Archive for the ‘Literary Awards’ Category

How do readers find books? Or, more importantly, how will they find your book? According to this poll on the MobileRead forum, readers find books in the following ways (in order):

  •  Recommendations from friends or other readers
  • Recommendations from online forums, blogs, or message boards
  • Bookstore browsing
  • Amazon reviews/recommendations
  • Interesting covers or blurbs
  • Free download or bargain price
  • Library browsing
  • Mainstream media reviews
  • Kobo
  • MobileRead
  • Bestseller lists
  • Author sites
  • Award lists

So, if you want to sell your book, you have to somehow tap into the huge informal system of friends talking to friends, either in person or online. Everything else is secondary.



Why Do We Care About Literary Awards?

Excellent question. Mark O’ Connor argues that expecting literary prizes to be about literary achievement makes about as much sense as arguing that Grammies should award a prize to The Minutemen.

When you put it that way…  I mean, who can argue?


“They’re great for the publishing industry, …the handful of writers who win them… But I don’t think anyone …should be looking for them to accurately reflect what’s really happening — what is truly vital and new and exciting — in contemporary fiction… ”

Recommended–well worth reading.

Jennifer Egan, who just won the National Book Critic Circle Award for Fiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for A Visit from the Goon Squad, gives advice on writing. Click here.

Most interesting takeaway–

She set three rules for writing this book:
1. Every chapter must have a different protagonist.
2. Every chapter must have a different theme and feel.
3. Each chapter must stand alone.

Fiction writers, what do you think of this advice? Bat Terrier would love to hear more in the comments.

Each day leading up to the March 10 announcement of the 2010 National Book Critic’s Circle award winners, the Critical Mass blog highlights one of the thirty-one finalists. To plug into their coverage, click here. Of particular interest: Stephen Burt‘s article on Clare Cavanagh’s “Lyric Poetry and Modern Politics.”

Dean Radar asks: Who are the great poets? Write him and let him know who you think is a contenduh. (And maybe also read his terrific book of poems, Works and Days.)

Kyle Minor schools us on the beauty and subtlety of Nabokov’s sentences.

The National Book Critic’s Circle announces award finalists in autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Will Hilary Mantel, who won this year’s Man Booker Prize win again with Wolf Hall? Will Stephen Burt win for Close Calls with Nonsense: Reading New Poetry? (Bat Terrier definitely hopes so–Burt’s book is terrific.)

Alan Badiou’s “Fifteen Theses on Contemporary Art,” or how to simultaneously avoid the Scylla of endless formal invention and the Charybdis of Romantic/Gothic objectification of the body. Recommended for theorists. And here’s Badiou’s longer explanation.