Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Books+Publishing turns 100 today!

Books+Publishing owners Gary and Vanessa Pengelly along with former managing director Michael Webster write:

Today, 10 June 2021, marks the 100-year anniversary of Books+Publishing (B+P), the uniquely Australian publishing industry trade journal first published as the Australian Stationery and Fancy Goods Journal on this day in 1921.

The publication’s founder Daniel Wrixon Thorpe worked for the early pioneers of our industry, Spicers and George Robertson, before establishing his own company to report on the industry as it developed its own culture and dynamics.

In our view, the resilience of B+P over the past 100 years can be attributed to:

  1. The vision of Daniel Wrixon Thorpe—a vision more relevant today than it was 100 years ago. Now a maturing publishing sector, the Australian industry in 2021 competes in a global marketplace, and needs as many voices as possible representing it both locally and internationally.
  2. The passion of Joyce Thorpe Nicholson, Daniel’s daughter, and of her successors.
  3. The contribution of the hundreds of employees and contributors who have gone, and continue to go, above and beyond to deliver daily news and showcase our stories to both local and international audiences.
  4. The publishers, authors, booksellers, librarians and service providers who have always supported their trade journal with advertising, subscriptions, news and other contributions.

From its creation, the journal evolved steadily until 1971 when it split into two publications—the introduction of the newsagency-focused Australian Newsagent & Stationer allowed Australian Bookseller and Publisher to focus on a maturing publishing scene with an emphasis on book publishing. There followed several changes in masthead to reflect an expanding geographic focus along with the need to embrace broadening channels to market.

Daniel worked alone on the journal for its first 15 years. His daughter, Joyce, succeeded him as managing director until the appointment of Michael Webster as managing director/partner in 1981. The business was sold to international interests in 1987 where it remained until 2018, when it once again became a locally owned family business.

Today is about acknowledging the vision of Daniel and the fact this business was presided over by him and his daughter Joyce for 66 of its first 100 years. Of course, 100 years of publishing to schedule is a testament to the passion and commitment of the people who have contributed over the years. We continue to be inspired by today’s extraordinary editorial team, which delivers your daily news.

To be in the position to guide B+P to its 100-year anniversary is a great privilege, and with that privilege comes the challenge and responsibility of positioning B+P for the next 100 years: meeting the evolving needs of our industry as we address a global marketplace, more competition than ever for the hearts and minds of readers, the impacts and opportunities of social media and new technologies, the effects of pandemics, and the responsibility of our industry to reflect Australia’s diversity—as well as all those issues and events that are yet to appear.

Thank you for being a part of B+P’s first 100 years. We look forward to your company as our journey continues.


Category: B+P announcements