Planeta Prize increases prize money to €1m, overtaking Nobel Prize

The award reaches record number of entries with 654 novels submitted

2 min
The preview of the Planeta Award 2021 was held this Thursday

BarcelonaThe book sector had a very good year in 2020, seeing its turnover exceed that of 2019. One of the first effects of this growth will be reflected in the next Planeta Prize, which this year celebrates its 70th edition and will be awarded this Friday. The award will increase its endowment to €1m (until now it was at €600,000), above the Nobel Prize for Literature, which hands out €950,000. Thus, the Planeta Prize becomes the best-endowed literature prize in the world. With this increase, Planeta wants to "recognise the effort and talent of authors" and contribute to the dissemination of reading. "We believe that a society that reads is a better society", said the president of Grupo Planeta, José Crehueras, who added that he does not want to "enter into a competition with other prizes" in terms of the prize money. The rules of this year's edition set the prize at €600,000, but Crehueras believes that "the winner will not complain if we increase the prize to €1m".

Last year, sales of physical books were 2% below 2019, but the e-book grew by 50%, meaning an overall increase in sales. "The increase in turnover was linked to an increase in reading. In Spain 50 out of every 100 Spaniards are regular readers, that is, they read at least once a week. And a further 18.8% say that they read books sporadically," explained the CEO of Planeta's publishing division, Jesús Badenes. "We want to reach parameters of 80%, we still have a long way to go. But we are closer than we were a decade ago," Badenes added.

In 2021, the book sector has had "an exemplary and, to a certain extent, unforeseen behaviour", Badenes added, who predicts this year's growth will be at around 15%, with the highest turnover in history. "The physical book will reach the peak of 2013, and now we will have to add e-books and the audiobooks," he said.