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September 16th, 2012, 03:32 PM #1
BBC Article on literary prizes and the future of publishing
Did anyone else see this?
It's interesting that the only reference to e-publishing in the whole article is an acknowledgement that Fifty Shades of Gray "came out of the depths of the internet".
Admittedly e-books are nowhere near as popular (or even heard of) in the UK as they are in the States, but I wonder if this just the BBC making its usual attempt at cultural elitism or if it's a real reflection of the non genre-reading public's perception. Thoughts, anyone?
Edit: there is also this statement "As a result, shoals of agents and publishers are cruising like basking sharks in the shallows of fan fiction on the look out for the next unpredictable phenomenon." which I think is highly unlikely, but as ever I could be wrong!
Last edited by PeteMC; September 16th, 2012 at 04:22 PM.
September 16th, 2012, 07:14 PM #2
September 17th, 2012, 01:58 AM #3
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Perhaps the reading population of the UK is higher.
"As a result, shoals of agents and publishers are cruising like basking sharks in the shallows of fan fiction on the look out for the next unpredictable phenomenon."
See also the hooded figure/female back phenomenon that has been in Fantasy fiction covers the last few years. Like sharks, though.... hmmm. More purple prose from the writer (see first example above.)
September 17th, 2012, 09:47 AM #4
E-book sales rose in England by 366% - a May article easily found by Googling "UK Britain ebooks".
What I suspect you have in this article is elitism at its (cough) finest. The publishing old guard would love "50 Shades of Grey" to be the scorned-at representative of e-books in general, but that's never been the case.
I think most of the old publishing houses are resigned to e-books and are making the transition, albeit begrudgingly. Same for the old guard, although you still have some folks trying to keep out writers based solely on the media they write in.
September 17th, 2012, 03:09 PM #5
The point of the article had nothing to do with e-books. Not everything is about e-books, guys, seriously. Fifty Shades of Gray was mentioned because it's the current phenom book, along with Rowling, and at this point, it's sold tons and tons of print copies.
The point of the article was about the economic power of literary prizes to make bestsellers out of winners and nominees. And that makes the article dated by about twenty years. Literary prizes have been powerhouse pumpers since the 1990's. That's why I'm always poo-pooing the claim that "literary" fiction doesn't sell and commercial does. It's big business, with the prizes being the top tier. The article is looking at how the Mann Booker and such have created big sellers, with film deals and whatnot, so if you're not writing "commercial" fiction that wins big like Harry Potter, your best bet is to try and be a lottery winner of a lit prize to win big, is what they are saying.
What they are basically saying is that prize winning works well as word of mouth and for educational adoption -- a big market, which is not news. And also, see how powerful the U.K. book awards are! Which has nothing to do with the paper-electronic issues. The BBC, the Guardian, etc., have all done tons of articles about e-books -- some of which you've dragged links to in here -- so the British media are hardly ignoring that part of the industry. In fact, I'm pretty sure that the BBC is up to its neck in the electronics content industry, including e-books, tie-ins, downloading video and magazine files through Amazon, etc.