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What a Novel Idea: Giving Away the Man Booker Shortlist Titles...

branding.gifThe Man Booker Prize organization is in negotiations with publishers to make the six shortlisted titles available on the internet for FREE. Jonathan Taylor, chairman of The Booker Prize Foundation, said that the details need to be hammered out but the intent is to digitize each book and make them available for anyone in the world to download and to read.

  • Nicola Barker (Darkmans)
  • Anne Enright (The Gathering) – Winner
  • Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist)
  • Lloyd Jones (Mister Pip)
  • Ian McEwan (On Chesil Beach)
  • Indra Sinha (Animal's People)

The publisher of Anne Enright’s winning novel would prefer a partial reproduction rather than full, but from the sounds of the article, the Booker Foundation is pretty confident in its deal making ability. It makes sense because the article suggests that the free content might seed paid content, much as Cory Doctorow, a science fiction author argues.

Nielson Bookscan numbers of Anne Enright’s novel show that only “3,306 copies have been sold in hardback, with a further 381 in paperback. Enright's publisher said that the actual figure was 35,000, including sales in Europe.”



Sadly, it appears that the Times was incorrect. According to PublishersLunch:

Times Story on Electronic Bookers Was Wrong
The Times story suggesting that all of the books shortlisted for the Booker Prize might be offered online for free (after the prize has been awarded) smelled suspicious. A spokesperson for the British Council says their negotiations are actually focused on creating “an online collection of contemporary British literature including the Man Booker Prize winners in the form of e-books, which can be purchased.” A test program is under discussion for 2008, and the Bookseller says it’s “aimed at audiences in India, China and Africa.”

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

One Comment

  1. Janet
    Oct 19, 2007 @ 13:03:28

    The Booker Prize is one of the few literary prizes I actually pay attention to. Great news!

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