Think Australian newsletter
Image. Advertisement:
Inside the Australian book industry

Come to the Australia party!

Ahead of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, here is your chance to see the titles that will be on offer from Australian publishers! See the Australian Publishers Association’s 2023 Australian Frankfurt Rights Catalogue here, and read on through this issue of Think Australian for additional information about the titles Australian publishers are most excited to pitch at the fair in fiction, nonfiction and children’s/YA.

You’ll also find a snapshot report on the Australian market in 2023 so far, and we will introduce you to a new rights agency, share the bestselling Australian titles, highlight the books winning awards in Australia, as well as those that have sold overseas recently, and some that are being adapted for screen—and round up the titles local publishers have acquired recently across fiction, nonfiction and children’s/YA.

Over 30 Australian publishers will be represented at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair—from micro presses to the Australian arms of multi-nationals. Representatives from 16 publishers will appear in person at the Australia stand, a further 10 will appear online via the Australian Publishers Association’s virtual stand, and several other publishers are sending representatives or attending on their own company stands.

The publishers appearing at the Australia stand this year are ATF Press, Exisle, Fin Press, Five Mile, Fremantle Press, Inspiring Publishers/ASPG, Knowledge Books and Software, Melbourne University Publishing, NewSouth, Pantera, Pascal Press, Rockpool, Scribe, Spinifex, Text, and University of Queensland Press. They will be joined at the fair by Australian Publishers Association CEO Michael Gordon-Smith, industry development manager Andrea Hanke and supply chain manager Cat Colwell.

In addition, Allen & Unwin, Australian Scholarly Publishing, EC Press, Hachette, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, Magabala Books, Major Street Publishing, Monash University Publishing, Pilyara Press and Sydney University Press will appear on the virtual Australian stand, with some of these publishers also sending representatives to the fair.

Other publishers and agents attending from Australia include Affirm, Black Inc., Bold Type Agency, Era Books, Giramondo, HarperCollins, Jane Novak, Penguin Random House ANZ, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster and Zeitgeist Agency.

The Australia stand will be hosting a stand party to celebrate Australian talent and connect with international colleagues. If you’re at the fair in person, you can find the physical stand at Hall 6.0, Stand B86 and B93. The Australian Stand Party, held in partnership with IPG UK, is on Thursday, 19 October, from 5.30pm.

For more information, you can also check out the 2023 Australian Frankfurt Rights Catalogue and the Australian Publishers Association’s Virtual Australian Collective Stand on the Books From Australia website.

As previously, this issue of Think Australian is being distributed by Publishers Weekly and BookBrunch. For more information on Think Australian and to sign up directly, click here.

We hope you enjoy reading, and take the time to ‘think Australian’ when it comes to rights.

—The Books+Publishing team

Think Australian is produced by Books+Publishing, with support from the Australian Publishers Association and Creative Australia.


Image. Advertisement:

Australian book market overview: 2023 so far

After three consecutive years of growth, the Australian book market flattened out in 2023. In the year to 17 June 2023, Australian book sales totalled $548 million, up 0.6% on the same period in 2022, while sales by volume were down 0.2% to a total of 28.3 million units, according to Nielsen BookScan Australia. Compared to the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, the market is up $82 million (18%) by value, following annual growth of 7.8% in 2020, 2.5% in 2021 and 8.2% in 2022.

In 2023, Nielsen BookScan Australia reported growth in the adult fiction category (up 7% by value) and nonfiction (up 1.6%) but a decline in children’s books (down 3%).

Growth in adult fiction was driven by sales of romance (up 37%) and historical & mythological fiction (up 17%). From Simon & Schuster (S&S), Colleen Hoover’s It Starts with Us and It Ends with Us, as well as Hannah Grace’s Icebreaker, boosted romance sales, while in historical fiction, local author Pip Williams’s The Bookbinder of Jericho (Affirm Press) spent six weeks as the overall weekly bestselling title from its publication date earlier this year, and was the second highest selling adult fiction title in the year to date. Sales of general & literary fiction titles were down 7%, after being boosted last year by bestsellers Where the Crawdads Sing (Delia Owens, Hachette) and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid, S&S).

In children’s, the novelty & activity books (up 7%) and pre-school & early learning subcategories (up 19%) were boosted by Bluey: Happy Easter (PRH) and In My Heart (Abrams), respectively. Nielsen BookScan Australia attributes the decline in children’s fiction (down 14%) to strong sales in 2022 of higher priced Harry Potter and The Bad Guys series box sets, and the release of the latest David Walliams title Robodog (HarperCollins) occurring a month later than the author’s previous title in 2022.

Nonfiction was helped by sales of the year’s overall bestselling title, Prince Harry’s Spare, from Penguin Random House, as well as strong performances in the travel & holiday guides subcategory (up 64%). Travel book sales have rebounded significantly since their lowest point in the second quarter of 2020, when pandemic lockdowns resulted in the atlases, maps and travel category reaching just $1.3 million in value, compared to a pre-pandemic average of $4 million per quarter. For 2023 to 17 June, the category has reached $8.1 million in value, down 6% on the same time in 2019. The general food and drink subcategory was up 17%, helped by local author Nagi Maehashi’s bestselling cookbook RecipeTin Eats: Dinner (Macmillan).

Read the full article here.

Cover images of the books Bad Art Mother; Edenglassie; Love, Just In; Praiseworthy; Stone Yard Devotional; and Sunbirds

Epics, experiments, escapism, excellence: Australian fiction at Frankfurt

Several prize-winning Australian authors will have new novels showcased at the fair. Waanyi (First Nations) author Alexis Wright, who is the only writer to have won both the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award, has released Praiseworthy (Giramondo, April 2023). This new novel is ‘an epic set in the north of Australia, told with the richness of language and scale of imagery for which Wright has become renowned’—‘a novel which pushes allegory and language to its limits, a cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage, and a fable for the end of days’.

Also in experimental style, Brian Castro—2018 winner of the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for poetry—‘abandons the traditional novel form for vignettes and flowing monologues of memory’ in the forthcoming Ruins and Fragments (Giramondo, 2024), ‘exploring the isolation and despair of an ageing writer living in the provinces in the midst of fissured times’.

Among other award-winning authors whose works are being pitched at Frankfurt is Melissa Lucashenko, whose Too Much Lip, published by the University of Queensland Press (UQP), won a Miles Franklin Literary Award. The author’s new novel ‘asks readers to consider what might have been and, also, what could be’. Edenglassie (UQP, October 2023) is an ‘epic tale of love and resistance’ in which ‘two extraordinary stories set five generations apart are connected by a violent colonial history’.

Arthur C Clarke Award winner Laura Jean McKay (The Animals in That Country, Scribe, 2020), returns with Gunflower (Scribe, October 2023), a ‘political, ecological and bodily’ short story collection—a series of ‘glimpses of places where dreams subsume reality, where childhood restarts, where humans embrace their animal selves and animals talk like humans’.

From Allen & Unwin, Stone Yard Devotional (October 2023) is the newest title from Stella Prize winner Charlotte Wood, which agent Jenny Darling will highlight—‘a thought-provoking tour de force and a literary novel that delves deeply into questions of forgiveness, grief, and what it means to be “good”’.

Darling is also highlighting Edwina Preston’s novel Bad Art Mother (Wakefield, May 2022), which was shortlisted for the 2023 Stella Prize. Set in bohemian Melbourne, this novel was described by the publisher as ‘a timely, beautifully crafted and vividly imagined contribution to still-blazing debates about gender: who gets to be an artist or writer, and who is responsible for parenting and other forms of care’.

Meanwhile, in the follow-up to Miles Franklin–longlisted The Magpie Wing (Giramondo), Max Easton returns with Paradise Estate (Giramondo, October 2023), in which newly single and grieving Helen finds a four-bedroom house in Sydney’s ‘hostile rental market’, filling its rooms ‘with an unlikely group of residents looking for communal belonging’.

Several state literary award winners also return with new historical fiction titles. Simon & Schuster Australia (S&S) will be showcasing the 2024 title Dirrayawadha: Rise Up from Wiradjuri (First Nations) author Anita Heiss, who won the Indigenous Writers’ Prize at the 2022 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards for Bila Yarrudhanggalangdhuray. The author’s new novel ‘pays homage to Windradyne, the Wiradyuri warrior who led his people in the Battle of Bathurst at a time when martial law was declared, and the impacts of invasion were felt across south-eastern Australia’.

Meanwhile, Queensland Literary Award winner Mirandi Riwoe’s new novelSunbirds (UQP, September 2023)—set in 1941 West Java while a Japanese invasion looms—tells of an ‘intricate web of identities and loyalties created by war and imperialism, and the heartbreaking compromises that so often ensue’.

Debut fiction

Publishers and agents are set to bring wide-ranging debut works of Australian fiction to Frankfurt this year. Among them is Jordan Prosser’s Big Time (UQP, July 2024)—‘a satirical black comedy about art in the face of entropy, wrapped up in a spec-fic road-trip saga’, set ‘in a not-too-distant future where the Eastern states of Australia have become the world’s newest autocracy’.

Hasib Hourani’s experimental poetry book Swallow Sinking (Giramondo, 2024) is ‘an epic poem that, over five chapters, follows a single linear narrative to tell an allegory of political occupation and dispossession’, addressing the realities ‘Palestinians are faced with on the ground and across the diaspora’.

Everyone and Everything by Nadine Cohen (Pantera, September 2023) is a literary debut in which protagonist Yael Silver seeks solace in ‘surprising places’—‘an unconventional new friendship, a seaside safe space and a heart-warming relationship with her sister’, as well as ‘some truly terrible erotic literature’.

Pantera is also excited to pitch The Next Big Thing (James Colley, January 2024), a story that centres the Australian tradition of celebrating a town’s claim to fame through ‘Big Things’—‘kitsch roadside statues’ of anything from prawns to pineapples. Norm, whose town is dying, decides to build a Big Thing ‘to drive tourism and give it a future, and hopefully to keep his friend Ella nearby’.

Whenever You’re Ready by Trish Bolton (A&U, February 2024) is ‘a love letter to the resilience and wisdom of women in their twilight years’, as an unexpected death finds three women ‘at various crossroads in their lives, torn between looking back and moving on’.

Jane Novak is pitching Tidelines (Sarah Sasson, Affirm, February 2024), in which protagonist Grub is on a quest for revenge following the death of her brother, for which she blames his best friend. However, ‘as Grub looks back at those dreamy summer days they all spent together, the sanctuary of her certainty crumbles’.

Darling is pitching thriller When One of Us Hurts by Monica Vuu (Macmillan, June 2023), a ‘stunning debut novel’ set in an insular coastal town, with a ‘twisted, creepy and slightly macabre’ tone.

Chinongwa (Lucy Mushita, Spinifex) is a story of a nine-year-old girl who, in the early 20th century, is sold into marriage to help her family survive ‘dire poverty caused by the colonisation of Rhodesia by Britain’.

And, last but not least, Hachette is highlighting The Secrets of the Little Greek Taverna. Erin Palmisano’s debut novel brings ‘an element of magical realism to the picturesque Greek island of Naxos’—and US, UK and Portuguese language rights have already been sold.

Contemporary and literary fiction

West Girls by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe, August 2023) is ‘a bold and ambitious collection of interlinked stories’: ‘Featuring an intersecting cast of glamour-hungry public schoolgirls, WAGs, mining heiresses, backpacker-barmaids, and cosmetic nurses, West Girls examines beauty, race, class divisions, and social mobility in Australia’s richest state’, through the story of white teen Luna, who ‘takes her ticket out of the most isolated city on earth’ by reinventing herself as ‘Luna Lu’.

Novak is pitching Prima Facie (Suzie Miller, Picador, October 2023)—based on the internationally acclaimed play of the same name—‘a propulsive, raw look at the price victims pay for speaking out and the system that sets them up to fail’, from the perspective of ‘thoroughbred’ barrister Tessa, who finds herself faced with a gut-wrenching, life-changing decision about testifying about her rape.

In Bitter & Sweet (Amal Awad, Pantera, August 2023), protagonist Zeina’s life is filled with disasters, so she chooses the one she believes she might be able to solve, taking leave from her job to help repair her father’s community restaurant, which has flooded, as well as ‘losing ground to trendier competition’—a decision that sees her immersed ‘in the familiar foods and flavours of her childhood and the Arab community that is her history’.

Gretchen Shirm, author of The Crying Room (Transit Lounge), among other titles, is returning with Out of the Woods (Transit Lounge, September 2025), which Novak will also be highlighting. During a war crimes trial, Tess—an Australian working for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia in the Hague—‘gradually becomes obsessed with the defendant but is at the same time transfixed and mesmerised by the testimony of witnesses’, creating emotional turmoil that surfaces her own trauma history.

Novak is also pitching Little Clothes (Deborah Callaghan, Penguin Random House, May 2024), a novel about Audrey Mendes, a hard-working and disciplined lawyer, who, after committing a small act of theft, begins ‘causing small amounts of havoc on those who, perhaps, deserve it—until her life reels out of control’.

Karen Viggers (The World Beneath the Trees, A&U) returns with the forthcoming novel Sidelines (A&U, January 2024), a ‘pacy novel’ that unfolds in ‘the world of suburban junior soccer games and competitive parents’.

Margaret Connolly Agency (represented by Bold Type) is excited to bring A Secret Garden in Paris (Sophie Beaumont, Ultimo, November 2024) to the fair. An ‘intriguing story of unexpected revelations, romantic discovery, hope, and the pleasures of a secret Paris garden’, this is a companion title to November’s The Paris Cooking School (also Ultimo), for which German and Portuguese language rights have already been sold.


Publishers and agents will also highlight an array of new and forthcoming poetry titles. In a ‘playful upturning of Greek mythology’, Roslyn Orlando’s Ekhō (Upswell, January 2024) is a poem in three parts, which ‘considers the “echo” as a social and historical phenomenon’, from the nymph of Greek mythology to the Amazon smart speakers, reconsidering ‘echoing as a poetic practice, and as an orienting device that tunes the world into itself’. Black Inc. will showcase the title.

Suneeta Peres da Costa—whose novella Saudade (Giramondo, 2018) was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for Fiction—has a 2024 poetry collection, titled The Prodigal, which is ‘about migration and travel, memory and personal life, and plants, food and objects’, ‘inflected by the mythic and the surreal as they traverse the everyday’.

Also from Giramondo is a forthcoming ‘landmark collection’ of New and Selected Poems (2024) from award-winning Yankunytjatjara (First Nations) poet Ali Cobby Eckermann.

Historical fiction

Novelist and essayist Nicholas Jose has published his first novel in almost 20 years: The Idealist (Giramondo, September 2023). Set in Australia, East Timor and Washington in the lead-up to the 1999 East Timorese independence referendum, this novel ‘explores the entanglement of private and public life’ as an Australian defence analyst’s widow seeks justice.

Meanwhile, Margaret Connolly Agency (represented by Bold Type) is pitching North American and translation rights for In the Margins (Gail Holmes, Ultimo, September 2024)—a novel about book collector Frances Wolfreston, who ‘uniquely preserved the earliest part of Shakespeare’s legacy while risking everything to improve the lives of the women around her’.

Pantera is excited to pitch The Gallows Bird (Barbara Sumner, April 2024), a story of Hannah ‘Birdie’ Bird, a servant in an 1830s London manor house, who ‘will risk anything to change her life, falling into love and crime before being transported to the new Colony at the other end of the world, where she will continue to fight for her freedom’.

From Simon & Schuster, The Beauties (Lauren Chater, April 2024), tells of when the Queen Mother commissions famous artist Peter Lely to paint 12 portraits of ‘the most beautiful women at court’, a decision that ‘fuels an explosion of naked ambition as rivals vie for their chance at catching the eye of the King’. And The Lost Letters of Rose Carey (Julie Bennett, also S&S) is ‘a captivating tale of love, glamour, secrets and betrayal’, taking inspiration from the life of 1920s film icon Annette Kellerman.

Finally, Spinifex is pitching The Rust Red Land (Robyn Bishop), a novel based on the life of the author’s grandmother, as the protagonist ‘finds solace and joy in books and through tenacity and perseverance manages to carve out a fulfilling life’.

Crime, thrillers, and romance

Among new crime and thriller novels publishers will highlight at Frankfurt are Body of Lies (A&U, March 2024), the latest from Sarah Bailey, as Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock ‘uncovers devastating secrets about the people she thought she knew best’. Also from Allen & Unwin, The First Friend (October 2024) is a forthcoming novel from Bluebird author and award-winning journalist Malcolm Knox, which Novak will be pitching. This ‘chilling black comedy’, which is ‘at once a satire and a thriller’, unfolds in the USSR in 1938, imagining ‘a gangster mob in charge of a global superpower’.

Publishers and agents also hope to win hearts with this year’s romance stories. In a friends-to-lovers romance, news reporter Josie’s life takes an unexpected turn when she’s sent to a regional bureau, where she reunites with her best friend, Zac, in Love, Just In (Natalie Murray, A&U, January 2024)—a romantic story that explores a neglected friendship, secret attraction and health anxiety. Meanwhile, in the first book of the new Four Winds series, The North Wind (Alexandria Warwick, 2022, S&S) is a ‘lush romantic fantasy novel’, which is ‘inspired by a blend of mythology and fairytales’. Jacinta de Mase Management will showcase historical romance and ‘impossible love story’ Light at Lavelle (Macmillan) from Paullina Simons, author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman—and another historical romance, The Italian Marriage (Macmillan), which is the first of three romance novels from Jenna Lo Bianco, and a book described by the publisher as ‘fun, page-turning, cute, steamy and joyful escapism’, set in ‘the green heart of Italy’.

Cover images of Bookshop Dogs, Life Skills for a Broken World, Tiwi Story, Inside the Dyslexic Mind, 12 Rules for Strife, and Excitable Boy

From literary memoir to survival in a broken world: Australian nonfiction at Frankfurt

From literary memoir to survival in a broken world, from bookshop dogs to Sam Kerr’s World Cup journey, these are the nonfiction titles publishers are most looking forward to pitching at Frankfurt 2023.

Memoir and biography

On offer this year are a multitude of life stories, from genre-bending literary experimentation to a work contemplating the impact of human–canine friendships.

Several biographies shine new light on well-known figures. As Rupert Murdoch hands over the reins to son Lachlan, the biography Young Rupert (Walter Marsh, Scribe, August 2023) explores the early life of the ‘polarising patriarch’ of the Murdoch media empire, piecing together ‘a paper trail of succession, sedition, and power’, drawing upon previously unpublished archival materials.

Nikos Papastergiadis ‘explores his close friendship with the late English art critic, novelist, painter and poet John Berger’ in the memoir John Berger: A migrant’s eye (Giramondo, 2024), a work that ‘acts as both a portrait and a critical study of the work of his former mentor’, and is ‘both a biography and an autobiography’.

Cast Mates: Australian actors in Hollywood and at home (Sam Twyford-Moore, NewSouth, July 2023) is a ‘group biography of Australian acting giants across the ages’. Focusing on the lives and careers of Errol Flynn, Peter Finch, David Gulpilil and Nicole Kidman, this book examines the ‘crossovers between Hollywood and Australian cinema culture’, beginning with the world’s first feature film, The Story of the Kelly Gang.

From Hachette comes two memoirs. Datsun Angel (Anna Broinowski, March 2024) is ‘a turbo-charged adventure story that delves into the dark heart of 1980s Australia’ through the eyes of the author, who was ‘kidnapped by truckies’ while hitchhiking from Sydney to Darwin. In Bad Faith (Dassi Erlich, January 2024) is a memoir from a sexual abuse survivor who ‘grew up in a closed, ultra-Orthodox sect and endured a harsh home life that made her the perfect target for a predatory teacher’—and covers a 15-year journey to justice.

Simon & Schuster Australia (S&S) will also bring several life stories to this year’s fair, including the forthcoming Run for Your Life (Sue Williams), which is pitched as ‘the remarkable true story of a family with no place to hide’ who are leaking the secrets of the Kremlin; Against the Water (Owen Wright, August 2023), which is the story of ‘how one of Australia’s finest surfers overcame brain injury and despair to claim Olympic glory’; and Sam Kerr’s My Journey to the World Cup (revised edition), covering the Matildas captain’s journey ‘from making the switch to soccer to becoming one of the best female strikers in the world’.

Allen & Unwin (A&U) offers two forthcoming stories with unique perspectives. In a follow-up to The Bookseller at the End of the World, Ruth Shaw has penned The Bookshop Dogs (October 2023), telling the tales of the many and varied canine visitors to Shaw’s bookstores in Manapōuri in the far south of Aotearoa New Zealand, interwoven with stories of Hunza, the ‘very special’ dog who accompanied the author when she was a youth worker. The Spy Who Fell to Earth (Phyllis Latour Doyle, June 2024) tells of Second World War spy Pippa Latour Doyle, who disguised herself as a French teenager and ‘cycled through Nazi-occupied Normandy collecting and transmitting crucial information to the British Intelligence Service’, only revealing her story to her family many years later.

Fans of literary memoir will also find plenty on offer. Among them, in Peripathetic: Notes on (un)belonging (NewSouth, May 2024), Cher Tan’s debut collection of essays ‘bend and break boundaries to resist easy categorisation’ in ‘an exploration of identity across global and digital territories’, spanning wide-ranging genres and subjects ‘while considering the ever-evolving facets of identity, self, and culture in a hyper-real world’. Monument (Giramondo, February 2024) is the fourth book from poet and critic Bonny Cassidy, whose poetry collection Chatelaine (also Giramondo) was shortlisted for the 2018 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and Queensland Literary AwardsMonument blends poetry, micro-history, memoir, travel writing and ‘sometimes counterfactual speculation’ to trace ‘the manifestations of colonialism across the generations of an ordinary, white Australian family’, contemplating ‘how non-Indigenous Australians might absorb First Nations truth-telling; and what this has to do with acts of speech, writing and storytelling’. Black Inc. is pitching Excitable Boy: Essays on risk (Upswell, July 2024) from Dominic Gordon, with a foreword by Christos Tsiolkas. In this debut essay collection, Gordon takes the reader on a ‘wild ride through a disaffected youth’, where ‘train tunnels become nesting sites, carpark stairwells are spots to refuel on methamphetamine and hide from predators’. Also from Upswell (represented by Black Inc.) is Abbas El-Zein’s second memoir Bullet, Paper, Rock: A memoir of words and wars (June 2024), which is ‘a story of survival, and a meditation on desire and loss, language and violence’, ‘at once a requiem for a Levantine past gone sour—from the innocent 1970s, through September 11 and its aftermath, to the cataclysms of the Arab Spring—and a tribute to women of his family’. El-Zein’s previous memoir, Leave to Remain (UQP), won the Community Relations Commission Award at the 2010 New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.

History, society and politics

Other Australian titles interrogate social, political, and cultural issues, with implications beyond the Australian context. In Culinary Inauthentic (Giramondo, 2024), award-winning author and playwright Noëlle Janaczewska explores authenticity and inauthenticity in the culinary realm, blending genres and styles to explore ‘the ways we layer meaning onto cooking and eating practices, the politicisation of culinary space, the Esperanto-like vocabulary of the table, seeking out the culinary in-between, dishes lost in translation, once fashionable ingredients fallen out of favour’. On a completely different note, writer, essayist and social philosopher Anne Manne has written ‘a searing exposé of institutional child abuse, and the remarkable story of the survivors who would not be silenced,’ centring on the story of abuse survivor Steve Smith, as well as extensive interviews, in Crimes of the Cross: The Anglican paedophile network of Newcastle—and the man who fought for justice (Black Inc., October 2023). Black Inc. will also highlight The Economy of Algorithms: Rise of the Digital Minions (Marek Kowalkiewicz, La Trobe University Press, March 2024), which argues that society has moved into a ‘new economy of algorithms’ that is reshaping our lives. From Pantera comes the forthcoming Human? A lie that’s been killing us since 1788 (Ziggy Ramo), described by the publisher as ‘an attempt to bridge a nation-wide knowledge gap that threatens to strip away the humanity of colonisers and colonised alike’. ‘A political book for the TikTok age’, 12 Rules for Strife (Jeff Sparrow & Sam Wallman, Scribe, May 2024) is an original ‘handbook for change’ in comic-book format, exploring 12 ‘powerful ideas distilled from the history of struggle for better lives, better working conditions, and a better world’. Meanwhile, Spinifex will be pitching Greek, Actually (Penny Zagarelou-Mackieson, October 2023), the story of the author’s quest ‘to find her Greek relatives and be officially de-adopted’, drawing on her personal experience as well as her work in the adoption field.

Four history titles are also highlighted this year. Tiwi Story: Turning history downside up (Mavis Kerinaiua & Laura Rademaker, NewSouth, September 2023) ‘showcases the dramatic and complex history of the Tiwi Islands as told by Tiwi people’, including their victory over the British in 1824. TikTok personality Esmé Louise James’s Kinky History: The stories of our intimate lives, past and present (Pantera, October 2023) is ‘an irreverent dive into human sexual history—and how we can harness this history for a more liberated present and future’. In a new instalment to Black Inc.’s Shortest History series, Ross King’s The Shortest History of Italy (March 2024) is ‘a panoramic sweep across some 3000 years of politics, culture, history and larger-than-life, world-bestriding personalities such as Julius Caesar, St Francis of Assisi and Giuseppe Garibaldi’. Saving Lieutenant Kennedy: The heroic story of the Australian who helped rescue JFK (Brett Mason, NewSouth, November 2023) tells of the rescue of John F Kennedy and his surviving crew after their torpedo boat was rammed by a Japanese destroyer in the Solomon Islands during the Second World War, shining ‘a spotlight on Australia and America’s shared wartime experience’ through the story of a five-day search for the crew.

Science and environment

Several books pitched by Australian publishers will appeal to fans of smaller creatures. Silk & Venom: The incredible lives of spiders (James O’Hanlon, October 2023, NewSouth) seeks to dispel fears surrounding spiders, introducing readers to the beauty of spiders’ lives ‘from underwater to the slopes of Mt Everest’. Honey Bee Pests and Diseases: A complete guide to prevention and management (Robert Owen, Jean-Pierre Y Scheerlinck & Mark Stevenson, Exisle, October 2023) ‘provides up-to-date information on the management of honey bee diseases found globally, not just in the US, Europe, or Australia’.

Also among the science titles highlighted this year is The Knowledge Gene by Lynne Kelly (A&U, September 2024), which sheds light on why humans make art, the prehistory of music and story, and the cognitive strengths of neurodivergent people.

Business, health, and personal development

From risk-taking to comfort-seeking, authors bring diverse lived experience and professional expertise to share life advice with their readers. Life Skills for a Broken World by clinical and forensic psychologist Ahona Guha (Scribe, January 2024) is a ‘revolutionary framework for living well in a broken world’, combining ‘techniques from a range of therapeutic modalities’ for a values-focused guide to good psychological health, while addressing ‘the existential dread and despair that are valid responses to this era’. In Good with Money (A&U), Emma Edwards ‘explores money through the lens of human behaviour and unpacks why we feel the way we do about it’, supporting readers to use this perspective to shift their relationship with money and budgeting. Social media personality Chantel Mila, known for her #mamamilastips series, has created ‘a one-stop house cleaning bible’, The Dream Clean (Pantera), ‘promoting daily habit change and encompassing a philosophy of eco-friendly, budget-friendly cleaning as a form of self-care’. Pantera is also pitching the forthcoming Work Backwards: Reverse your thinking to change your life (Tim Duggan, April 2024), which interrogates the future of work. Nutritionist Sarah Di Lorenzo’s latest title, The Gut Repair Plan (S&S, 2024), is a ‘transformative guide to gut health’. Simon & Schuster will also be pitching The Art of Risk (Richard Harris, Scribner, July 2023)—from the diving doctor who ‘played a crucial role in the Tham Luang cave rescue in northern Thailand’—which ‘explores the stories of other people who regularly risk their lives and what we can learn from their expertise’.

Exisle is also excited to pitch several health and personal development titles. In The Clear Leader: How to lead well in a hyper-connected world (March 2024), authors James N Donald and Craig S Hassed combine business psychology and mindfulness to explore effective leadership. In The Mindful Freak-Out: A rescue manual for being at your best when life is at its worst (January 2024), clinical psychologist Eric Goodman presents evidence-based tools to face highly distressing moments with strength and clarity. In Mindful Relationships: Creating genuine connection with ourselves and others (August 2023), Margie Ulbrick and Richard Chambers present a guide to using mindfulness to manage conflict and enrich relationships. Finally, Laughton King’s Inside the Dyslexic Mind: A resource for parents, teachers and dyslexics themselves (May 2023) draws on lived and professional experience to describe the importance of understanding that dyslexic students thrive in different conditions to those that suit non-dyslexic students.

An image combining the covers of Cat on the Run, Kicking Goals Journal, If You Tell Anyone You’re Next, The Monster Game and Butterfly Girl

Authenticity, truth, wonder: Australian children’s and young adult titles at Frankfurt

Picture books

Allen & Unwin is showcasing Footprint by Phil Cummings (March 2024), a lyrical picture book that ‘empowers children to think about the natural environment in a mindful and positive way’, while absorbing the bright imagery created by up-and-coming illustrator Sally Soweol Han. The publisher is also offering Your Brain Is a Lump of Goo (February 2024), a funny exploration of the ‘most mysterious organ in the human body’ by Idan Ben-Barak, author of Do Not Lick This Book, and CBCA award-winning illustrator Christopher Nielsen.

University of Queensland Press (UQP) is looking forward to pitching the forthcoming Yanga Mother from Kooma and Nguri (First Nations) writer Cheryl Leavy (July 2024), a ‘lyrical bilingual picture book about the all-encompassing love of mothers, layered with meaning and historical truth-telling’, following the journey of a grey kangaroo and her joey, with themes of First Nations’ ‘resilience, connection to Country and never-ending motherly love’.

Hachette Australia also has a forthcoming picture book to showcase: The Very Best Words (Erin Munro & Sarah Trolle, March 2024), which is about older sister Emma’s quest to ‘find the best words’ for her new baby brother, in a story pitched as ‘a celebration of language and sibling love’.

Walker Books Australia will be highlighting I Wonder (Philip Bunting), a forthcoming title about asking questions and celebrating wonder as a step towards knowledge, as well as the foreign/translation rights for the Mini and Milo series from Venita Dimos and Natashia Curtin—The Teeny-Tiny VoiceThe Big Flappy EarsElephants Can’t Jump (2024), and The Last Plum (2024), as well as two more forthcoming titles planned for 2025. (Bold Type will represent the English-language rights for this series.)

Scholastic Australia is also excited for an upcoming release from Philip Bunting, due to publish this month: The Monster Game—which the publisher says empowers young readers to find their agency in the face of bedtime fears, rather than dismissing them.

Exisle Publishing will showcase When Grandma Burnt Her Bra (Samantha Tidy & Aska), a story from the perspective of a child with a proud feminist grandma, with a call to ‘carry the flame forward’; Butterfly Girl (Ashling Kwok & Arielle Li), which invites young readers to ‘add a touch of magic’ to their social and ecological environments, wherever they are; Nova’s Missing Masterpiece (Brooke Graham & Robin Tatlow-Lord), a tale about problem-solving and resilience that ‘features current evidence-based strategies to help self-regulate’; and Meet Mim (Sandra Severgnini), a guessing game about ‘the incredible camouflage skills of the mimic octopus’.

Windy Hollow is pitching a series of wellness board books for toddlers—Chill OutLove Green, Go Wild and Be Kind (Anna Pignataro)—the latter two of which will be published in July 2024; and Knock Knock (Catherine Meatheringham & Deb Hudson), which the publisher describes as a ‘joyous celebration of children’s lives and language around the world’.

Junior and middle-grade titles

Walker Books will showcase the forthcoming Small Acts, a collaborative story from neurodivergent authors Kate Foster and Kate Gordon for readers aged nine and up. The publisher describes Small Acts as ‘an authentic representation of what it can be like to be neurodivergent’, with themes about being kind to others, as well as to yourself, as the two protagonists ‘search for moments to leave things a bit better than what they found them’. Walker Books is also highlighting Losing the Plot by Annaleise Byrd, a middle-grade novel set in ‘a very surprising Grimm world’, into which protagonists Basil and Terry find themselves transported. (Foreign/translations rights for both titles will be represented by Walker Books, while English language rights will be represented by Bold Type Agency.)

UQP is excited to highlight the forthcoming middle-grade novel Leo and Ralph (Peter Carnavas), which it describes as ‘a beautifully rendered story about the friendship between an eccentric boy and his imaginary alien friend, and what happens when they have to say goodbye’.

Hachette is looking forward to pitching Wurrtoo, from local First Nations creators Tylissa Elisara and illustrator Dylan Finney, a forthcoming junior fiction adventure about friendship and facing fears, in which Wurrtoo the wombat sets out to marry the Sky, leaving the safety of the burrow and setting out on an adventure to reach the top of the tallest tree, with Kuula the koala by his side.

From Pantera comes two middle-grade nonfiction titles. Eww Gross! Foul facts and putrid pictures (Dan Marshall) is a book full of facts ‘tested by real scientists’ as the book’s mascot, Slimon, leads ‘a journey through all things rotten, revolting, despicable and downright disgusting’. Pantera is looking forward to pitching Foodwise: A kid’s guide to fighting food waste and saving the planet from Lucy Bell and photographer Lucy Leonardi, ‘guiding kids to be more conscious of their choices in using up food scraps, turning leftovers into meals, and making compost’.

Pantera is also pitching the fictional middle-grade title Spies in the Sky (Beverley McWilliams), a book about the brave acts of the racing pigeon Royal Blue, inspired by the true story of pigeons who went to war, and the third book in the Alice England Mysteries—The Strange Sighting (Ash Harrier)—in which twelve-year-old Alice uses her ‘resonant’ connections with funerary objects to solve mysteries.

Simon & Schuster Australia is pitching Kicking Goals Journal by Matildas soccer captain Sam Kerr and Louise Blair, which ‘will provide hours of know-how, stats and activities for soccer fans of all ages’.

From Exisle comes two forthcoming books from Emily Snape’s middle-grade Game On! series: Game On! Shrinkle and Game On! Glitched, which feature avid gamer Max and his mischievous brother Liam, as they must work together in adventures such as shrinking to miniature size and travelling through time. Also in middle-grade fiction, the publisher will pitch Ruby and the Pen and Xander and the Pen (David Lawrence & Cherie Dignam), featuring two protagonists who buy magical pens with great powers and serious consequences.

Scholastic is pitching Aaron Blabey’s ‘hotly anticipated, hilarious and thrilling’ graphic novel series Cat on the Run, which ‘already has a movie in development and is being rolled out in the US, UK and in translation’.

Allen & Unwin is offering the hardback nonfiction graphic novel Ultrawild (November 2023), which follows maverick inventor Steve Mushin as he tackles climate change with ‘an avalanche of outrageously funny, mind-bending, scientifically plausible inventions to rewild cities and save the planet’. The publisher is also offering Lian Tanner’s middle-grade novel Fledgewitch: A Dragons of Hallow Book (April 2024), ‘a delightfully whimsical fantasy tale brimming with bravery and betrayal’, which follows Queen Rose of Hallow, a 12-year-old girl with red hair and a wilful nature, who is also a dragon, and 10-year-old Brim, who has been sent to the Quillian School for Prevention of Witches—which must surely be a mistake, since she can’t do magic. And last but not least, also from A&U, is the upper middle-grade novel, Smoke and Mirrors (February 2024) from Barry Jonsberg, author of My Life As An Alphabet, about ‘an unusual teen with a challenging home life, who deals with—or avoids—past trauma through obsessively learning and performing magic tricks’.

Young adult

Two young adult novels will also be highlighted at the fair this year, with Walker Books showcasing Stuck Up & Stupid (November 2023) from actor Angourie Rice and her mother, playwright Kate Rice. Set between the ‘quiet coastal community of Pippi Beach’, other Australian settings, and LA, this ‘modern twist on Pride and Prejudice’ is, according to the publisher, both familiar and contemporary. Meanwhile, Scholastic is excited to highlight a new release from Jack Heath—If You Tell Anyone, You’re Next, a standalone thriller for young teens where ‘the toxicity of online culture drives the twists and turns’.

Image. Advertisement:

Local titles selling overseas

Since the industry last gathered for a major rights fair, titles from Australian publishers have continued to sell into international markets, with a range of new and established authors’ works to enter new territories.

Among these recent international rights sales of Australian titles, Echo has sold UK and Commonwealth (ex ANZ) rights to Debra Dank’s We Come With This Place to Footnote Press. Footnote Press editorial director Fritha Saunders told BookBrunch: ‘I was completely blown away by Debra’s stunning book—it’s beautifully written, incredibly moving and so evocative. This is an important book and a rare gem—we’re very proud to bring it to the Footnote list.’ Footnote Press will publish We Come With This Place in November.

Rights to Michael Gifkins Prize-winning novel Paper Cage (Tom Baragwanath, Text) have been sold to the US and UK, reports the Bookseller. In the UK the book will be published by Baskerville, the new literary crime and thriller imprint of Hachette-owned John Murray Press, with UK and Commonwealth rights (ex ANZ and Canada) having been acquired by Baskerville publishing director Jade Chandler from Sarah Lutyens at Lutyens & Rubinstein in a two-book deal. In the US, the book will be published by Anchor/Vintage. In both the UK and US, Paper Cage will publish in February 2024.

University of Queensland Press (UQP) has sold North American rights to Ellen van Neerven’s nonfiction book Personal Score: Sport. Culture. Identity to Eric Obenauf at Ohio publisher Two Dollar Radio. Personal Score provides a queer First Nations perspective on the role of sport in Australia, with a focus on van Neerven’s experience playing soccer at an elite level. Two Dollar Radio will publish Personal Score in March 2024.

UQP has also sold North American rights to Nightsong (Sally Soweol Han), the recently released follow-up to the author’s debut picture book Tiny Wonders, to Bloomsbury US. In Nightsong, after a big day in the noisy city, Lewis and his mother are heading home. But on the way, their bus breaks down, leaving them stuck on the side of a country road. It’s still and silent, but when Lewis ventures into a nearby field, he discovers that nature is full of wonder and music. Nightsong was released in Australia earlier this month.

Pictured: Sally Soweol Han.


Rights sales: Screen

Among recent book to screen adaptations, Cognito Entertainment, a new independent film and television production company in the United States, has optioned Every Version of You (Grace Chan, Affirm) for adaptation into an international feature film, in a deal negotiated by Bold Type Agency on behalf of Jacinta di Mase Management and Chan. Set in the near future, Every Version of You centres on a star-crossed romance between lovers separated by the boundary between our world and the metaverse. 

Two book adaptations are also among 47 projects to share A$1.2 million of story development funding from Screen Australia. Funding will go towards adaptations of Jessie Tu’s novel A Lonely Girl Is a Dangerous Thing (Allen & Unwin) and Mimi Kwa’s memoir House of Kwa (ABC Books), which will be filmed as drama series under the same titles.

The nonfiction book Sex: Two billion years of procreation and recreation (David Baker, Black Inc.) has been optioned by documentary producers Smith&Nasht for adaptation as a science television series, in a deal negotiated by Sophy Williams at Black Inc. The title ‘traces where all the facets of human sexuality came from, starting at the creation of sex approximately two billion years ago and chasing it down our evolutionary family tree—from dinosaurs to primates and the earliest humans—until we arrive at the present, revealing why humanity’s baffling array of passions, impulses and fetishes are the way they are’, according to the publisher.

Finally, a four-part adaptation of Scrublands (Chris Hammer, Allen & Unwin) has been acquired by the BBC from Abacus Media Rights, which has international distribution rights for the series, and will screen on streaming platform Stan in 2024. Scrublands is set in an isolated country town, where a charismatic and dedicated young priest calmly opens fire on his congregation, killing five parishioners. One year later, troubled journalist Martin Scarsden arrives in Riversend to write what should be a simple feature story on the anniversary of the tragedy. But when the journalist digs beneath the surface, the previously accepted narrative of the crime begins to fall apart, and he finds himself in a life and death race to uncover the truth.


Latest acquisitions: Fiction

Among the new fiction signed by Australian publishers this year are books by several authors trying something new.

Echo has acquired world rights to Katrina Kell’s first novel for adults, via Fiona Smith at Beyond Words Literary Agency. The book is inspired by the French nude portrait Chloé, which has been displayed on the wall of Melbourne’s Young and Jackson Hotel since 1909. Echo will publish the novel in May 2024.

HarperCollins has acquired ANZ rights to Cherrywood by Jock Serong in an auction brokered by Melanie Ostell of Melanie Ostell Literary. The ‘darkly playful, intriguing and deeply meaningful story of history, community, wonder, love and reinvention’ is, according to publisher Catherine Milne, ‘worlds away from what Jock has written before’. Cherrywood will be published under the Fourth Estate imprint in September 2024.

Puncher & Wattmann has acquired ANZ rights to debut short story collection The Mother Must Die by poet Koraly Dimitriadis via the author. The stories ‘attempt to capture the southern-European, working-class, migrant experience from a feminist perspective, depicting troubled characters of various ages and genders struggling with some aspect of Australian life’ and will be published in mid-2024.

And, in a case of a publisher trying something new, children’s publisher Larrikin House has branched out into adult fiction, with The Bogan Book Club by John Larkin. Described by the publisher as a fun and heartfelt story about being an outsider, it features a protagonist who, upon being released from prison, is taken to a book club by his brother—a book club that turns out to be ‘a group of other misfits’. The Bogan Book Club will be released in late 2024.

Read the full article here.


Latest acquisitions: Nonfiction

Hachette Australia announced last year that it would enter a publishing scout partnership with screenwriter, author and broadcaster Benjamin Law. The results are now materialising, with adult nonfiction publisher Sophie Hamley having acquired world rights to Complete and Utter Failure by Kara Schlegl and ANZ, UK and Commonwealth rights to Model Minority Gone Rogue by Lisa Qin, for publication in February and March 2024 respectively.

HarperCollins Australia has acquired world rights to nonfiction work Flying Not Falling by Ginger Gorman, in a deal brokered by Jane Novak of Jane Novak Literary Agency. Flying Not Falling will explore the ways in which women are gradually erased as they age. ‘The observation older women are treated as invisible is not a new one—and plenty has been written about it. This book differs because it suggests this state of affairs as a deliberate erasure—and it occurs when senior women are at their most formidable,’ said the publisher. Flying Not Falling will be published in early 2025.

NewSouth Publishing has acquired world rights to Shirley Hazzard and Elizabeth Harrower: The letters, edited by Brigitta Olubas and Susan Wyndham, for publication in mid-2024; world rights to ‘a bold new history’ by Yves Rees, via Jacinta di Mase Management—‘a rollicking ride that challenges the idea that men and war made the transpacific alliance’, for publication in August 2024; and world rights to science writer Zoe Kean’s popular science title Why are we like this?, asking questions such as ‘What can scuba diving at Shark Bay uncover about the evolution of sex and gender?’, due to be published in late 2024.

Read the full article here.


Latest acquisitions: Children's and YA

Christmas Press has acquired world rights to Leaf Letters, a junior fiction title by author-illustrator Lorena Carrington. Christmas Press publishing director Sophie Masson said, ‘Told in words and pictures, this is a story of friendship, the pleasures of the natural world, and the pleasures of mystery! Plus it’s an invitation for young readers to join in the fun through coded messages and puzzles to solve. What’s not to love?’ Leaf Letters will be published by Christmas Press in July 2024.

Fremantle Press and Alphabet Soup Books will co-publish a collection of poetry for middle readers, Right Way Down and other poems. Alphabet Soup Books publisher Rebecca Newman said the collection aims to ‘provide a fun way for young readers to access poetry, covering a variety of topics’. Right Way Down and other poems will be published in March 2024.

Hachette Australia has acquired world rights to the first two picture books in a new series by Gamilaroi man, ABC television presenter and former AFL player Tony Armstrong. Head of children’s publishing Jeanmarie Morosin, who acquired the titles, said that Armstrong’s creativity and humour ‘are well and truly on display in this magical picture book series’, which features Armstrong’s ‘thoughtful and unique take on the world’. The as-yet-untitled first book in the series is due to be published in May 2024.

Hachette Australia has acquired ANZ rights to a ‘dark fantasy trilogy’ by debut Australian author Tigest Girma, as part of a global deal alongside Hachette Children’s Group in the United Kingdom and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in the United States. In the series, Girma, an Ethiopian writer based in Melbourne, weaves in East African characters and lore ‘to bring a unique and decadent spin on vampires, introducing an elite secret university, a seductive romance, and ancient creatures of the night bound to 12 human houses that each represent a bloodline more cut-throat and competitive than the next’, according to the publisher. Immortal Dark will be published in September 2024.

Read the full article here.

Image. Advertisement:

Australian titles with international appeal

Discover the latest rights opportunities from Australian publishers participating in the Australian Collective Stand at Frankfurt. View the Stand Catalogue here, featuring over 100 fiction, nonfiction and children’s titles with international appeal.

Image. Advertisement:

Chandran wins Miles Franklin, Wright honoured for Lifetime Achievement

Tamil Australian author Shankari Chandran won Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, for her third novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens (Ultimo). The book explores how the family behind the fictional Cinnamon Gardens Nursing Home came to be in Sydney, through five different perspectives and an ensemble of supporting characters.

Waanyi (First Nations) author Alexis Wright was honoured with Creative Australia’s Lifetime Achievement in Literature award, which ‘acknowledges the achievements of eminent literary writers over the age of 60 who have made an outstanding and lifelong contribution to Australian literature’. Wright’s previous awards include the Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Carpentaria (Giramondo) in 2007, and the 2018 Stella Prize for the collective memoir Tracker (Giramondo). Wright’s most recent book, Praiseworthy (Giramondo), won the fiction category at the 2023 Queensland Literary Awards.

Also among the Queensland Literary Award winners was another First Nations author, Gudanji/Wakaja woman Debra Dank, who won the nonfiction category for We Come With This Place (Echo); and Sarah Holland-Batt, for her poetry collection The Jaguar (UQP), which won the Queensland Premier’s Award for a Work of State Significance, and previously won the Stella Prize. At the NSW Premier’s History Awards, Elizabeth and John (Alan Atkinson, NewSouth) won the Australian history prize and Under Empire (Michael Laffan, Columbia University) won the general history prize.

Hayley Scrivenor has been recognised overseas, winning a UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) 2023 Dagger Award for her novel Dirt Town (Macmillan). Scrivenor’s novel was also among the winners of the Sisters in Crime Australia’s 2023 Davitt Awards, along with other crime novels including All That’s Left Unsaid (Tracey Lien, HQ Fiction) and Seven Days (Fleur Ferris, Puffin). Also in crime writing are the winners of the 2023 Ned Kelly Awards, which included crime fiction novels Wake (Shelley Burr, Hachette), Exiles (Jane Harper, Macmillan) and Betrayed (Sandi Logan, Hachette).

In children’s book awards, the Children’s Book Council of Australia announced the winners of the prestigious Book of the Year Awards, as well as the Shadow Judging Book of the Year Awards, chosen by groups of young people; and the Wilderness Society revealed the winners of the 2023 Environment Award for Children’s Literature and the Karajia Award for First Nations children’s storytelling.


Introducing Key People

Earlier this year, publishing professionals Lou Johnson and Jeanne Ryckmans set up a new literary agency, Key People Literary Management. With a connection going back to their time as colleagues at Penguin Random House in 2000, Johnson and Ryckmans have worked across a wide range of publishing roles, and Ryckmans is also author of the recently released book Trust: A fractured fable (Upswell). The duo tells Think Australian the story behind their new agency—and a little of their plans for the future.

Tell us about your individual careers before you created Key People.

Jeanne: I have had a varied career as an on-air television presenter and reporter fronting Masterpiece, TV World, and Imagine arts programs on SBS television (this will carbon-date me); director of two documentaries; features magazine editor; book publisher for two multinationals (Random House/ HarperCollins) and one independent (Black Inc.); and artistic director of the Canberra Writers Festival (2019–2022)—the latter whilst working simultaneously as a literary agent. Essentially it’s been a long vocation of storytelling from both sides of the publishing fence, with plenty of author wrangling.

I’ve been fortunate to work with authors including dual Miles Franklin Award winner Christopher Koch, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Socceroos legend Johnny Warren, Margaret Whitlam, 2019 Stella Prize winner Vicki Laveau-Harvie and many others. Last month, Upswell Publishing released my hybrid memoir/detective story called Trust: A fractured fable. I feel grateful to those publishing colleagues and authors who have stayed the course.

Lou: I was lucky enough to be born into publishing. My father was sent from the UK to Australia by Penguin Books in 1968, and my mother was a publicist, literary agent and publisher, so I grew up surrounded by authors and books.

Publishing gets under your skin, and although I toyed with other careers, it was publishing that won my heart. The power of storytelling to connect us has always been the driver of that.

Read the full article here.


Australian bestsellers 2023 YTD

Top 10 Australian adult fiction titles YTD

  1. The Bookbinder of Jericho (Pip Williams, Affirm) 96,745
  2. Homecoming (Kate Morton, A&U) 70,765
  3. Exiles (Jane Harper, Macmillan) 35,890
  4. The Dictionary of Lost Words (Pip Williams, Affirm) 35,080
  5. Dead Tide (Fiona McIntosh, Michael Joseph) 23,355
  6. Before You Knew My Name (Jacqueline Bublitz, A&U) 23,320
  7. The Tea Ladies (Amanda Hampson, Viking) 17,900
  8. Runt (Craig Silvey, Allen & Unwin) 16,765
  9. Apples Never Fall (Liane Moriarty, Pan) 16,380
  10. The Soulmate (Sally Hepworth, Macmillan) 16,165

Top 10 Australian adult nonfiction titles YTD

  1. RecipeTin Eats: Dinner (Nagi Maehashi, Macmillan) 150,470
  2. The Voice to Parliament Handbook (Thomas Mayo & Kerry O’Brien, HG Explore) 50,030
  3. The Barefoot Investor (Scott Pape, Wiley) 40,075
  4. The Happiest Man on Earth (Eddie Jaku, Macmillan) 25,335
  5. Wifedom (Anna Funder, Hamish Hamilton) 20,610
  6. Heartstrong (Ellidy Pullin, Hachette) 18,180
  7. She’s on the Money (Victoria Devine, Random House) 15,480
  8. My Dream Time (Ash Barty, HarperCollins) 15,365
  9. Bulldozed (Niki Savva, Scribe) 15,080
  10. The Resilience Project (Hugh van Cuylenburg, PRH) 13,905

Top 10 Australian children’s titles YTD

  1. Bluey: Happy Easter (Puffin) 37,085
  2. Barefoot Kids (Scott Pape, HarperCollins) 32,765
  3. The Bad Guys 17: Let the Games Begin! (Aaron Blabey, Scholastic) 30,315
  4. Bluey: Little Library (Puffin) 27,940
  5. Where Is the Green Sheep? (Mem Fox, Puffin) 26,930
  6. Bluey: Easter (Puffin) 26,045
  7. Bluey: Swim School (Puffin) 25,390
  8. The Speedy Sloth (Rebecca Young, Scholastic) 21,485
  9. Wolf Girl 8: Welcome to Paradise (Anh Do, A&U Children’s) 21,365
  10. Ninja Kid 11: Ninja Artists! (Anh Do, Scholastic) 20,995

© Nielsen BookScan 2023. Period covered: 1 January 2023 to week ending 12 August 2023.
Data supplied by Nielsen BookScan’s book sales monitoring system from over 1300 outlets nationwide.




Contact us


News editor
Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, newsletters
Matthia Dempsey

Digital producer
Andrew Wrathall

Classifieds, jobs and notices

Display advertising

Select newsletters

Select which newsletters you’d like to receive here.
Unsubscribe from individual newsletters here.
Or unsubscribe from all newsletters here.

View articles

Purchase a subscription to Books+Publishing to view all articles on the website.

If you need help with your subscription, please email the subscriptions team.

Follow us