The so-called “Scotiabank Giller Prize effect” is already helping e-book numbers for Esi Edugyan’s Half-Blood Blues (Thomas Allen Publishers).
Yesterday, Half-Blood Blues was listed 3,376 on Amazon’s bestsellers list for Kindle e-books. As of noon Wednesday, the book had risen to 360, a significant increase in sales overnight. In the Apple iBookstore, it is the third top-seller, just below the e-book and enhanced e-book versions of Stephen King’s 11/22/63. Patrick deWitt’s The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press) is the only other Giller Prize finalist in the iBookstore’s top 10, at number five.
Giller finalist Michael Ondaatje’s The Cat’s Table (McClelland & Stewart) is the fifth best-selling e-book at Kobo, the only e-commerce site that is prominently merchandising Half-Blood Blues as the Giller winner.
Ondaatje’s book is also the top-seller in the new Canadian Google eBookstore, which launched last week. As part of its roll-out strategy, Google tailored the store for a Canadian audience, dedicating a section on its homepage for the Giller shortlist, however, Half-Blood Blues is conspicuously absent. According to David Glover, Thomas Allen’s marketing manager, the publisher is working with Google, and the title will be available soon.
Prices for the e-books also vary between websites. At the high end, Half-Blood Blues is available in the Apple iBookstore for $20.99. Kobo is carrying the e-book for $15.49, and Amazon, $9.60.
(Photo by Tom Sandler, courtesy of the Writers’ Trust)