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Win an award. Sell some books?

We all know that Gillers and Governor General’s Awards are boons for book sales in Canada. A book gets shortlisted, and its sales go up. A book wins, and its sales go up even further. But just how many sales are generated by awards is a somewhat murkier matter that depends on the book and award in question. Vit Wagner of the Toronto Star assembles the opinions of Canadian publishing execs and the sales data of notable cases to come up with a ranking system for awards according to sales power.

Wagner contends that the single-award media bash that is the Scotiabank Giller sells more books than the 14-piece, French- and English-language, non-televised Governor General’s Awards, and that the Man Booker, in most years, will trump them both. Questions still remain, however. Just how much of an effect do awards have on sales of books by internationally acclaimed authors like Alice Munro or already-hyped books like A Complicated Kindness? One thing is almost certain: in a year when both Scotiabank Giller and GG shortlists are void of Urquharts and Atwoods and full of names unknown to the general public, the winners of the prizes are almost sure to win big.

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Click here for the full story from the Toronto Star