Mystery Writers of America announced the winners of the 2020 Edgar Awards. Winners include:
The Stranger Diaries, by Elly Griffiths (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
Best First Novel By An American Author
Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim (Sarah Crichton Books/FSG)
Best Paperback Original
The Hotel Neversink, by Adam O’Fallon Price (Tin House Books)
Best Fact Crime
The Less People Know About Us, by Axton Betz-Hamilton (Grand Central)
Best Critical Biographical
Hitchcock and the Censors, by John Billheimer (University Press of Kentucky)
Separately, the Publishing Triangle Awards, honoring LGBTQ fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and trans literature were also presented. Ocean Vuong’s On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin Press) won the Ferro-Grumley Award for LGBTQ Fiction. The Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction went to Shut Up You’re Pretty, by Téa Mutonji (Arsenal Pulp Press). A full list of winners is posted here.
The UK lifted the value-added tax (VAT) on ebooks, magazines and newspapers seven months earlier than planned. The end to the so-called “reading tax” could reduce the price of a £12 e-book by £2, according to finance minister Chancellor Rishi Sunak. “We want to make it as easy as possible for people across the UK to get hold of the books they want whilst they are staying at home and saving lives,” he said. While book publishers had lobbied hard for that tax relief, at this point it primarily strengthens the dominant ebookseller, Amazon, at the expense of print book sales and booksellers.
Speaking of Amazon, the media has gotten a little carried away in depicting how the etailer’s sales “soared” during the first quarter on pandemic-driven demand. At the end of January, the company forecast first quarter sales of “between $69 billion and $73 billion,” and yesterday they reported sales of $75.5 billion, growing only slightly more than predicted before the pandemic was an issue.