In England, the Booker Prize Names Its 2023 Jurors

In News by Porter Anderson

Translation rights for the Booker’s 2022 winner reportedly have sold into 24 languages since ‘The Seven Moons of Maali Alemeida’ won.

Jurors in the 2023 Booker Prize for Fiction competition are, on the upper row from left, Adjoa Andoh (image: Suki Dhanda); Esi Edugyan (image: Tamara Poppitt); and James Shapiro (image: Mary Cregan). On the lower row from left are Mary Jean Chan (image: Forward Prizes for Poetry, Adrian Pope) and Robert Webb (image: Matt Crockett)

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

A Longlist Is Expected in July
This morning in London (December 13), the Booker Prize Foundation has named its 2023 jury for the Booker Prize for Fiction, and with it has come the program’s description of the effect on the fortunes of the 2022 winning book.

As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, the Sri Lankan-born Shehan Karunatilaka the Booker on October 17 for his The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida, published by the independent house Sort of Books. Since the October win, the foundation reports today, Sort of Books has reprinted 70,000 hardback copies, 30,000 trade paperbacks for export and airports, and 30,000 copies for the Australian market. There also have been 70,000 reprints in the United States and the same number in India.

Translation rights have been sold by David Godwin Associates and the Peters Fraser and Dunlop agency in 26 languages—24 of those since the Booker Prize win—with an audiobook released by Bolinda Audio. The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida is scheduled to be released in paperback in March 2023.

In the United Kingdom, the foundation reports, the hardback went to No. 3 in the Sunday Times’ bestseller list and No. 3 in the English-market Amazon Charts after the prize announcement, and has remained in the Sunday Times’ Top 20 hardback fiction charts since. It was chosen as a book of the year by the Guardian, Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Times, and. In the States, it was selected a New York Times notable book.

Many in the industry will welcome further input from the Booker Prize Foundation on how sales have been impacted. These insights, as we’ve written, are not regularly provided by other book-award regimes. The Booker is an outlier in this regard. The book business—while generally accepting the idea that the “golden seal” on a book cover is good for sales in a store—has, or shares, surprisingly little data about the sales impact of the trade’s numerous prizes.

The Booker Prize for Fiction 2023 Jury

As announced today, here are the jurors for the 2012 Booker Prize for Fiction. Links go to more information at the Booker site.

In a prepared statement today, the foundation’s director Gaby Wood is quoted, saying, “I’m hugely looking forward to working with this lively and lovely panel of readers.

  • Novelist Esi Edugyan (chair), twice-shortlisted for the Booker Prize
  • Adjoa Andoh, actor, writer and director
  • Mary Jean Chan, poet, lecturer and critic
  • James Shapiro, author and professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University, a specialist in Shakespeare
  • Robert Webb, actor and writer

The schedule for the Booker’s program calls for 12 or 13 longlisted books to be named by the jury in July. The shortlist of six then follows in September, and the winner is announced in October. Publishers will be making their submissions between January 30 and June 5.

In 2023, the Booker Prize for Fiction will again carry a purse of £50,000 (US$62,146) for the winner and £2,500 for each of the six shortlisted authors (US$3,104).

The Booker Prize for Fiction, the foundation’s flagship award, is not to be confused with the International Booker Prize, which awards authors and translators equally for their work in a separate competition.

This is Publishing Perspectives’ 210th awards-related report in the 224 publication days since our 2022 operations began on January 3.

See also, on rights:
Rights Roundup: Honoring Tough Deals in the Holiday Season
Rights Edition: Italian Publishers Host an Airy Rights Center in Rome
Rights Edition: Rights at Guadalajara: Spanish-Language Publishers Eye the US Market
Italy as Guest of Honor at Frankfurt: Balancing the Rights

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Booker Prize for Fiction is here. More on the International Booker Prize is here, more from Publishing Perspectives on both Booker Prize programs is here, and more from us on the international industry’s book and publishing awards programs overall is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.