Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Book Expo Australia announced

A book expo to promote the Australian book industry and encourage readers to buy from Australian booksellers will be held at the Sydney Showground on the weekend of 30-31 August 2014.

Book Expo Australia is being run by Sandra Wigzell, former owner of Dymocks North Sydney, which closed at the end of May this year. Wigzell told Books+Publishing that the venue has been booked, informal partnerships have been established and an ‘extensive marketing and publicity campaign’ is being planned.

Wigzell said the ‘overriding aim’ of the expo is ‘to get Australian readers and their children to engage with Australian authors and their books and to buy from Australian booksellers through shops and online stores rather than those promoted from overseas’. A secondary aim, she said, is ‘to help both parents and teachers to become aware of the many books and specialist tools on offer to assist reluctant readers and challenged readers’.

Wigzell said the expo will provide an opportunity for readers to meet a range of Australian authors, including self-published authors, as well as publishers of all sizes and specialties. The expo will also include ‘exhibitors who specialise in books and aids to assist those with reading issues such as dyslexia, degenerative eye issues and ADHD’, such as large-print publisher ReadHowYouWant and audiobook publisher Bolinda.

Readers will be able to purchase books at the expo from a range of Australian bricks-and-mortar booksellers, online booksellers and specialist sellers, although Wigzell said she is still working out the logistics of the book sales.

As the expo is aimed primarily at the reading public, Wigzell said it is ‘unlike anything done elsewhere in the world’. ‘Book fairs held overseas are not aimed at readers, only at the trade, nor do the overseas fairs bring together such a diverse range of industry participants. Self-published authors are not normally invited to attend,’ said Wigzell, adding that the expo will be aimed at a less ‘literary reader’ than current writers’ festivals in Australia are aimed at.

Wigzell estimates that the cost of putting on the expo will be between $350,000 and $400,000. The venue will accommodate 246 exhibitor booths, ranging from $250 to $1500, and Wigzell said she anticipates that over 12,000 readers will attend. Entry costs will be $7.50 for adults, $5 for teachers and librarians and children over 12, and free for children under 12. Booths are not yet available for sale, but Wigzell said she anticipates having ‘all the paperwork and supporting documentation ready by the end of August’.



Category: Local news