Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Miles Franklin longlist, latest HarperCollins and S&S results and more

Independent publishers dominate this year’s Miles Franklist longlist; out of the 10-strong list, only one book published by one of the Big Four is up for the $60,000 award.

In sad news from the US today, Simon & Schuster (S&S) president and CEO Carolyn Reidy has died after a heart attack.

Prior to this news, S&S Australia reported its first-quarter print sales were ‘slightly ahead’ of last year’s. Meanwhile, HarperCollins’ parent company News Corp has announced all its businesses are embarking on cost-cutting measures, as the publisher’s global sales took a 2% dip in the three months ending 31 March. The parent company of Walker Books ANZ has been acquired by a private equity-owned children’s content company, however ‘no changes to operations are contemplated’.

In awards news, Text has announced the shortlists for its annual Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing and the Michael Gifkins Prize for NZ writers; the winners of the 2020 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards have been announced, as has the winner of this year’s Ernest Scott Prize. The recipients of the Marten Bequest writing scholarships, the Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellows, and the shortlists for the Woollahra Digital Literary Awards were also announced this week.

Overseas, a survey by the Bookseller has found that a vast majority of UK and Ireland’s small publishers are worried for their short- or mid-term future. Frankfurt Book Fair is planning a ‘completely different experience’ for this year’s event, which is set to run from 14–18 October. Meanwhile, Faber’s print sales are down about a third year on year, thanks to the UK’s lockdown period.

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Category: This week’s news