PubFight: Hopes and Dreams

PubFight. This is serious business around these parts.

Like the intern before me, I had heard of PubFight from my days in Ryerson and my first days here at BookNet. But to hear about a fight club and to actually join a fight club are two entirely different games.

Luckily, I’ve inherited a list from Meghan MacDonald and initial impressions are good. Right off the bat, author names jumped out at me: Conrad Black, Diane Keaton, Adrienne Clarkson. These aren’t the names one would normally associate with writing, but pair the names with some interesting content and we might have something good—or at least something that sells!

Titles that I’m personally excited about are The Little Shadows by Marina Endicott and The Stranger’s Child by Alan Hollinghurst. Both look like they have engrossing stories and rich, complex characters. Reviewers have only good things to say about both books and quite frankly, I’m itching to get my hands on a copy. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until September 27 and October 11, respectively, to dig our teeth in. But when the time comes, I’m eager to see how my numbers will begin to turn… Considering Endicott has been nominated for a Giller (2008) and Hollinghurst has won a Booker (2004), it feels good to have these authors in my roster.

But recently, the shortlist for this year’s Booker was released and it does not include The Stranger’s Child. The Guardian has archived articles on the issue hinting that Hollinghurst’s latest work may be too “tweedy” for this year’s Booker. There’s a fair bit of back-and-forth on the issue on the discussion panel below the article, but unfortunately hashing out the reasons aren’t going to change anything now. My hope is that the omission in itself will help Hollinghurst’s chances (and mine!) at gaining readership. Any press is good press, right? People will want to know why he wasn’t shortlisted and why people think he should’ve been. And when they throw themselves to the booksellers, I’ll be cackling happily at my intern’s desk here!

As for The Little Shadows, which has been longlisted for this year’s Giller, we’ll have to wait until next week for the shortlist announcement. Endicott has a respected reputation in the publishing world and with her readers, so I can only expect some decent sales when it’s released later this month.

Maybe I’m naïve, but I’m hoping these two titles in conjunction with my celebrity authors will help carry me to the top of the pecking order!

But for now, I can only wait.