Weekly Book Newsletter
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22 September 2021


Willson appointed Murdoch Books publisher x

Murdoch Books has announced the appointment of Jane Willson as publisher. Willson, who will be based in Melbourne, joins Murdoch from Hardie Grant, where she... Read more
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$100k Historical Novel Prize shortlists announced

The Historical Novel Society Australasia (HNSA) has announced the shortlists for 2021 ARA Historical Novel Prize. The novels shortlisted in the adult category are: Bila... Read more


PRH acquires Weldon debut novel ‘Sixty-Seven Days’ x

Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) has acquired world rights to Sixty-Seven Days by Yvonne Weldon, in a deal brokered by Selwa Anthony of Selwa Anthony... Read more
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HGCP acquires ‘UnMonumental’ picture book x

Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (HGCP) has acquired world rights to UnMonumental, a hardback picture book by artists James Tylor and Matt Chun based on their... Read more

Dohle assures agents of competitive bidding between PRH, S&S

Penguin Random House (PRH) CEO Markus Dohle has told literary agents in a Zoom chat that, following the acquisition of Simon & Schuster (S&S), editors... Read more
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Love Your Bookshop Day, Varuna Residential Fellowships

The Australian Booksellers Association has announced details about this year’s Love Your Bookshop Day celebrations on 9 October, which will take place online ‘so that everyone can engage from wherever they are’.

Josh Pyke’s forthcoming picture book Family Tree (Scholastic, January 2022) has been chosen for next year’s National Simultaneous Storytime, to be held on 25 May. In other news, Ben Bowen has been named the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s new CEO; the OzAsia Festival has announced a new writing and ideas program; Walker Books has launched a new imprint, Walker Studio; and Rochelle Fernandez has joined Alex Adsett Literary.

Varuna the National Writers’ House has announced the recipients of its Residential Fellowships for 2022. In other awards news, the shortlists for the Ngaio Marsh Awards and the longlist for the Liminal & Pantera Press nonfiction prize were also announced.

A rival French publishing company has upped its stake in Lagardère, paving the way for a takeover. In other overseas news, Rachel Joyce has won the Wilbur Smith Adventure Writing Prize for her novel Miss Benson’s Beetle, while also in the UK, Bookshop.org and the Booksellers Association have launched a program to help new bookshops founded by members of underrepresented communities.

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



Freya Blackwood on ‘The Boy and the Elephant’ x

Freya Blackwood is a Greenaway Medallist and seven-time CBCA winner whose picture books are beloved for her warm and perceptive drawings. Her latest book, The Boy and the Elephant (HarperCollins, November) is... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Fiction  Transit Lounge has sold German rights to The Stoning (Peter Papathanasiou) to Polar Verlag, via Martin Shaw at Shaw Literary. Children’s/YA Hardie Grant... Read more


Williams, Pape top Aus bestseller charts YTD x

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams has topped the Australian fiction bestsellers for the year to date (YTD), selling more than 66,000 copies... Read more


Rooney debuts in top spot x

Sally Rooney’s latest novel Beautiful World, Where Are You? has debuted at top spot on this week’s bestseller charts. Another novel, J D Robb’s Forgotten... Read more


Caught in the Act (Shane Jenek aka Courtney Act , Pantera Press, November) x

Shane Jenek’s drag queen alter ego Courtney Act has been in the public eye for almost 20 years, beginning with her groundbreaking appearance on the... Read more


Devotion (Hannah Kent, Picador, November) x

When Hanne meets Thea, her life suddenly makes sense. They live in Kay, a tight-knit community of devout Lutherans who have been shunned for their... Read more


The Boy and the Elephant (Freya Blackwood, HarperCollins, November) x

After almost 20 years of her books on our shelves, a new Freya Blackwood is always cause for delight. The Boy and the Elephant—Blackwood’s first... Read more


Stellarphant (James Foley, Fremantle Press, November) x

One of the best things about picture books is that anything is possible; there are no restrictions on imagination. Author–illustrator James Foley’s latest book plays... Read more


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

Hanke joins APA x

Andrea Hanke has joined the Australian Publishers Association as acting chief of staff while Patrizia Di Biase-Dyson is on maternity leave.


Smith Street Books moves to Thames & Hudson (ADS) for ANZ distribution

Smith Street Books and Thames & Hudson are thrilled to announce that from 1 February 2022, distribution of Smith Street Books and Smith Street Gift titles in Australia and New Zealand will move to Thames & Hudson.

Smith Street Books would like to thank Simon & Schuster for their excellent support over the past six years—from our modest beginnings to a thriving independent Australian publisher with a global reach. The staff at Simon & Schuster, particularly Dan Ruffino, Elissa Baillie and Amanda Rae, have worked tirelessly to help us develop our business in Australia and New Zealand. We are looking forward to developing this further into the future.

In advance of 1 February 2022, you should send your Smith Street Books’ February new release orders only to ADS at adscs@alliancedist.com.au.

On 31 January 2022, all backorders will be transferred to ADS by HEDS.

From 1 February 2022, all orders for Smith Street Books’ titles should be sent to ADS.


Returns for books invoiced by Simon & Schuster/HEDS must be processed by Simon & Schuster/HEDS. ADS will not accept returns for books invoiced by HEDS.

HEDS will cease to issue Return Authorisations (RA) after Monday, 28 February 2022 all requests received after this date will be rejected by HEDS.

Physical stock with a valid authorisation must arrive at HEDS by Saturday, 30 April 2022. Books received by HEDS after this date will be rejected and returned to customer at their expense.

Contact details

ADS: email your orders to adscs@alliancedist.com.au
HEDS: email your orders to orders@harpercollins.com.au

Smith Street Books: for enquiries email hello@smithstreetbooks.com
Thames & Hudson: for enquiries email enquiries@thamesandhudson.com.au
Simon & Schuster: for enquiries email cservice@simonandschuster.com.au




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Matthia Dempsey

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