Barnes favourite ahead of Booker shortlisting

Barnes favourite ahead of Booker shortlisting

William Hill has now named Julian Barnes as favourite to win the Man Booker prize, with the three-times shortlisted author overtaking previous winner Alan Hollinghurst ahead of tomorrow's shortlist announcement (6th September).

Barnes' The Sense of an Ending has now been given odds of 3/1 to take the prize, moving from initial odds of 6/1. Hollinghurst remains at 5/1, but is now considered second favourite. Amazon has revealed that Hollinghurst is ahead in Kindle sales, whereas Nielsen figures Barnes is the leading print seller (see below).

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said: "Literary punters believe this is the year the Booker judges will finally reward Julian Barnes."

Debut novel Snowdrops by A D Miller has become joint third favourite at odds of 7/1, making the biggest jump in the better from original odds of 16/1. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt and The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers are considered least likely to triumph this year, with odds of 20/1.

Sharpe added: "Since the longlist was announced, Barnes and Miller have been the two best supported titles by punters. The Man Booker is easily the most popular literary award, with punters and all indications suggest that a significant six-figure sum will be riding on the outcome.

"For the first time a book with a horse racing theme is in the running and we would be delighted to see D J Taylor's 10/1 shot, Derby Day upset the favourites - he has already outdone racing's bestselling Dick Francis by making it to the Man Booker shortlist."

The odds in full are:
3/1 The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (Jonathan Cape)
5/1 The Stranger's Child by Alan Hollinghurst (Picador)
7/1 Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch (Canongate)
7/1 Snowdrops by A D Miller (Atlantic)
10/1 Derby Day by D J Taylor (Chatto & Windus)
10/1 On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Barry (Faber)
12/1 Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan (Serpent's Tail)
14/1 Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Bloomsbury)
14/1 A Cupboard Full of Coats by Yvette Edwards (Oneworld)
14/1 Far to Go by Alison Pick (Headline Review)
16/1 The Last Hundred Days by Patrick McGuinness (Seren Books)
20/1 The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (Granta)
20/1 The Testament of Jessie Lamb by Jane Rogers (Sandstone Press)

Meanwhile, Alan Hollinghurst's novel is the best-selling Kindle book on the Man Booker longlist, but Julian Barnes is leading the way in physical book sales the day before the shortlist is announced. According to Amazon.co.uk, Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child (Picador) has accounted for 30% of the total Kindle e-book sales from the 13-strong Man Booker longlist since it was announced in July, whereas Barnes' A Sense of Ending (Cape) accounts for 22%. Debut novel A D Miller's Snowdrops (Atlantic) takes 8% of the share along with Patrick deWitt's The Sisters Brothers (Granta).

In comparison, according to Nielsen BookScan data, 31% of the Man Booker longlist's physical books sales have been made been made up of Barnes' novel, 20% of Hollinghurst's and 11% of Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side (Faber). Snowdrops, by contrast, has accounted for just 3% of the longlist's physical book sales but Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman (Bloomsbury) has accounted for 8%.

Amy Worth, senior manager at Kindle, said: "We saw an immediate impact on Kindle sales when the 'Man Booker Dozen' was announced as readers made their own judgement and downloaded their books of choice. "According to our sales figures, this year's competition looks set to be a two horse race between Alan Hollinghurst and Julian Barnes, but sales success doesn't necessarily translate into a Booker-winning novel. D J Taylor's Derby Day and Pigeon English from Stephen Kelman may not currently be in our top six bestselling longlisters but both are hotly tipped to win by the bookies."