As I take a break from reading through all the feedback on last week's controversial, let's-put-a-fatwa-on-Agatho's-head post, I thought I'd share a fabulous infographic I recently came across.
The online magazine Delayed Gratification (not a title likely to appeal to the self-published) created a plot-line summary of the books shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize. Here it is, created by the very talented Johanna Kamradt:
You can find the original at http://www.dgquarterly.com/plot-lines. That site will allow you to enlarge the graphic so that you can see it in all its glory.
A few notable elements in this graphic:
1-All 13 of the nominees feature death (usually the death of a main character). Hmm, what does this say about series characters and their likelihood of winning Man Booker Prizes?
2-Note that other mystery/crime fiction tropes play a strong role here: corruption and death, betrayal, and even a mysterious letter (I guess these never go out of fashion). However, I haven't had any manuscripts featuring cannibalism, totalitarian Bucharest, or homicidal cowboy brothers recently.
3-This says something about me, something about the industry, or something about the Man Booker nomination committee: I have heard of only 3 of the shortlisted books, and have read none of them. I'd love to see sales data for these titles...
Someone should do a graphic like this for Edgar nominees - or, better yet, for Edgar winners. That would be fun.
Next week, responses to the many, many comments on last week's post about the challenges this industry faces.