Forget Oscar: We want books!

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Some of the books nominated for National Book Critics Circle Awards

Everyone knows that when you win an Academy Award, you get a shiny gold statue plus instant (if fleeting) additional fame and fawning attention. So what happens if you win a big prize in the literary world? If, say, on March 13th, you get the nod from the prestigious National Book Critics Circle, you get to… go to a party!

For authors, making the short list in the six categories (Autobiography, Biography, Criticism, Fiction, Nonfiction, and Poetry) judged by the Book Critics brings street cred (in the publishing world), and an almost-guaranteed boost in book sales.

The week leading up to the Academy Awards is a time when thoughts (for some of us book lovers) drift to March 13th, when that big prize is given. (And unlike the Oscars, anyone can show up at the Book awards.)

We checked in with our favorite publishing expert, Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times, who a  member of this prestigious circle, about the difference between the two awards.