Bestseller Stat Shot: Prize Bumps

It’s pretty much expected that after an author wins a big prize, his or her sales will be given a commensurate boost. Granted, this doesn’t always happen, but it certainly did last week for Alice Munro after she was named winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. That news was soon followed by another big book prize—the Man Booker, which went to 28-year-old New Zealander Eleanor Catton for The Luminaries. Catton had the good luck to have her book publish the week of the Booker announcement, so we’ll never know the before-after story there. But here are some recent Nobel, Booker, and National Book Award winners, along with sales for each title the week before and after its respective prize.

Dear Life Alice Munro Nobel, 2013 989 6,330
The Round House Louise Erdrich NBA (fic), 2012 2,022 4,915
Behind the Beautiful Flowers Katherine Boo NBA (nonfic), 2012 377 1,207
Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel Booker, 2012 493 2,141
Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out Mo Yan Nobel, 2012 2 127

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