Weekly Book Newsletter
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15 January 2020

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
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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

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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#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

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

Nick Cave book to be published in April

Allen & Unwin is excited to announce the publication of Nick Cave’s forthcoming book, Stranger than Kindness, from Canongate in April this year.

Featuring previously unseen material, Stranger Than Kindness is a highly collectable visual record of Nick Cave’s early years and the decades he has spent making music, chronicling the highs and lows, the blows of fate and the transformations required to survive. Presenting more than forty years of Cave’s life, work and inspiration and exploring his many real and imagined universes, the book features original artwork, handwritten lyrics, literature, photography, videos, set designs, collected personal artefacts and commentary, bringing together more than 300 objects selected from Cave’s own collection, the Nick Cave archive at Arts Centre Melbourne and the collections of the Royal Danish Library.

Stranger than Kindness
ISBN 9781838852245 ARP$49.99

For orders, please contact your A&U Account Manager, or contact UBD.


Ferrante novel coming in June

Allen & Unwin is thrilled to announce the publication of the much-awaited new novel from Elena Ferrante, The Lying Life of Adults, from Europa Editions on the global publication date of 9 June 2020. Set in 1990s Naples, and translated by Ferrante’s long-time translator, Ann Goldstein, The Lying Life of Adults is Ferrante’s first novel in five years. The Italian edition has sold 200,000 copies since publication in November 2019.

Allen & Unwin will also commence selling the first of Ferrante’s Neapolitan Quartet, My Brilliant Friend, from 19 May 2020, in a handsome new cover edition.

The Lying Life of Adults
ISBN 9781787702400 ARP$32.99

For orders, please contact your A&U Account Manager or contact UBD.




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Kelsey Oldham

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Brad Jefferies

Acting editor, Daily
Matthia Dempsey

Editorial assistant
Anthea Yang

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