So apparently it’s possible to be Freshly Pressed twice… Just over a year after my post about eBooks was Freshly Pressed, my post about the forthcoming changes to the Man Booker Prize criteria received the honour yesterday.
For those who are interested, the official announcement by the Man Booker Prize committee was released on Wednesday and can be found here. The trustees emphasise that extensive consultations began in 2011 and that the decision to change the eligibility rules hasn’t been taken lightly. Setting up a separate prize was deemed to be inappropriate and global expansion of the existing prize was thus seen as the way to “enhance its prestige and reputation”.
As well as expanding the eligibility criteria, the rules regarding the number of submissions are also changing. Publishers will now only be allowed to submit one book each instead of two. However, those which have had books longlisted over the previous five years will be able to submit extra books. For example, those who have had one book longlisted will be able to submit one extra book and those who have had five or more books longlisted will be able to submit three extra books (full details can be found in the press release).
As I mentioned in my original post, the number of books that the judges have to read can’t really be increased so I can see why the decision has been made to allow publishers to submit just one book rather than two as before. In theory, this should increase the number of smaller publishers being able to submit a book. However, I think it is a tiny bit unfair that the perceived worthiness or unworthiness of other novels in recent years could potentially affect the chances of books from smaller publishers being considered in future years, especially if the bigger ones start to dominate. What do you think about this?
Thanks for reading and commenting on the post. I am now going to lie down for a while and recover from my second Freshly Pressed hangover.