Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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A&U acquires feminist picture book ‘Our Little Inventor’

Allen & Unwin has acquired world rights to Australian illustrator and designer Sher Rill Ng’s debut picture book Our Little Inventor via Danielle Binks at Jacinta di Mase Management, to be published in April 2019. The picture book stars a young scientist on a quest to save the Big City from the smoke and soot that pollutes the air. Binks described it as ‘Shaun Tan-meets-Disney steampunk, with a feminist and environmental edge’.

Small press Berbay Publishing will release its first junior-fiction series ‘Norton’ in 2018 by Australian writer and illustrator John Dickson. The series focuses on seven-year-old Norton, who is ‘finding his way in the world through a series of mishaps, mistakes and misunderstandings’, with the help of his caring family (and a slightly tricky older sister). Berbay managing director Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke said she decided to expand the picture-book publisher’s list after identifying ‘a real gap in the market for well written junior fiction’.

Pan Macmillan Australia has signed a two-book deal with debut YA author and BuzzFeed Australia editor Jenna Guillaume via Danielle Binks at Jacinta di Mase Management. Guillaume described her first book Maisie as ‘a coming-of-age story that explores topics close to my heart—body positivity, female friendship, and, of course, really cute boys’. Binks said readers will love Guillaume’s ‘fun, flirty and fierce contemporary romance’. Maisie is scheduled for publication in 2019.

Hardie Grant Egmont (HGE) has sold UK and Commonwealth rights (excluding Australia and Canada) to Sydney bookseller Jeremy Lachlan’s middle-grade adventure novel Jane Doe and the Cradle of All Worlds in a pre-empt to Egmont UK. HGE managing director Annabel Barker and publisher Marisa Pintado negotiated the deal with Egmont UK fiction publishing director Ali Dougal. The first book in the series will be published in Australia in August 2018.

Other recent rights sales of Australian books include:

Picture books

Hardie Grant Egmont has sold Dutch, Danish and Korean rights to Patrick Guest and Jonathan Bentley’s picture book The Second Sky, about a penguin’s quest to find his place in the world.

Younger readers

Scholastic has sold German rights to two books in Meredith Costain and Danielle McDonald’s junior-fiction series ‘Ella Diaries’. The series explores the inner thoughts of young Ella in a diary full of hilarious doodles.


HarperCollins has sold Korean rights to The Amazing True Story of How Babies are Made by Fiona Katauskas—‘a fresh take on the incredible tale of where we all come from’ for children aged five and up—to Goraebook Library.

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


Category: Think Australian Junior Rights sales