The winner of VI RBA Award de Novela Negra was announced yesterday. The communication confirmed what was already known. It’s not the first time that happens. Last year’s prize arrived with a similar controversy.
A Spanish journalist, writer and a partner at Roca publishing, José Sanclemente, reported on his blog (HERE) that RBA, managed to obtain Michael Connelly’s rights in Spanish thanks to a significant offer with prize included.
We can recall what happened last year. In 2011 the award went to Patricia Cornwell. Ediciones B lost Cornwell’s rights in Spanish thanks to a higher bid from RBA. The 125,000 euros of the prize were part of the deal.
In the previous years the award was a loyalty bonus for house authors (Harlan Coben and Phillip Kerr) and an approach to an author (Andrea Camilleri) who continued to use other publishers (Salamandra, Destino and Edicions 62).
This has been a common practice in literary prizes granted by publishing houses in Spain. It’s just business as usual.
Having said that, the quality of Michael Connelly’s books is unquestionable in my view and I’m very much looking forward to reading The Black Box.
I think it’s good to know all these details. It’s also good to comment about them and take our own decisions with as much information as we can gather. And this controversy is also good for RBA. No doubt, they’ll improve their sales.
PS. I forgot to add, and it’s fair to recognise that, at present, RBA has the best selection of crime fiction books and authors in (Castilian) Spanish.