Last month in “Don’t Invitems” I remarked the bitter tone of the Canadian Booksellers Association’s account of the Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees in CBA News – all because the Giller is giving away an Amazon Kindle as part of the booty.
Whether the CBA’s wrathful attitude had any effect on Amazon.com’s sales I can’t say. The Prize announcement itself definitely boosted the authors’ sales:
According to BookNet Canada’s BNC SalesData, the 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists saw a lift in sales of 191% in the week of the shortlist announcement compared to the previous week.
The winner of this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced tonight (November 9).
Meanwhile, the “Don’t invitems” list of Amazon adversaries has grown. A Guardian report hints there might be a scene if Melville House and Amazon meet at a party.
Amazon has contributed $25,000 to the Best Translated Book award for BTB promotion and to allow, for the first time, cash prizes for the winning authors and translators. This offended Melville House co-founder Dennis Loy Johnson who wrote online that he was “withdrawing from any future involvement with the Best Translated Book award” in protest at Amazon.com’s involvement:
Johnson called the online retailer “predatory” and “thuggish”, and said that for the many Melville House staff who had previously worked in independent bookshops – which find it difficult to compete with Amazon’s steep discounts – taking money from Amazon “is akin to the medical researchers who take money from cigarette companies.”
Johnson’s decision to shun the Best Translated Book award in the future cannot have been an easy one — his company published the most recent winner of the BTB award for fiction, The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu.