After shuffling up its usual nominating process, the National Book Foundation has announced the very first long-list of finalists for the National Book Awards, the Associated Press reports.
The other YA novelists to get a nod are Kathi Appelt, Lisa Graff, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Cynthia Kadohata, Tom McNeal, Meg Rosoff, Anne Ursu, and Gene Luen Yang, whose nominated books can be found next to their names on the NBF website. If those names don't ring a bell, you're probably not alone—as the AP reports, publishers have been rather, err, displeased at the foundation's penchant for lesser-known titles:
Publishers, some of whom sit on the book foundation’s board and contribute thousands of dollars for tables at the ceremony, have worried in recent years that judges—especially fiction judges—have been overlooking such high-profile books as Jonathan Franzen’s “Freedom” in favor of more obscure releases. Anxious for the National Book Awards to match, or least approach, the commercial power of Britain’s Man Booker Prize, the board added long-lists and expanded the pool of judges
The new nominating process is meant to spur "increased attention and sales." Few, though, are likely to dispute the honorary awards that will be handed to Maya Angelou and E.L. Doctorow, as we reported earlier this month. Poetry, nonfiction, and fiction nominees are coming later this week.