The Most Underrated Book Award 2012
A short post! I have just read on the SPUNC site that Kobo is sponsoring an award to highlight books that were released by independent publishers and members of the Small Press Network (SPUNC) and that did not receive wide recognition.
The shortlist for the inaugural award was announced this week, and the titles are:
- The Dark Wet by Jess Huon (Giramondo).
- I Hate Martin Amis et al. by Peter Barry (Transit Lounge), see ANZLitLovers (Lisa’s) review.
- Two Steps Forward by Irma Gold* (Affirm Press), see my review.
- The Cook by Wayne Macauley (Text), see ANZLitLovers (Lisa’s) review.
The award apparently recognises both the publisher and author. The winner will be announced, the SPUNC announcement says, on 8 November at the opening of the Independent Publishing Conference during a special gala night and literary debate at the Wheeler Centre.
Good on Kobo I say. Books published by smaller presses are often overlooked in the major literary awards partly, I presume, because the authors usually aren’t well enough established to be noticed and partly because small publishers don’t have the marketing clout and distribution networks to get their books out to enough readers and reviewers. I hope this new award will help raise the profile of the authors and their hardworking publishers.
* I have a soft spot for Irma Gold, and not just because I’ve read and enjoyed her book. She lives in my city, and is currently coordinating the production of, and editing, The invisible thread, an anthology of works “by writers who have an association with the Canberra region”. The book represents a major literary contribution to Canberra’s 2013 Centenary Celebrations, and is planned to be the focus of many literary events over the coming year. Watch this space!