Record number of submissions for the 2009 odd title prize

The Bookseller's annual Diagram Prize for the Oddest Book Title of the Year award has drawn a record number of submissions, prompting custodian and publishing bon viveur Horace Bent to create a "Very Longlist" for the very first time.

Bent, who blamed social networking site Twitter for the rise in suggestions, received a total of 90 submissions—almost three times as many a last year (32).

Although Bent received a record number of submissions, he expressed frustration at the reciprocal rise in the number of ineligible submissions. He told The Bookseller: "The adage that everyone has a book in them may well be true, but that doesn't mean every Tom, Dick and Harry out there can bash a few words out on a keyboard and then upload it to Scribd with a humorous title like: The Historic Adventures of the Purple Waffle Iron on His Horse Made of Asparagus, and then think they have a chance at winning my prestigious award. I refuse to ackowledge such submissions".

Among those he has rejected from appearing on the "Very Longlist" include: The Sacrosanct Foreskin of Christ in the Cult and Theology of the Papish Church of Berlin (1907) for being too old, and The Religious Psycho Killer’s Shit List — cut for falling foul of Bent's “properly published” criteria.

Bent has now whittled the competing titles down to a "Very Longlist" of 49 titles, with The Origin of Faeces, Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich and The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin just three of the titles vying for the most coveted award in the publishing industry.

Mickey Mouse, Hitler and Nazi Germany, Is the Rectum a Grave? and Peek-a-poo: What’s in Your Diaper? also stand a chance of making the shortlist.

A panel of judges, with Bent as chair, will announce the shortlist on 19th February, at which point the public will be invited to vote on their favourite. The title with the most votes by the closing date (21st March) will be crowned the winner—to be officially revealed on Friday 26th March.

The "Very Longlist" in full:

100 Girls on Cheap Paper
A Tortilla is Like Life
Advances in Potato Chemistry and Technology
Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter
An Intellectual History of Cannibalism
Bacon: A Love Story
Baptist Autographs in the John Rylands University Library of Manchester 1741-1845
Bondage for Beginners
Briefs for the Reading Room
Budgeting for Infertility
Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich
Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes
Curbside Consultation in Cornea and External Disease
Cute Yummy Time
Dental Management of Sleep Disorders
Father Christmas Needs a Wee
Fluffy Little Kitten in Fluffy's Brother
Food Digestion and Thermal Preference of Toad
Governing Lethal Behavior in Autonomous Robots
How YOU Are Like Shampoo: For Job Seekers
I Stopped Sucking My Thumb…Why Can't You Stop Drinking?
I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears
Is the Rectum a Grave?
Jokes by the Not So Famous Redneck
Map-based Comparative Genomics in Legumes
Mickey Mouse, Hitler and Nazi Germany
My Hare Line Meets the Brown Rabbit
Obama Guilty of Being President While Black
Peek-a-poo: What's in Your Diaper?
Planet Asthma: Art and Acitivty Book
Plough Music
Plug-in Electric Vehicles: What Role for Washington?
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Bean Conference
Schoolgirl Milky Crisis
Soft Drink & Fruit Juice Problems Solved
Ten Stupid Things That Keep Churches from Growing
The Changing World of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The First Home-Built Aeroplanes
The Great Dog Bottom Swap
The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin
The Origin of Faeces
The Quotable Douchebag
The True History of Tea
The Wild World of Girly Men and Masculine Women - And Why Americans Suffer from So Many Other Idiotic Syndromes!
Venus Does Adonis While Apollo Shags a Tree
What Horses Do For Us
What Kind of Bean is this Chihuahua?