November 12th, 2012 / 11:58 am
Behind the Scenes & Snippets


  1. Nick Antosca

      Except this isn’t news. I moved out of New York almost three years ago and they were already doing it this way then. I lived like 100 feet away from Cipriani, the big, unpleasant event space (trucks always clanging up and down the street in the middle of the night to their supply entrance, etc) where they held it. They were doing red carpet and stuff back then too. Don’t know why this article is appearing now.

  2. Roxane

      Hahaha, what Nick said! They even streamed the awards online last year, which, like a nerd, I watched. The New York Times, ON IT as always.

  3. Peter Fontaine

      Maybe because now they finally have the big name recognition that warrants acknowledgment of these practices?

  4. Michael Fischer

      Will People magazine cover the event? E Hollywood? Maybe a network can create a reality TV show around the ceremony? Maybe someone will blog about who is the best and worst dressed? Please. Literature doesn’t need to be “sexier” when popular culture’s definition of sexy is so lifeless and dull. Fight for books that bring it on the page and leave the celeb crap to television and Hollywood. Stupid. And yeah, I know the ceremony has been heading in this direction the last few years, but there are some disturbing quotes in that piece.

  5. deadgod

      The changes since 2004 aren’t reported in the article as ‘news’: “Then three years ago the foundation moved the dinner to Cipriani.”, the after-party, the tv announcements of nominees – all known already.

      What’s being reported–to those who care–is that the changes are still happening: now that (some people’s idea of) glamor has been, eh, enabled in the climate of these prizes, a media program is being accelerated to stimulate attention… bah: envy in the community these prizes might celebrate.

      –media strategery in imitation of the successful mini-hysteria that’s evolved in Britain, Ireland, and the Commonwealth around the Booker Prize’s long- and short-list announcements. (Skeptical? Look at the many Guardian Culture blogicles on the Booker books and rivalries and so on every year–that’s a taste of what they’re trying to generate. The sales increases following even a long-list mention might sound silly – unless it’s for your book.)

      Them generously cutting the “reading demands” they’ll make on judges is pretty comical.

  6. Tom Beshear

      Yeah, I expect so. This is about a thoroughly vanilla fiction finalists list of (relatively) big names plus a couple of heavily hyped newcomers. I’ve read them all. “The Yellow Birds” is as good as you may have heard.

  7. Tim Jones-Yelvington

      The ONLY reason I have any interest in award nominations is so I can decide what to wear to the dinner.

  8. deadgod

      It was in the early 1980s that the award of the Booker Prize for Fiction became a serious stimulus to book sales. [. . . ]

      Where Nielsen [Bookscan] offers hard data [since 2001:] DBC Pierre’s novel Vernon God Little (2003) sold just over 5,000 copies before the prize, and 360,000 after. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga (2008) sold 5,700 before, and 550,000 after. […] Julian Barnes’s novel(, last year’s winner, The Sense of an Ending) sold 2,500 copies in the week before the award and 14,500 in the following week.

      All the above had already gained by being on the shortlist(, analogously to) sales before and after the announcement of this year’s shortlist. Tan Twan Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists had sold 174; now it is close to 5,000. Alison Moore’s novel The Lighthouse has sold almost 6,000 copies, up from a pre-shortlist 300.

      The highest-selling book in Booker history is Life of Pi by Yann Martel: over 1,300,000. We intend no disrespect in saying that we cannot recall ever having heard anyone talk about it.

      –NB (by J. C.), TLS October 19, 2012

      After you’re done chuckling at J. C.’s snark, look again at those sales figures.