I can’t decide whether this is a crazy or a wise decision. The idea that it is an essential move by the publisher is nicely and effectively countered by publisher’s own words. They have to think about the long term position of their company, rather than just one book. on the other hand, there’s a deal to be done and more than likely one of the big publishers will be more than happy to put one of their imprints on the spine!
Then there is the financial cost to Ms. Skibsrud of the lost opportunity. The last Giller winner sold 75,000 copies. At even a dollar or two of royalties a book, this would represent a considerable sum – one which she will never touch if the book doesn’t sell in large quantities. She struggled to pay her way through school while working on the book in her spare time. Shouldn’t she now reap the rewards of her success — some of which would presumably flow back to Gaspereau, who took the chance publishing her book in the first place, even if if they don’t print tens of thousands of copies?
The irony as well is that in recent years there has been grumbling in the Canadian literary community that only books backed by major publishing houses ever win. Well, now one wins from a small press – and this is the result. Has Gaspereau considered the implications for other authors down the road? Do they think the Giller jury will be as well-disposed to small-press books if their publishers take this attitude?
Apparently, the owners of Gaspereau are meeting tomorrow to “review their options”. Maybe if they hear from enough people who are equally distressed at their decision, they will reconsider.
Read more: http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/2010/11/11/tasha-kheiriddin-giller-decision-leaves-readers-gaspereau-ing/#ixzz153nuaBFn
Or rather John Stubbs’
Donne: The Reformed Soul did. From what was said of it*, it sounded a worthy winner and I have seen it in the store a few times and nearly bought it so I’m not that bitter:
Donne: The Reformed Soul deserved to win the overall award, said the chairman of the judging panel, David Goodhart, because it was “a revelation”. “I had expected a dry literary biography,” he added, “and found myself transported by a historical thriller set amidst the high politics of late 16th-, early 17th-century England, with struggles over religious and national loyalties which have many contemporary echoes.”
I am very disappointed for Brenda though and for everyone involved with Bibeanna which is a beautiful AND important book and didn’t even win in its category.
Oh well. An ceád úr eile.
* Silly Premium Content
I may have mentioned some time ago
That I was at the launch of Bibeanna: Memories from a Corner of Ireland pretty soon after I joined Mercier.
Well, now we have just heard some absolutely great news. Brenda Ní Shúilleabháin has been nominated for the Glen Dimplex New Writers Award in the Irish-language category. Yippee!
Congratulations to Brenda and all involved. It is a wonderful book and one we are enormously proud of. It is also selling very well (selling through a reprint very rapidly) which just goes to show that dual language titles with quality design and good content can make a big impact.
Pleased as pie,
Oh and here are some pictures from that launch (It was an amazing day in the Kingdom!)
PRESS RELEASE BELOW JUMP WITH ALL NOMINATIONS