Book Beat: Giller Prize Longlist, Ripped Bodice, and French Bookstores vs Amazon

Hello, all! It’s Emily here, taking the Book Beat reins this week to share some of what’s been going on in the book world.

The Scotia Bank Giller Prize Longlist

The Scotia Bank Giller Prize, for those unfamiliar, is one of Canada’s biggest literary prizes. This year marks the award’s 25th anniversary, and the festivities have officially begun with the announcement of the longlist on September 17th in St. John’s, NL.

Giller Prize Longlist Titles

Among the longlisted titles are Joshua Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed, Tanya Tagaq’a Split Tooth, and Patrick deWitt’s French Exit. These and the rest of the twelve longlisted novels were selected from 104 books submitted by publishers across Canada. The jury wrote that this year’s longlist “reflects the landscape of the current Canadian imagination: diverse, bold, edgy, exciting, reflective, aware, angry and joyous.”

The list seems to include diverse writers and multiple genres, and many of the novels have seen some level of buzz already this year. With such talent on display, it’s a shame they can’t all make the shortlist! The shortlist will officially be announced on October 1, 2018, so we have a few more weeks of anxiously waiting for the results. However, feel free to visit the Giller Prize website for the full list of shortlisted titles.

Ripped Bodice Signs First Look Deal


The Ripped Bodice—the only exclusively romance novel bookstore in America, located in Culver City, CA—is once more making news. Co-owners Leah and Bea Koch have signed a first look deal with Sony Pictures Television. The sisters will develop projects based on the relationship with romance authors and writers.Ripped Bodice kickstarter

Sony believes the sisters have “fantastic taste and a distinctive perspective,” and their reps seem excited to see how their unique experiences with the romance genre inform their future work together. Hopefully, this means Sony will appreciate the Koches’ focus on stories by women and diverse creators and start bringing these much-needed perspectives to the small screen.

French Bookstores vs Amazon

With Amazon taking a big chunk of literary revenue, it’s easy to see why independent booksellers would be wary of the company. Recently, booksellers in France have taken issue with the prestigious Prix Renaudot literary prize because the judges selected Marco Koskas’ Bande de Francais for the prize’s longlist.cover of bande de francais

Koskas’ novel is distributed solely by Amazon, which is why French booksellers are not impressed. The Syndicat de la librairie francaise, which represents booksellers in France, says selecting the book threatens the future of their livelihood.

Bookseller Mélanie Le Saux posted on Facebook that selecting an exclusively Amazon distributed book is “throwing the door wide open to the beast,” pointing out that if Koskas’ book wins bookstores will have no way of ordering the book except through their competitor.

Koska, however, believes that if someone is at fault, it’s traditional publishing. They passed on his book in the past, forcing him to publish with Amazon instead.

While there’s a growing acceptance for self-published books and authors, this situation does raise the question of how we can support independent authors (many of whom publish through Amazon) without supporting a monolithic corporation and harming independent bookstores in the process.

Out this week:

Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie Lu

Lethal White (Cormoran Strike #4) by Robert Galbraith

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti

I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan

Book cover for I Know You Know by Gilly Macmillan

Happy Thursday!