Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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ABA conference, BookUp postponed

The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) has postponed its annual conference, which was due to take place in Sydney on 21–22 June, with the following day’s inaugural BookUp event being postponed by the Australian Publishers Association (APA).

In a letter to members this afternoon (18 March), ABA CEO Robbie Egan and president Jay Lansdown said the Covid-19 pandemic ‘has ushered in a level of uncertainty that we have not experienced since the global financial crisis’.

‘We are working to hold an industry event as soon as is practical,’ said the pair. ‘A conference or get-together this year is desirable but predicting the outcome of Covid-19 is too difficult … as soon as we have clarity on the virus we will put a plan into action.’

The ABA is also developing a social media campaign and says it will ‘continue to promote books and bookshops as the perfect solution to the bizarre new world of social distancing and self-quarantining’.

‘Many of you have begun offering local home delivery of books—a wonderful way to let your community know you are there and that you care. We want to share those stories and do whatever we can to support you over the coming weeks and months and will call on publishers and authors to do the same.’

The ABA has confirmed to Books+Publishing that it will process full refunds to ticket-holders.

The APA says it will get in touch with BookUp ticket-holders to process refunds, stating in its member bulletin today, ‘Given restrictions around events, coupled with our obligation to the health and safety of attendees and the wider community, we are postponing the BookUp Conference for 2020.’

 

Category: Local news