Earlier this year, Australian publishers, booksellers and industry leaders predicted that 2020 would see a growing demand for uplit and practical titles on climate change, as well as health and personal development titles. This has certainly been borne out in global rights sales and acquisitions over the past six months. As Allen & Unwin rights manager Maggie Thompson gears up for this year’s virtual Frankfurt Book Fair, she reports that ‘books that allow people to live better, less anxious and more fulfilling lives are among my top requests from editors and agents’.
But other trends are also emerging. When Black Inc. rights and contracts coordinator Erin Sandiford nominated the categories that she felt were most in-demand, she listed: ‘Literary translation. Big-picture nonfiction, especially optimistic deep dives into how we can fix the world’s social and environmental problems, and how we can connect with nature. More generally, writing by women and people of colour and writing that explores issues of gender, queerness and race, is starting to get the attention it deserves.’ This attention to marginalised voices is starting to come through in publishers’ lists, particularly in children’s and YA titles, where #ownvoices stories are becoming much more commonplace.
In this issue of Think Australian you can read about the latest Australian rights sales, acquisitions, award-winners and bestsellers, including a round-up of the titles that Australian publishers are most excited to be pitching in the coming months. You can also find an overview of the Australian book market here.
International publishers also have a new way of seeking out Australian stories. The Australian Publishers Association has launched its new Books from Australia website, which features a selection of titles from Australian publishers for rights managers to browse.
Once again, we’ve teamed up with Publishers Weekly and BookBrunch to distribute this issue of Think Australian to over 50,000 subscribers. However, if you’re a Publishers Weekly or BookBrunch subscriber and want to receive more frequent updates on the Australian rights market, please sign up here.