I’m thrilled to report that In the Blink of an Eye has been long-listed for The People’s Book Prize 2018 and will use this page to update you on progress when I can.
By the people, for the people
The prize was set up some years ago to counteract the inevitable exclusivity of the big book prizes which rely on ‘expert’ judges and demand huge payments from any publisher who wishes to enter. This is why it is highly unusual for a small press to feature in any of these, regardless of the quality of their books. Unusual but not unheard-of by the way. Galley Beggar Press (Ireland), Sandstone and Saraband (Scotland) have made it recently, but although these are small publishers there are many who are smaller still.
TPBP arose on my horizon a few years ago when fellow writers became involved, and in 2016 when I campaigned for Avril Joy’s Sometimes a River Song (also from Linen Press) which didn’t win the public vote but was given a special prize for literary merit. I’m therefore delighted to be following in Avril’s footsteps and hope her success will lend me wings. Yes, TPBP relies on votes from readers and this is my first day of canvassing!
How does it work?
The prize didn’t run last year while the organisers revamped the website and the voting system – now much clearer with no need for voters (yes, that’s you I hope) to register or log in. You simply pick a book or books – you can vote for up to three in each category of fiction, non-fiction and children’s – and click to vote. There’s an option to leave a comment but it’s not compulsory, or you can leave an anonymous comment. You can see previous comments on the voting page.
Yes, go on, vote while you’re about it – 🙂
‘Heats’ and finals
In fact this is the first ‘summer’ round of voting – there will also be a winter round before the list of finalists is drawn up for the final vote in Spring 2019. Yes, we are in it for the long haul!
Fiction, Non-fiction and Children’s
As I said, there are three categories with three votes allowed in each one (and again in the winter selection). Surprisingly to me, Blink has been put in non-fiction – something I will be pondering elsewhere! – but please take a look at the other contenders, especially Lynn Michell’s The Red Beach Hut, a quietly involving story set in a seaside town where childhood innocence comes under the wrong kind of scrutiny.
Yes, you can vote for this and for In the Blink of an Eye.
I hope you will
Haven’t got round to reading the book?
Voting for the summer round of the People’s Book Prize goes on until October 15th, so you have plenty of time, and to make things easier, Linen Press have reduced the price of the e-book to 0.99 during June. The paperback can also be ordered of course and for anyone still uncertain, I’m posting an extract to give you a flavour of style and substance.
Here are the links you need (in no particular order!)
P.S. A final thanks to everyone who already voted for any book. If this is a real people’s prize, the more the merrier!