Ariel had a nice item on the Alien Blog about literary elitism and awards. Strangely enough, it dovetails with one of my Rants of the Week. I came back to work – oh joy – and found the new campaign is about to begin. Part of the new offers will be a special offer on a range of prize-winning books, along with leaflets. Very nice idea and a bit more up market than the (now) usual style of campaign. However, flciking through the list I notice Booker, Whitbread and othe prizes – even foreign prizes such as the Pulitzer, which doesn’t really count for much in the UK. But guess what’s in there? No SF award winners. What a surprise.
No BSFA, no Hugo, no Nebula. You would think that at least they would have the Arthur C Clarke winner in there – the most presitgious British SF award which each year has some of the best writing of any genre on the shortlist. And where were the books that won the Crime Writer’s Association Gold Daggers? Not only is this literary elitism to shun these awards over others it is pretty short-sighted for a commercial book seller. SF and Crime are two of the biggest selling genres on the planet and well run sections of crime and SF tend to bring in multiple sales and repeat customers. Running a camaign featuring award-winning books would be a good chance for a bookseller to introduce their mroe literary customers to the finest of genre writing and vice versa. But what do I know about it? I’ve only sold books for years, obviously I know less than the professional marketers at our head office.
Fly me to the moon and let me play amongst the stars,
Have you seen my Beagle, I think it’s lost on Mars…