Weekly Book Newsletter
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15 January 2020

Introducing the new WBN x

Welcome to the new-look Weekly Book Newsletter! In 2020, we’re streamlining the WBN to focus more on features and analysis. We’ll still round up the week’s biggest news stories here, but for up-to-the-minute news, please consider signing up to our Daily newsletter here. To learn more about some of the other changes we’re making to Books+Publishing this year, you can read the letter we sent out to readers yesterday here. One other change to note is that we have moved to a new office in Prahran. Please send all future postal items, including advance reading copies, to PO Box 42, Prahran, VIC 3181.

We begin the year with the news that the value of the Australian book market fell 3.1% in 2019—the first notable dip after five consecutive years of marginal growth. Children’s books sales—up 3% on 2018—were a rare category highlight, with fiction (down 3.4%), nonfiction (down 6.2%), cookbooks (down 6.1%) and biographies and autobiographies (down five percent) all taking a hit.

During our Christmas hiatus, the University of Western Australia gave a temporary reprieve to UWA Publishing (UWAP), after the university announced in November it would close the press and move to an open access publishing model. A string of award-winners and shortlists, funding recipients and new hires were named over the past few weeks. These include the shortlists for the Indie Book Awards, the ACT Book of the Year and the Dorothy Hewett Award; the recipients of the latest round of funding from the Australia Council and Create NSW; and new appointments at Melbourne Writers Festival, Melbourne University Publishing and Booktopia.

Overseas, print sales were also down—albeit marginally—in the US in 2019; Pearson has sold its remaining 25% stake in Penguin Random House to Bertelsmann; and a group of major US publishers have reached an undisclosed settlement with Audible over the company’s Captions lawsuit.

For all the latest local, international and rights news, sign up to our Daily newsletter here.

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Please complete our Christmas survey

Books+Publishing is currently conducting its Christmas survey of booksellers and publishers. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey online. We’re accepting submissions until... Read more

Save 25% on individual annual subscriptions

If you’re not a Books+Publishing subscriber, we’d like to take the opportunity to invite you to sign up with a 25% discount on individual annual subscriptions... Read more
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#AuthorsForFireys raises hundreds of thousands for bushfire relief x

The #AuthorsForFireys campaign closed on the evening of Saturday 11 January, raising an estimated hundreds of thousands of dollars for bushfire relief across the nation,... Read more


Bestsellers: Bluey sticker book number one in the new year x

With Christmas over for another year, the number one book on the Australian bestseller chart in the first week of 2020 is sticker activity book... Read more
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Desire Lines (Felicity Volk, Hachette) x

Desire Lines is a heartrending love story between a man struggling to overcome the struggles of a deeply traumatic childhood and a woman who, frankly,... Read more

The decline in new-title publishing

‘New-title publishing has become much riskier and more expensive for all publishers. They naturally react to that by publishing fewer new titles, and that describes the tactics of just about every publisher in the business over the past decade. And a smaller percentage of those titles go on to become enduring backlist.’US publishing industry consultant Mike Shatzkin on how trends from the past decade could inform the books market in the 2020s.



RiP Renée Senogles x

Publishing professional Renée Senogles died on 19 December 2019, aged 40. Senogles was US marketing and publicity manager for Hardie Grant, within the Chronicle Books... Read more


Publishers Weekly x

Books+Publishing is partnering with US trade news magazine Publishers Weekly to provide our subscribers with exclusive access to the weekly digital edition of PW magazine... Read more

Change for Macmillan Education Primary

Publisher: Macmillan Education Primary ISBN prefix: 781420 Old distributor: Macmillan New distributor: Lioncrest Education Pty Ltd Changeover date: 1 January 2020 Returns cut-off: Contact URL:... Read more

Change for Europa Editions

Publisher: Europa Editions ISBN prefix: 97817877 Old distributor: NewSouth Books New distributor: Allen & Unwin Changeover date: 1 March 2020 Returns cut-off: 31 March 2020... Read more

Changes for TL Distribution

New distributor: TL Distribution Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press ISBN prefix: 97808061; 978087062 Old distributor: East-West Export Books (EWEB) Changeover date: 1 January 2020 Publisher:... Read more

New office for Echo Publishing x

Echo Publishing has relocated from its Melbourne office to new premises in Sydney. The new address is: Echo Publishing Suite 10, Level 6, 10 Help... Read more

Editors Victoria: Working grammar course

Editors Victoria is running a one-day grammar course, taught by Glenys Osborne. Do you know what to do when you are writing and copyediting, but... Read more

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