Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Odd Reign Will Soon Come to an End

The new nominees for the Diagram Prize for Oddest Book Title of the Year were announced last Friday. My book The Stray Shopping Carts of Eastern North America: A Guide to Field Identification won last year. Winning the prize turned out to be a good thing in terms of a certain kind of publicity. There was an AP story that was picked up by hundreds of papers and websites which included my strayshoppingcart.com address. I ended up having 13,000 unique visitors over a three day period in April. I was interviewed on the BBC World Service (the hosts could hardly have been more dismissive of the idea that someone might buy my book, although they might have been right, the book sales bump from my win was pretty small) and three different radio stations in Australia. I was also an answer on the somewhat irritating public radio show Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me. There were a couple of good articles (The Independent UK) but most were pretty silly. The long term benefit seems to be increased traffic to my website.

Here are this year's nominees:
  • 'I Was Tortured by the Pygmy Love Queen' by Jasper McCutcheon
  • 'How to Write a How to Write Book' by Brian Paddock
  • 'Are Women Human? And Other International Dialogues' by Catharine A. MacKinnon
  • 'Cheese Problems Solved" by P.L.H McSweeney
  • 'If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start With Your Legs' by Big Boom;
  • 'People who Mattered in Southend and Beyond: From King Canute to Doctor Feelgood' by Dee Gordon.

The problem with this contest is that there is no effort to differentiate between titles that are intentionally odd/funny and those that are unintentionally odd/funny.

No comments: