples or details. Perhaps any British Quillblog readers could enlighten us in the comments.