Friday, 2 July 2010

Hotlist 2010 Starts Here

You might remember all the fuss last year about the independent publishers' alternative book prize. Or that might just be incredibly nerdy. Anyway, what happened was, twenty German independent publishers called each other up and said, Hey, let's have our own book prize! And they all threw one of their books in the hat and readers got to vote online. And of course it was all higgeldy-piggeldy and a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and translations, and all the rest of the independent publishers were terribly offended that they hadn't been invited to the ball, and one of them cast a spell on the princess so that she would prick her finger on her sixteenth birthday.

So this year a good fairy from the trade mag BuchMarkt waved her magic wand and has come up with what appears to be the most complicated selection process in the history of humankind. There are 110 books nominated in ten categories, from translated fiction to political non-fiction, and readers can vote for their favourite at the Hotlist 2010 website up to 10 August. Then seven of those go through to the final round. And then a six-person "international" (i.e. Swiss, Austrian and German) jury proposes another eight titles. And then these judges choose the winner, who gets €5000. Presumably there'll be some kind of gala awards ceremony at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

I've already voted, but I suspect I might have done something wrong. It's slightly too complicated for this weather.

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