DO BOOK PRIZES REALLY CHANGE AUTHOR’S LIVES?

Amid the galas, the wagers, and the lists both short and long, some sceptics ask if book prizes really matter. Do they actually move the needle in book sales? Answer: You Betcha. Just ask Richard Flanagan.

Flanagan is the Australian author of “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” which recently won the Man Booker Prize. The book sold more than 10,000 print copies in England the week following the prize.

Flanigan was so broke after finishing the book, he was contemplating going to work in Australia’s mines. “The Narrow Road to the Deep North,” about WWII prisoners of war being forced to build the Thai-Burma “death railway,” hadn’t been flying off shelves…but then it got the legendary “Booker
Bounce.”

The success made a phenomenal difference in Flanagan’s sales. Add that to the Man Booker’s cash prize, about $80,000, and Flanagan has been saved from the mines. “I’m not a wealthy man,” he said at the awards ceremony. “In essence, this means I can continue to write.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

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