From the get-go, reviews for Canadian music journalist Sean Michaels’ debut novel Us Conductors have been spectacular. And much like the way his protagonist Lev Turmen steams away in the 1930s from New York City to Russia, it’s been full-steam-ahead for Michaels to last night’s anointment as 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize winner.
This year, for the first time, the prize money was doubled from $50,000 to $100,000. Michaels told Publisher’s Weekly he will use the money to “live the fiction writer’s life” for a while. He will also be buoyed in that regard by another immediate benefit:
A win typically results in a spike in book sales that has been nicknamed “the Giller effect.” In recent years, the sales increase has averaged more than 500%.
Penguin Random House Canada president and CEO Brad Martin said that the company was ordering a new print run of 50,000 hardcover copies. Us Conductors was originally published as a trade paperback, but Martin said a hardcover format could be done sooner.
Back in 2003, Michaels started one of the Web’s very first music blogs, Said the Gramonophone. He currently runs that, in Montreal, with a couple of Toronto-based partners: actor-writer Dan Beirne and Toronto Star opinion writer Jordan Himelfarb.
[Photo via: byseanmichaels.com]