Weekly Book Newsletter
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2 December 2020

Christmas closing list 2020

Books+Publishing has collated company closing dates for the Christmas and New Year holiday period.Read the full article here.
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Final WBN next week

Please note that next week’s Weekly Book Newsletter will be the final one of the year. The deadline for classifieds and job advertisement submissions is... Read more


Red Ventures acquires Lonely Planet x

Red Ventures has announced it has acquired Lonely Planet from NC2 Media for an undisclosed amount. Red Ventures, a platform of digital businesses including US-based... Read more
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Online SPN conference a ‘great success’ x

The Small Press Network’s (SPN) ninth Independent Publishing Conference was held online on 26–27 November, with organisers hailing the event a ‘great success’. SPN general... Read more


Walker acquires Uhlmann picture book x

Walker Books Australia has acquired world rights to author and journalist Chris Uhlmann’s debut picture book The Useless Tune, via Jeanne Ryckmans at the Cameron Creswell... Read more
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Reed to retire BookExpo

BookExpo, the largest publishing trade show in the US, is being retired by Reed Exhibitions, reports Publishers Weekly. Book-focused events BookCon and Unbound will also... Read more

Bertelsmann to buy S&S, court dismisses HarperCollins defamation case

Penguin Random House’s parent company Bertelsmann announced it will acquire Simon & Schuster from media company ViacomCBS for US$2.175 billion.

Last week, a federal court judge dismissed a defamation case brought against HarperCollins and author Steve Cannane relating to Cannane’s 2016 book Fair Game: The incredible untold story of Scientology in Australia, following an eight-week trial. In other news, Hardie Grant Children’s launched a new illustrated imprint, the Australia Council announced the $2 million Re:imagine Sector Recovery Initiatives fund, and Sophie Masson was appointed SPN chair, replacing Michael Webster in the role.

In awards news, Craig Silvey’s Honeybee was named Dymocks Book of the Year, Gregory Day won this year’s Patrick White Award, and the winners of the Bragg Prize for Science Writing and the Scarlet Stiletto Awards were announced. The shortlist for the SPN Book of the Year Award was revealed and, in the UK, The Eighth Life won the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

Overseas this week, Hachette UK is lifting entry-level salaries and boosting pay transparency as the Publishers Association begins to aggregate diversity statistics from its members. Meanwhile, a biography of the Beatles has won the £50k Baillie Gifford Prize for nonfiction.

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



How did picture book sales fare during lockdown? x

In her final op-ed as Books+Publishing’s Junior columnist for 2020, Adele Walsh looks at how the sales of new picture books—the most tactile of reading experiences—fared during... Read more


Publishing’s meritocracy myth x

This year’s Beatrice Davis Fellow Radhiah Chowdhury spoke to a range of BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) publishing professionals in the UK about what... Read more


Lessons from the past: Lorraine Marwood on ‘Footprints on the Moon’ x

Lorraine Marwood’s middle-grade verse novel Footprints on the Moon (UQP, February) follows Sharnie as she navigates beginning high school during the tumult of Australian society... Read more


Rights round-up

Sales Children’s Era Publications has sold digital German-language translation rights to the ‘Wings’ series in Turkey, Germany, Spain, Greece and Egypt. Scholastic has sold UK... Read more


‘A Promised Land’ debuts at number one x

Barack Obama’s highly anticipated memoir A Promised Land has debuted at number one on the Australian bestsellers chart, after selling over 887,000 copies in the US on... Read more


The Speechwriter (Martin McKenzie-Murray, Scribe) x

Martin McKenzie-Murray’s fiction debut is a fun but sometimes frustrating book that nevertheless delivers plenty of laughs along the way. The story is told by... Read more


Footprints on the Moon (Lorraine Marwood, UQP) x

It’s 1969 and Sharnie is entering year seven and finding it difficult to make friends. The world is consumed by the Space Race and the... Read more


With a Little Kelp from Our Friends (Mathew Bate, illus by Liz Rowland, Thames & Hudson) x

From the evolution of this fascinating stuff to its modern usage as food, fuel and building material, in With a Little Kelp from Our Friends... Read more

The sale of S&S to Bertelsmann will create a ‘book behemoth’

‘There is clearly no market logic to a bid of that size—only anti-market logic. Bertelsmann is not just buying a book publisher, but buying market dominance as a book behemoth … There will certainly be legal books written about this deal, though I wonder if Bertelsmann would publish them.’News Corp chief executive Robert Thomson condemns Bertelsmann’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster—months after News Corp subsidiary HarperCollins showed interest in buying the publisher.



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

Baker joins Copyright Agency board

Oxford University Press Australia managing director Arthur Baker has joined the Copyright Agency board as an Australian Publishers Association–appointed director, replacing David Barnett.

Eccles joins Copyright Agency board

Richard Eccles joined the Copyright Agency board as an independent director in September; he was most recently deputy secretary in the former Department of Communications... Read more

Murray joins Copyright Agency board

Kirsty Murray has joined the Copyright Agency board as an Australian Society of Authors–appointed director, replacing Helen O’Neil.

Garcia joins Kill Your Darlings

Suzy Garcia will join Kill Your Darlings (KYD) in the newly created role of deputy editor, in which she will work on projects including the... Read more



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