Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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National Bookshop Day 2016 the ‘most successful ever’

Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) CEO Joel Becker has described this year’s National Bookshop Day, held on 13 August, as the ‘most successful ever’, with unprecedented support from the Australian Publishers Association (APA) and the Australian Society of Authors (ASA) boosting author visits to bookshops across the country.

‘While increasing the level of participation, and providing a high level of national support, it never lost the grassroots engagement, where every shop is determining what works for them,’ said Becker.

Among the authors who participated in National Bookshop events, including as celebrity booksellers, speakers and debate participants, were Alan Brough, Maxine Beneba Clarke, Annabel Crabb, Brooke Davis, Richard Glover, Anita Heiss, Hannah Kent, Garth Nix and Michael Robotham.

‘This year we engaged the services of Emma Rusher and her team at the House of Rusher to ensure that we had a high level of media coverage, with stronger publisher communication, and that we could combine the messages of the joy of visiting a bookshop with our ongoing campaign to “Love Your Bookshop” and the book industry crusade to support “Books Create Australia”,’ said Becker.

Becker said media coverage through the ABC, local radio stations, and local and national newspapers was ‘high octane’, with ‘extraordinary social media coverage on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram’. ‘I particularly want to thank Australian booksellers for supporting this major marketing effort celebrating the role of the bookshop in the community,’ said Becker. ‘And it was wonderful to see the high level of enthusiastic collaboration from across the book industry.’

#SaveOzStories giveaway

Publishers, writers, printers, booksellers and newsagents collaborated on the printing and distribution of #SaveOzStories, a free collection of essays and speeches by Australian authors, published by Melbourne University Publishing (MUP).

Contributing authors include Isobelle Carmody, Richard Flanagan, Anna Funder, Kate Grenville, Chloe Hooper, Thomas Keneally, David Malouf, Matthew Reilly and Tim Winton, among other Australian authors opposed to the recommendations made by the Productivity Commission, including scrapping parallel import restrictions and introducing a fair use provision to the Copyright Act.

Other groups that contributed to the book’s production included publishers Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Text, Allen & Unwin, Pan MacMillan and Hachette; the APA and ABA; Fairfax Media; and a number of printing groups.

In total, 130,000 copies were printed and distributed to booksellers and newsagents, who gave away the book with copies of the Age and Sydney Morning Herald. The Fairfax papers also ran extracts in their 13 August editions, and author Frank Moorhouse was interviewed on ABC TV’s ‘Lateline’ program on the evening of 12 August, in a segment that also included #SaveOzStories contributors Morris Gleitzman, Nikki Gemmell, Michael Robotham and Jackie French reading from their essays.

MUP sales and marketing manager Jacqui Gray said booksellers contacted her to say they’d run out of stock of #SaveOzStories by lunchtime, while Readings managing director Mark Rubbo said Readings’ allocation was ‘snapped up’ by customers in a few hours. ‘It gave us an opportunity to talk to customers about the issues and overwhelmingly the response was very positive,’ said Rubbo.

APA president and MUP CEO Louise Adler said publishing #SaveOurStories was the result of ‘a remarkable collaboration between writers, publishers, printers, and retailers and newsagents’. ‘Everyone in the book industry had donated their services to ensure Australian readers understand the reasons for respecting international recognised territorial copyright arrangements,’ said Adler. ‘We are delighted that Fairfax Media group agreed to partner with us to ensure Australian readers understand the issues at stake’.

The #SaveOzStories hashtag has had 621 posts on social media and reached 732,015 accounts, with most of the activity on 12-14 August. A free copy of the ebook can be downloaded here.

#LoveOzYA walkathon

More than a dozen authors, librarians, booksellers and other #LoveOzYA community members raised over $2600 for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation on its Melbourne bookshop walkathon, organised by author Emily Gale.

The participants walked over 17 kilometres and visited 10 bookstores over seven hours, beginning at The Little Bookroom in North Carlton and ending at The Younger Sun in Yarraville, following a route that also included several CBD locations, Southgate, Port Melbourne and Albert Park.

Gale told Books+Publishing the Younger Sun team of Kate O’Donnell and manager Michael Earp had draped a finish-line ribbon across the doorway and opened a bottle of champagne. ‘There were a few blisters and sore hips but mostly huge smiles and delight to have finished,’ said Gale.

Gale said at each store they bought Australian YA titles, signed their own stock and chatted to customers and booksellers. ‘At each bookshop we also handed over a “love letter to booksellers”, from #LoveOzYA, which was author Fiona Wood’s idea,’ said Gale.


Category: Local news