Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Great Carnegie Book Hunt

Last year, when the Carnegie and Greenaway shortlists were announced, we naively thought "ooh, we'll have one of each of the shortlist for the shop, make a nice display". After a quick call to one of the major wholesalers, it dawned on us that we had somewhat missed the boat. 'Ere, Bert, gentleman on line two says he wants some carnegie shortlist titles dear oh dear, you're 'aving' a laugh, etc. It quickly became clear that a) before the shortlist was announced, half the titles were OP in hardback and not yet published in paperback, and b) the ones that weren't available were snapped up by 8.15 the following morning. So this year we were ready. This year, we have launched a Greenaway shadowing group in the shop, and we also had some orders for titles off the Carnegie list to fulfill, so the whole thing was planned like the proverbial military campaign. First, the entire longlist was recced, titles were noted in terms of availability in hardback, paperback, stock amounts for all major wholesalers. Then a number of pre-order baskets were prepared ready for the off. After staying up past midnight (joined by Timothy who wanted to know what all the excitement was about) the moment the shortlist came through on email, the baskets were stripped to their shortlisted essentials and sent off ASAP in the wee small hours. We will discover Saturday morning if our meticulous planning has paid more about the Carnegie shortlist here. Mind you, 3 out of the 7 titles could not be had for love nor money. Elizabeth Laird's Crusade, Tanya Landman's Apache and Meg Rosoff's What I Was are not yet printed in paperback (well, not that we could see) so we have four of the titles coming in (hopefully). It must be a total nightmare for publishers if you have a title on either of the longlists. You can't rush forward the publication date or go for a reprint before the list announcement, just in case it isn't shortlisted. But as soon as it *is* shortlisted, everyone wants a copy. Ho hum...


  1. I've had an email from Tanya Landman's agent letting me know (very politely and in a very nice email it must be said) that Apache is out in paperback, and has only ever been out in paperback. Oops.

    So - for accuracy - Apache is just not currently available, but should be in the first week of May...