Red Button Publishing

Publishing and Consultancy

Can an e-only book win the Booker Prize?

At Red Button we were delighted to see that of the six titles remaining on the Man Booker Prize short list, two are from small presses: The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books) and The Lighthouse (Salt Publishing). And let’s not forget Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, which was originally published by And Other Stories: in order to cope with the boost in sales following the book’s appearance on the long list, the tiny not-for-profit company collaborated with Faber & Faber to produce a mass-market edition.

Back in April, at the first of Justine Solomons’ excellent Byte the Book soirées, I was intrigued by the story of pioneering digital publisher David Gettman. David co-founded Online Originals in 1997 and created quite a stir the following year when he submitted an e-novel, The Angels of Russia by Patricia le Roy, for the Booker Prize. At first the nomination was refused on the grounds that the book was only available electronically. But the indefatigable David mounted a high-profile campaign in the book’s defence (creating plenty of not unwelcome publicity for the imprint, of course), arguing that any published book should be eligible for the prize, and eventually the organisers relented.

The Angels of Russia didn’t make the Booker short list in 1998. But perhaps it’s only a matter of time before the first e-only book wins a major literary prize.

by Karen Ings, 19/09/2012

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This entry was posted on September 19, 2012 by in New Fiction, On digital publishing and tagged , .
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