Mid-day Update

Mid-day Extra: How book awards translate to dollars

Jeremy Hobson Nov 17, 2011

So the National Book Award winners were announced in New York last night.

Since the 1950s, the National Book Foundation has honored authors for their work each year. This year, the prize was given out in four categories, and the winners are…

Fiction: Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones

Nonfiction: Stephen Greenblattrd, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern

Poetry: Nikky Finney, Head Off & Split

Young People’s Literature: Thanhha Lai, Inside Out & Back Again

Last night’s winners might still be feeling the glow from their win, but do winning awards like this really pay off? In today’s Mid-day Extra, we ask: does winning awards help an author’s career?

For answers, we went to Harold Augenbraum, who is the executive director of the National Book Foundation.

He says that although sales probably don’t hurt an author, some of them interpret the bump they get after getting the award as a positive thing because their audience — not their wallet — grew. Of course, the prestige of an award doesn’t hurt…

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