In advance of the announcement of the winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017 tomorrow, please find below statements from the Alliance of Independent Authors and Type & Tell, a leading self-publishing company. The viewpoint explains why the continued exclusion of independently published works, which account for an ever-increasing share of the market, perpetuates the literary snobbery prevalent in the traditional publishing.
Orna Ross, Founder, Alliance of Independent Authors:
“As so many authors are now producing work of creative and commercial merit, a prize that fails to include author-published work is deficient: unrepresentative in a way that seems incompatible with the prize sponsors’ commitment to diversity and inclusion. We strongly urge the Man Booker Prize to find ways to include self-publishing writers in their program.
We recognise that there are challenges in doing so and The Alliance of Independent Authors has issued a guide to help those organisations that are sincere in ensuring that the best books, regardless of the means of production, are brought before their judges and committees.
The Alliance of Independent Authors runs an ongoing campaign, Opening To Indie Authors, which advocates for the opening of all book prizes to self publishing authors.”
Jon Watt, UK Manager, Type & Tell:
“The Man Booker Prize used to be for Commonwealth and Eire authors only, but three years ago it was opened up to global English language works published in the UK, so why not go a step further and open it up to all authors – including those currently excluded for being independently published?”
“By keeping the door closed to self-published authors, the Man Booker organisers are implying that only books published through traditional channels can be considered ‘literary’ or ‘worthy’ – in effect suggesting that the quality of an author’s output can be determined by the vehicle they used for making it available to the public.”
“The Man Booker Prize is a wonderful and prestigious competition but, by refusing to embrace changes in the industry and truly open up to all works in the English language, it risks being left on the wrong side of progress.”