Weekly Book Newsletter (end March 2022)
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8 April 2020

‘WBN’ published Thursday next week

Please note that, due to the Easter break, the next Weekly Book Newsletter will be published on Thursday, 16 April. The deadline for classifieds and... Read more
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Publishers roll out redundancies, reduced working hours; funding bodies restructure financial support; ABDA shortlists and more

This week Hardie Grant and Scribe became the first Australian publishers to announce redundancies in response to Covid-19. Other publishers, including Thames & Hudson Australia and Allen & Unwin, have announced reductions in working hours to help keep costs down. Overseas, Macmillan Publishers in the US and PRH, Hachette and Bonnier Books in the UK have begun laying-off and furloughing staff.

The good news is that, for now, the Australian trade publishing market has been experiencing Christmas-like sales growth as consumers purchase books for entertainment in isolation. Nielsen BookScan reports that Australia’s trade publishing market revenue for the week ending 28 March was up 15% on the same week last year, with the number of copies sold up 36% compared to the same time in 2019.

Funding bodies also responded to the pandemic this week. Announcing its four-year funding grants for 2021–24, the Australia Council said it would extend funding to 49 currently-funded organisations that were unsuccessful in the 2021–24 round for 12 months at a reduced level. The Copyright Agency, meanwhile, said it would use $375,000 from its Future Fund to support new initiatives in response to the Covid-19 crisis and will bring forward its Cultural Fund grants, forecast to be worth $1.8 million, to the first half of the 2020–21 financial year.

In awards news, Australian author Shokoofeh Azar has been shortlisted for the 2020 International Booker Prize, Jay Kristoff has been longlisted for the UK’s Glass Bell Award and the Australian Book Designers Association has announced the shortlists for the Australian Book Design Awards.

Also this week, two well-known Australian industry figures—Martin Shaw and Annabel Barker—announced new literary agencies, while the NT Writers Festival was postponed and the Emerging Writers Festival announced this year’s festival will take place entirely online.



European markets and Covid-19: Consumers brace for quarantine with ebooks x

European members of PubMagNet—a network of publishing and bookselling trade publications from across the globe—have shared with Books+Publishing summaries of how their book markets are... Read more
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Bestsellers: Fiction proves popular in pandemic x

Bluey continues her four-week run in the number one spot with Bluey: Easter Fun!, but adult fiction dominates this week’s charts. Marian Keyes’ romantic comedy... Read more


Father of the Lost Boys (Yuot A Alaak, Fremantle Press) x

This shocking story should be better known: the attempt of more than 20,000 orphaned boys and thousands more refugee followers to survive amid the terrifying... Read more
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Henry Turnip (Chloe Jasmine Harris, Walker Books) x

Henry Turnip is a panda who likes strawberry jam sandwiches with the crusts cut off, reading about the ocean, and his seven sets of blue-striped... Read more


Almost a Mirror (Kirsten Krauth, Transit Lounge) x

Kirsten Krauth’s Almost a Mirror is about the relationship between music and memory, and the unexpected directions that family and romantic life can take. Mona... Read more


Taking Down Evelyn Tait (Poppy Nwosu, Wakefield) x

Lottie is 16 and loves black metal, collecting curious words and making trouble, so her transformation into a goody two-shoes surprises herself as much as... Read more

Covid-19 reveals crisis in arts funding

‘Covid-19 is an opportunity to ask ourselves as a nation why we take our artists and cultural organisations for granted. Why, even in an emergency, can’t we find the money to fund a couple of hundred of the most important arts organisations in the country properly?’—In an opinion piece for the Guardian, Ben Eltham looks at how the federal government’s systemic underfunding of the arts sector has worsened the effect of the Covid-19 crisis on the industry.



Read the latest 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


ALIA announces Covid-19 Relief Fund

The Australian Library and Information Service (ALIA) has announced it will set up a relief fund ‘specifically to help members who are experiencing a reduction... Read more

Ethicool Books opens for submissions

A new children’s book publisher has emerged from the pack in 2020 and it’s called Ethicool.

We’re disrupting the time-honoured publishing industry with a fresh, progressive and high-calibre brand that is currently seeking submissions from authors the world over.

Whether you’re extensively published, or simply aspiring to enter the world of professional authorship, we’re excited to hear from you.

Order a book or two in our kids’ book store, be inspired, read our blog on the topic, and then get your submission in via submissions@ethicoolbooks.com. No matter how busy we are, we’re ALWAYS excited to hear from new authors!


Change of distribution for Griffith Review

Griffith Review is pleased to announce that its distribution will move to NewSouth Books, beginning with Griffith Review 69: The European Exchange (August). We look forward to a successful partnership and new directions with the NewSouth team. Griffith Review would also like to thank everyone at Text Publishing for all their support over the past decade.

From 1 August 2020, orders for any edition of Griffith Review should be placed with NewSouth Books. Orders for Griffith Review 69: The European Exchange (published 28 July 2020) should be directed to NewSouth. Return authorisations for books invoiced by Text Publishing/UBD will cease to be issued by UBD after 30 September and credit notes will be issued until 30 October.




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Matthia Dempsey

Angela Glindemann

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Andrew Wrathall

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