Weekly Book Newsletter (end March 2022)
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16 October 2019


Full program announced for SPN conference 2019

The Small Press Network (SPN) has announced the full program for its 2019 Independent Publishing Conference, which will run at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne... Read more
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Australian bookshops threatened with legal action over Ronan Farrow book

An Australian journalist has threatened legal action over the publication of investigative reporter Ronan Farrow’s new book, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. Former Channel Seven... Read more

OzCo launches funding initiatives for promoting Australian books overseas

The Australia Council has launched three new literature initiatives aimed at engaging with overseas readers and increasing international demand for Australian literature. The opportunities, aimed... Read more
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HarperCollins puts backlist titles on Kindle Unlimited x

HarperCollins has put a ‘limited number’ of its backlist ebook titles onto Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited subscription service in Australia and the UK. As reported by... Read more


Owners of The Hobart Bookshop to retire

The owners of The Hobart Bookshop, Christopher Pearce and Janet Grecian, have decided to retire after almost 30 years of owning the business. In the... Read more
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Shortlists for Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes announced

The shortlists for the 2019 Tasmanian Premier’s Literary Prizes have been announced. The shortlisted works and their authors are: Tasmania Book Prize for the best... Read more


Oz, NZ authors and illustrators on 2019 White Ravens list

Several books by Australian and New Zealand authors and illustrators have been included in the 2019 White Ravens list for international children’s and youth literature.... Read more


Phil Roberts wins Victorian Premier’s History Award for ‘Avenue of Memories’

Phil Roberts has won the third Victorian Premier’s History Award, worth $5000, for Avenue of Memories, published by Ballarat Arch of Victory & Avenue of... Read more

Over 700 sign open letter urging arts ministers to reject MPA funding framework

More than 700 artists and arts workers have signed an open letter addressed to state arts ministers as they meet today in Adelaide to discuss... Read more

The Co-op loses Australian Geographic brand

Textbook retailer The Co-op has lost the rights to use the Australian Geographic brand, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, with a total of 64 former... Read more


HarperCollins acquires Morton’s ‘My Year of Living Vulnerably’ x

HarperCollins has acquired ANZ rights to Rick Morton’s second book, My Year of Living Vulnerably—a series of interconnected essays of memoir and social commentary written... Read more


Picador acquires Spargo-Ryan memoir in ‘heated’ auction

Picador has acquired ANZ rights to an as yet untitled work of nonfiction by Anna Spargo-Ryan. Picador publisher Mathilda Imlah won a ‘heated’ auction to... Read more


Walker acquires middle-grade novels from Pamela Rushby, Allison Rushby x

Walker Books Australia has acquired world rights to new middle-grade titles by authors Pamela Rushby and Allison Rushby, who are mother and daughter. Pamela Rushby’s... Read more


Scribe acquires book on Hong Kong protest movement

Scribe publisher Henry Rosenbloom has acquired world rights to City on Fire: The fight for Hong Kong by Antony Dapiran, an Australian writer and lawyer... Read more


Hachette acquires Claire Thomas’ ‘The Performance’ at auction

Hachette has acquired ANZ rights to Claire Thomas’ second novel, The Performance, in a five-way auction via Clare Forster at Curtis Brown Australia. Weidenfeld &... Read more


Lawyer Stewart Levitt launches $20,000 poetry prize x

Human rights lawyer Stewart Levitt has launched the biennial $20,000 Levitt Indigenous Poetry Prize for poems that ‘reflect Indigenous social, personal and political issues’. Entrants... Read more


Scrivenor wins 2019 Ray Koppe Residency

Hayley Scrivenor has won the Australian Society of Authors (ASA)’s 2019 Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Residency for her manuscript ‘The Push Back’. Scrivenor’s manuscript tells... Read more

Deakin University Nonfiction Prize shortlist announced

Deakin University and Express Media have announced the shortlist for the 2019 Deakin University Nonfiction Prize. The shortlisted writers and their works are: Kat Capel,... Read more


Collins Sunbury named National Franchise of the Year

Collins Booksellers Sunbury has been named National Franchisee of the Year at the Collins National Franchisee Conference in Melbourne. Collins Booksellers Thirroul won the marketing... Read more

Ardern launches te reo Māori translation trust

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has launched the Kotahi Rau Pukapuka Trust, which will translate 100 popular fiction books into te reo Māori over... Read more


Atwood, Evaristo tie for Booker Prize 2019

The 2019 Booker Prize has been jointly awarded to Bernadine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other (Hamish Hamilton) and Margaret Atwood for The Testaments (Chatto &... Read more


Tokarczuk, Handke awarded Nobel Prizes in Literature

Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk and Austrian writer Peter Handke have been awarded Nobel Prizes in Literature, after the Swedish Academy postponed the 2018 prize following... Read more


Shortlist for India's JCB Prize for Literature announced

The shortlist for India’s richest literary award, the Rs 2.5 million (A$51,800) JCB Prize for Literature, has been announced. The shortlisted works of fiction are:... Read more

RELX Group named world’s largest publisher

RELX Group—formerly known as Reed Elsevier—has been named the world’s largest publishing company on Livres Hebdo/Publishers Weekly’s annual ranking for 2018. RELX posted publishing revenue... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Nonfiction Murdoch Books has sold French-language and Dutch-language rights to The Fit Foodie Meal Prep Plan (Sally O’Neil) to Marabout Publishing and Forte Uitgevers... Read more


Bestsellers: Kitty Flanagan rules the charts x

After three consecutive weeks at number one on the bestseller chart, The Testaments (Margaret Atwood, Chatto & Windus) has slipped down to fifth spot, replaced... Read more


Invisible Boys (Holden Sheppard, Fremantle Press) x

In the coastal town of Geraldton, several young men struggle with the restrictions placed on them by culture, parental expectations and peer pressure. With the... Read more

Publishing in a time of political instability

‘As publishers we should be publishing political books from the left, from the right, from the centre. It’s important we’re not retreating back to publishing the sort of liberal books that fit the views of most of the people who work in publishing.’HarperCollins UK CEO Charlie Redmayne on the effects of political and economic instability on the UK publishing industry.



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

Brisbane libraries ban Extinction Rebellion protestors

Brisbane’s LNP City Council has banned Extinction Rebellion activists from using the city’s libraries to plan protests, reports the Brisbane Times. Lord mayor Adrian Schrinner... Read more

Jan Richards to receive ALIA’s H C L Anderson Award

The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) will present the H C L Anderson award to Central West Libraries NSW manager Jan Richards. Richards will... Read more

UK governments to give £250m funding boost to libraries

In the UK, the government has announced £250 million (A$464.7m) in funding for libraries, museums and other cultural projects, reports the Arts Newspaper. The funding... Read more

More than 100,000 sign petition condemning Macmillan’s new ebook lending terms

In the US, more than 100,000 readers, authors and library staff have signed a petition condemning Macmillan’s plan to restrict library access to its new... Read more


Brexit, bookselling and ‘Boy Swallows Universe’: An interview with Charlie Redmayne x

Charlie Redmayne is CEO of HarperCollins UK, with responsibility for the UK, Ireland, India and Australia. He joined HarperCollins as group digital director, but left... Read more


Taking stock: Hachette’s Next Stock Date system x

Hachette’s Next Stock Date system aims to provide booksellers with timely, accurate data. After spending more than two years developing it, Hachette has offered to... Read more


Book designer spotlight: Imogen Stubbs

A love of publishing sparked by the Professional Writing and Editing course at RMIT led to studying graphic design, eventually landing Imogen Stubbs a job... Read more

Benjamin Law to give Colin Simpson Memorial Lecture 2019

The Australian Society of Authors (ASA) is delighted to announce Benjamin Law will present the Colin Simpson Memorial Lecture 2019: Stories from the Margins. Growing... Read more

ABA Sales Rep of the Year Awards

The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) has opened entries for both its New South Wales and Victorian Sales Rep of the Year Awards. Booksellers have the... Read more

ABA booksellers and publishers Christmas parties

The Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) invites booksellers and publishers to attend Christmas parties in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. Victorian party Date: Monday, 11 November, 6:30pm... Read more

Writers SA: Self-publishing weekend

Writers SA is running a two-day program on self-publishing, featuring a range of workshops, Q&A panels and networking events. Speakers and presenters include authors John... Read more

Editors NSW: Editing for accessibility

Editors NSW is running a meeting on editing for accessibility with freelance editor Julie Ganner. The presentation will discuss: the term ‘print disability’ and some of... Read more

Herron Books Christmas commitments are very strong this year

Herron is receiving substantial orders this year as the impulse and value offers are more important than ever.

If your store needs a simple, last minute Christmas pack solution with an attractive, fresh and irresistible offer, go to our website at herronbooks.com and click on your required pack size. POS is also available. It’s easy.


Writing Life Well: How inspiring, influential and useful narrative and illustrated books are created

This new one-day symposium created by Faber Writing Academy and Murdoch Books brings together leading lifestyle publishers and authors to offer aspiring writers frank advice on how to become a successful lifestyle author.

Date: Saturday, 16 November 2019, from 10am to 4pm, on The Terrace at Allen & Unwin.

Full details and booking information here.


Bookshop for sale

After 30 years in the trade, the iconic Hobart Bookshop is for sale.

Owners Christopher Pearce and Janet Grecian are retiring and offer this rare opportunity to acquire both a long established and successful business, as well as a much loved and esteemed bookshop that continues to play a significant role in Hobart’s rich cultural life.

Perfectly situated in the historic Salamanca precinct and serving a wide customer base of local, interstate and international visitors, it carries a wide range of quality books, including Tasmanian history and literature, and an extensive children’s list that supplies numerous local schools.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to secure a dream Hobart lifestyle.

For more information, email hobartbookshop@gmail.com


The bestselling Alex Rider series celebrates its 20th anniversary with brand new TV series

Sony Pictures Television and Eleventh Hour Films have unveiled a first look at the Alex Rider TV adaptation, which they are distributing worldwide. The eight-part coming-of-age series centres on Point Blanc, Anthony Horowitz’s second novel in the Alex Rider collection, which will celebrate its 20th anniversary next year.

This first look comes in the lead up to the release of the TV show (date still TBC). This coincides with the 20th anniversary of Stormbreaker in 2020, as well as the highly anticipated release of a brand new Alex Rider adventure, Nightshade in April 2020. The Alex Rider collection is one of Walker Books’ bestselling series, selling over 13 million copies worldwide and over one million copies in the ANZ market. For more information visit the website.


Change of distribution for Sounds True

As of 1 December, Pan Macmillan Australia will begin distributing all Sounds True titles, including distributed clients Eckhart Teachings, Inc., The Relaxation Company and NE Press. The previous distributor, NewSouth Books have ceased responsibility for selling these titles.

The cut-off date for returns for Sounds True titles invoiced by NewSouth Books via ADS will be the 30 November.


Murdoch Books takes steps towards greater environmental responsibility

At Murdoch Books, we pride ourselves on having our finger on the pulse, staying ahead of emerging trends and publishing books with conviction and flair.

Everything we do at Murdoch Books is driven by our mission to share new conversations and fresh ideas for living life well, and every single book we publish in our highly curated publishing program is approached with the aim to add some value to the world.

In that spirit we want to do everything in our power to support our planet. We have been really excited to see the steps taken by the UK Booksellers Association and local retailers like Fullers Bookshop and we want to do our bit.

Like most publishers we print on FSC certified renewable paper for all new books and we are currently reviewing our whole production supply chain to see where we can make any other improvements. Ceasing any production of unnecessary point of sale and selling material including blads, samplers, presenters and proofs is a simple and tangible step we are taking immediately. If and when we do produce any supporting material it will be recyclable and made-to-order, so there is no waste.

From now on we are asking that our books speak for themselves, and that you will know that every book published with the Murdoch Books logo is on trend, quality assured, professionally produced and commercially exciting.

Please let us know if you have any other ideas on positive actions we can take to touch our wonderful world more lightly.

Lou Johnson, Publishing Director

Murdoch Books



Australian Reading Hour seeking ambassadors for 2020

The Australian Reading Hour (ARH) is seeking submissions from agents, authors and publishers for ambassadors for the 2020 ARH event, which will take place on 17 September.

Children’s ambassadors for next year’s event must be willing to publish a book at the price of $2.99, while all ambassadors will need to be available for media interviews and an event.

This year, for the first time, ARH children’s ambassadors contributed books that were published in the lead-up to Australian Reading Hour on 19 September and retailed for $2.99 at bookshops and libraries.

Hachette Australia CEO and chair of the ARH committee Louise Sherwin-Stark said: ‘The ambassadors and their books were the catalysts for the massive campaign growth we’ve seen this year, and we are looking to take what we’ve learnt this year to drive even more engagement and awareness in 2020.’

This year’s Australian Reading Hour featured more than 240 official events with 60 authors, as well as other locally organised celebrations.

Interested applicants are asked to submit to australianreadinghour@gmail.com by the end of November 2019.




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