Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Era Publications launches children’s reader series in China

Era Publications, a family owned educational publisher with a focus on English-language teaching, has partnered with Chinese publisher New Century Publishing to publish 1.7 million copies of its ‘WINGS’ children’s reader series in China. Launched at the Beijing International Book Fair, the partnership will see print and digital English-language editions of its ‘WINGS’ series sold into state schools across China for English classes.

Hardie Grant Egmont has acquired world rights to four books in a new adventure series by Sydney bookseller and debut author Jeremy Lachlan following a ‘hotly contested auction’. The adventure series, which is tentatively titled the ‘Jane Doe’ chronicles, is pitched as ‘Narnia meets Mad Max’ for readers aged 11 and up. It follows a ‘feisty teenager as she plunges into a deadly labyrinth between worlds to try to rescue her dad before an “exquisitely vile” villain gets to him first’.

Scholastic Australia has acquired world rights to a new middle-grade fantasy trilogy by historical-fiction author Kelly Gardiner. ‘The Fire Watcher Chronicles’ is a ‘time-slip’ trilogy about a young Londoner, Kit, who is living through the Blitz during World War II, but who also travels back to the Great Fire of London, the Viking invasion of Britain, and the arrival of Boudica and her armies in Roman London. The trilogy was negotiated by Danielle Binks at Jacinta di Mase Management.

Text Publishing has acquired world rights to a new novel by award-winning YA author Vikki Wakefield, which explores the cycle of ‘generational poverty, neglect and abuse’. Youth centres on 16-year-old Nate McKee, a ‘third-generation welfare legacy in a system without a safety net’, who is forced to choose between ‘belonging and resistance’.

Other recent rights sales of Australian books include:

Picture books

  • Allen & Unwin has sold Slovenian, Chinese, French, Turkish, German, Polish and Japanese translation rights to Do Not Lick This Book (Idan Ben-Barak & Julian Frost)—a ‘funny, interactive picture book that introduces children to the strange, unseen world of microbes’.

Younger readers

  • MidnightSun Publishing has sold Swedish rights to Allayne L Webster’s middle-grade novel A Cardboard Palace to B. Wahlströms Bokförlag. The novel ‘follows the struggle of a young boy, Jorge, to escape a life of thievery and poverty in modern Paris’, and is ‘well-suited to the international stage’, says publishing director Anna Solding.

Young adult

  • Black Inc. has sold UK and Commonwealth (ex ANZ) rights to Alice Pungs’ award-winning YA novel Laurinda to Legend Press. It tells the story of a scholarship girl who encounters a new world of privilege at an exclusive girls school.
  • Penguin Random House Australia has licensed Portuguese language rights in Morris Gleitzman’s bestselling Once and its sequel Then, which follow a young Jewish boy’s attempts to save his parents from the Nazis.


  • Penguin Random House Australia has licensed North American rights in the forthcoming How to Feel Awesome Everyday—‘jam-packed with journal pages, advice, D.I.Ys, recipes and all sorts of rad activities’—by Australian vlogger and presenter Elly Awesome.

For the latest Australian rights sales and acquisitions news, click here.



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