The Hurricane Passes and the (Literary) Stars Come Out
Hurricane Sandy whipped through the Northeast this week, leaving us speechless. We send our best wishes for quick recovery to those coping with storm damage, and are glad to be back to the business of publishing.
As we close out October and decide whether or not to allow our children to trick-or-treat tonight, we head into a busy November packed with publishing events. For starters, two award ceremonies are coming up soon. First, on November 5th, are the Pearl Awards, given by the Custom Content Council to providers of custom content in the areas of design, editorial and strategic initiatives in print and digital. There will be winners in 42 categories chosen from a record 628 submissions including magazines, newsletters, websites, blogs, Apps and videos.
On November 14th, the National Book Foundation will present the National Book Awards, always a closely-watched event in the book industry.
I spoke recently with Jim McCoy, Director of the University of Iowa Press, which received a nomination in the Poetry Category for “Meme” by Susan Wheeler. I asked McCoy whether prize nominations are measurably good for business. He replied:
“The National Book Award is one of the few book awards that will consistently sell books. I think we’ve sold a 1000 copies of Susan’s book since finalists were announced, which for a poetry book is quite good. I will admit for us that because we are so tight on margins and business expenses we have to judiciously pick and choose our spots when we can enter an award. We felt Susan’s book in particular was an excellent candidate because of the work and her reputation, and that really paid off. The currency within a university campus is not money—it’s prestige and respect. The University of Iowa bills itself as the writing university, so for that reason winning a National Book Award has enormous prestige for us to show that we’re doing good work and it’s demonstrable. We know we’re doing good work, but to see it from the outside is important.”
We at Publishing Business Today congratulate all the nominees and wish them the best!