National Book Awards 2012

The National Book Awards were held yesterday, with the winner of each category now being eligible to win the overall Book of the Year, to be announced in a couple of weeks.

Fifty Shades of Grey won the Popular Fiction award, and there certainly can be no denying the popularity of this book. It has sold millions and only amplifies the changes that are taking place in the publishing industry, reflecting how unknown writers can become overnight sensations, thanks in part to the internet. I’ve said before, however, that I don’t think popularity necessarily means good writing. This seems to be reflected in the fact that Fifty Shades was nominated in the popular fiction category, but its author was not nominated for New Writer of the Year. How many people have heard of the winner of that category, Rachel Joyce, compared to those who have heard of Fifty Shades?

The award ceremony also brings up an interesting point about celebrities turning author (of books other than biographies). Miranda Hart and David Walliams certainly aren’t the first. Can celebrities be authors? Are authors celebrities? E.L. James may now think so. Something to think about…



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