Thursday, May 27, 2010

Small Publishers and the Prize Machinery

Elizabeth Baines, fellow Salt writer and blogger, discusses the latest problem to face the world of small publishing.

This discussion all came about after some Facebook posts by various people in publishing - including my own Salteeny Jen Hamilton-Emery, and Neil Astley, editor of Bloodaxe Books, who published my debut poetry collection - criticised the introduction of fees for publishers to enter publications for the Guardian First Book awards.

Prizes and Book Club recommendations: are these more of a curse than a benefit, at least for the publishers, who end up spending huge sums on providing the books involved and accepting vast discounts on sales at the same time?

1 comment:

Angela France said...

I'm going to copy my comment here from over there as I didn't know it was also the Whitbread/Costa prize that made entering prohibative for small publishers until my publisher looked into entering my book:

"iii 20 additional copies of shortlisted
books must be supplied by each publisher
for publicity purposes. A further 30 copies
of each Award-winning book must be
supplied by each publisher for submission
to the final judging panel and for publicity
purposes. All books supplied are not
iv Publishers of each of the five Costa
Award Winners are required to make a
contribution of £3,000 towards the general
promotion of the winning books. The
publisher of the Costa Book of the Year
is required to make a further contribution
of £4,000. These contributions will be
payable to Whitbread PLC."

My publisher said they could never recover from an outlay like that - and it is pointless to enter something and hope *not* to win because of not being able to afford to.