Sunday, January 23, 2011

2010 Discover Awards finalists announced

Hey, big congratulations to the six authors shortlisted for the 2010 Discover Awards from Barnes & Noble:

I was just in signing books at the Union Square store this week, and picked up the flyer, to discover this year's picks have been announced.

And I was giddy to see two of my favorites on the nonfiction list, David Dow for The Autobiography of an Execution, and Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

Autobiography was the first book I ever blurbed, which should tell you how much I liked it. I hope this award helps it get some much-deserved attention during its paperback launch next month.

And I have marveled all year at both Rebecca's work and her talent for reaching the public with it. I can't tell you how much she's taught me, and she's been very supportive personally.

Very well deserved, both of you. I don't know the other four books, but I know how hard it is to reach this list, so I'm sure they are all quite good.

The nice thing about this award is that all three finalists in each category get recognized at the awards lunch and go home with a check. So no one feels like a loser.

(Although it was extra-nice to win. Haha. This was my first award for Columbine, and it really made me feel good about all the work I'd put into it.)

The whole day, and the whole brief trip to NYC (I hadn't moved here yet) had me delirious. It was great spending time with the two others nominated in my category to hear their stories, and long journey to get there. It made me feel good about being a writer.

Enjoy it.

It's also a very powerful award for helping a book reach new readers, which is such a freaking challenge today. A week before the ceremony, they ship a big sealed package to every B&N store in the country. Minutes after the winners are announced in NYC, every store opens the package with big posters of the winning books and author photos. They set up a 6-foot high stand-up display in the front of every store displaying the posters and a rack of each book on either side.

Those displays stay up 2-3 weeks, and then the two winning books stay in the Discover Great New Writers bay all year, and the book remains 20% off in all B&N stores for the year.

That has really helped readers discover Columbine. It's still there, but I'll be honored hand my spot over to one of these deserving books very soon.

I can't find a link to this years list, so it's probably not up yet. To read more about it, last year's group, and info about the award is here. Winners will be announced March 2.

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