Man Booker Prize: unique opportunity for Irish publishers

Eric Verleene, CC BY-ND 2.0

Created in 1969, the Man Booker Prize, endowed with £50,000 and which allows its winner to be recognized internationally, strongly influences book sales. Its admission rules are therefore crucial.

Historically, the award was open to all writers in the UK and Commonwealth, as well as Ireland and Zimbabwe. In addition, news stories were also eligible. However, in 2013 the admission rules were changed and the award has since accepted all novels written in English and published in the UK.

Fortunately, a new rule put in place since January 8, 2018, rejoices more than one: books written in English and published in Ireland can be selected for the selection of the Man Booker Prize. According to one of the prize’s spokespersons: given the special relationship between the English and Irish publishing markets – whereby most Irish publishers publish books simultaneously in Ireland and the UK – all Irish publishers should be eligible “.

A fairer rule, therefore, which guarantees independent Irish publishers the same opportunities as Irish publishers whose head office is in the United Kingdom (the latter were already eligible).

Indeed, Irish publishers such as Dublin-based Tramp Press, which had criticized the award’s admission criteria, are now delighted. Thus, Irish publishers no longer have to sell the rights to their authors and can compete on a fairer ground with their colleagues in the United Kingdom.

For this new rule, the Foundation behind the Booker Prize had consulted the association of Irish publishers Publishing Ireland. Its president, Ronan Colgan, who had made this enlargement one of his priorities, hopes that this will lead to a ” boom in the Irish edition.

I believe this will create a positive change in the Irish editorial scene. It will stimulate her. This will allow smaller Irish literary publishers to retain their authors and stand a chance. We hope this will lead to an increase in Irish publishing and show Irish publishers that they can become more commercially viable. We also hope for more publishers. he explains.

Also an editor at The History Press Ireland, he adds ” This is a huge opportunity for Irish publishers. For an Irish publisher to succeed commercially, they must succeed beyond Ireland. This is why the book markets in the UK and Ireland are so closely linked. »

Hachette Ireland’s publishing director, Ciara Doorley, told The Bookseller that this change would reinforce range and diversity » nominations for the award. ” We are delighted with the changes to the guidelines for Man Booker Prize submissions. Independent publishers such as Tramp and Lilliput have been successful in promoting Irish literary fiction, and awards like The Booker provide a huge opportunity for authors, in terms of a platform and audience outside of Ireland, as well as a potential market. huge to irish publishers. »

Via The Bookseller

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Man Booker Prize: unique opportunity for Irish publishers