Literary Awards: Scotiabank Giller Prize

It's here! You've been holding your breath in anticipation for weeks, perusing the longlist, and wondering who might make the final cut. Today marks the announcement of the Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. Congratulations to the publishers and authors:

Rachel Cusk
HarperCollins Canada
Minds of Winter
Ed O’Loughlin
House of Anansi Press
Bellevue Square
Michael Redhill
Doubleday Canada
Son of a Trickster
Eden Robinson
Knopf Canada
I Am a Truck
Michelle Winters
Invisible Publishing

You can see all the books in this BNC CataList catalogue

The Giller Effect, as it has come to be known, is an actual phenomenon. A couple of juicy Giller stats from 2016: 

  • The average increase in units sold for shortlisted titles is 426%. Undeniably, just being nominated has an immediate impact on sales. 
  • In 2016, the winning title experienced a sales increase of 359% after the winner announcement. After winning, Madeleine Thien's Do No Say We Have Nothing continued to see solid sales during the holiday season and peaked the week before Christmas, suggesting that the Giller Prize positively influences consumer behaviour for the winning title throughout the holiday season.  
  • Looking at the last six years, Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues sold the most copies during the 18-week period that covered the four weeks before the shortlist announcement to the week after Christmas. 
  • The top three Giller winners of the past six years in terms of units sold are Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues, André Alexis' Fifteen Dogs, and Madeleine Thien's Do Not Say We Have Nothing. Format may have less influence on sales than previously suspected; while many of the winning titles are available in paperback, we also find that of the three top-selling titles, one was in hardcover (Do Not Say We Have Nothing) and the other two were in paperback. 

In the graph below, we compare the winners from the past six years. We have also included a trend line that shows the sales of the Fiction category as a whole (not to scale) so you can see where sales increases for the Giller titles are likely due to the Giller Effect, rather than fluctuations in the market. (Click to enlarge.)

The winning books from the last three years are:

2016 2015 2014
Do Not Say We Have Nothing
Madeleine Thien
Vintage Canada
Fifteen Dogs
André Alexis
Coach House Books
Us Conductors
Sean Michaels
Vintage Canada

Now is the time that we at BookNet Canada set up our betting post and pick our favourites. (Not that we endorse that sort of thing.) Make your pick and be ready for the announcement on Nov. 20, 2017