“Truthiness” in marketing

Something these past few weeks made me wonder about the ethics of the book industry, and truthiness in marketing: Can an author (Annabel Lyon) make the claim that her book (The Golden Mean) is the only one nominated for the three major book prizes this fall (the Governor General’s, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize), if another author (Alice Munro) had specifically instructed her publisher to pull her book (Too Much Happiness) out of the running for one of those prizes?

Munro’s TMH was indeed nominated for the first two prizes, but she felt that she would pull out of the Giller race (which she has already won in past years), in order to let younger, less-established authors get a kick at the can. So if one of the best has decided that she would bow out gracefully from a race, can someone else really claim to be the “only” and the best? You have to wonder, if Lyon’s publisher made these claims in newspaper ads in the run-up to awards season, did she know the half-truth behind their words? And did she stop them?

Just a writer wondering out loud.

Advertisements