Books+Publishing Weekly Book Newsletter
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7 June 2023


Hachette, A&U drop ins detail Roberts-Smith case x

Both Hachette Australia and Allen & Unwin (A&U) have announced the publication of drop in titles on the defamation trial brought by former soldier Ben... Read more
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Rachel Funari Prize 2023 shortlist announced

Lip magazine has announced the shortlist for the 2023 Rachel Funari Prize for Fiction. The shortlisted stories are: ‘Pink’ by Jean Flynn ‘Schism’ by Helen... Read more


Hachette signs two new books from Lester x

Hachette Australia has acquired ANZ rights to two books by historical fiction novelist Natasha Lester, as part of an ANZ and UK deal made in... Read more
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UK Publishers Association sets up AI taskforce

In the UK, the Publishers Association (PA) has formed an AI taskforce to help the industry navigate new developments in artificial intelligence technology, reports the... Read more

Aurealis Awards, NZ CYA awards, Text Prize shortlist

The Institute of Professional Editors (IPEd) has partnered with State Library of Queensland to support its black&write! editor internship program, and provide free membership to black&write! intern editors for the next three years; the Australian Library and Information Association has announced that this year’s National Simultaneous Storytime was the biggest in the event’s 23-year history, with over 2.3 million participants registered in 2023; the Parliamentary Friends of Australian Children’s Storytelling held its inaugural event at Parliament House on 24 May, with over 300 members of parliament, senators, staffers, and guests in attendance; and after a successful pilot program in 2022, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation is launching its Busking For Change fundraising initiative nationally.

Writers Victoria has announced the ninth round of recipients for the Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund, the winners of the Aurealis Awards have been announced, and the shortlist has been announced for the Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing, worth $10,000. Also in awards news, the finalists for the 2023 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults have been announced and the Wilderness Society has announced the shortlists for the 2022 Environment Award for Children’s Literature.

In the US, audiobook revenue grew 10% in 2022 to US$1.8 billion (A$2.7b) in total sales. In the UK, analysis from the Bookseller has found bookshop sales down by 3.5% YTD. Bloomsbury UK has reported another record performance in the year to end of February 2023, with sales up 15% and profit up 16%, according to the Bookseller.

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Wendy Orr on 'Honey and the Valley of the Horses' x

Wendy Orr is a Canadian-born writer who now calls Australia home. She is the author of over 40 books but is perhaps best known for... Read more


Rights round-up x

Sales Nonfiction Black Inc. has sold Czech rights to The Shortest History of the World (David Baker) to Dokoran. Children’s/YA Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing has... Read more


Voice to Parliament Handbook climbs to second place x

Top 10 Bestsellers RecipeTin Eats: Dinner (Nagi Maehashi, Macmillan) The Voice to Parliament Handbook (Thomas Mayo & Kerry O’Brien, HG Explore) The Bookbinder of Jericho... Read more


Ballet Confidential (David McAllister, Thames & Hudson) x

Ballet Confidential is not a no-holds-barred expose but rather a joyfully led and personal guide into the world of ballet. David McAllister is the former... Read more


Sit, Stay, Love (Amy Hutton, Simon & Schuster) x

As a pet rescue shelter owner, Sera often finds herself in messy situations. However, she didn’t expect her potentially messiest situation to start with a... Read more


Thaw (Dennis Glover, Black Inc) x

Among the breathtaking and perilous wilds of Antarctica’s Ross Ice Shelf, a dozen men prepare to be the first to reach the South Pole. When... Read more


The Vitals (Tracy Sorensen, Picador) x

The Vitals is unlike any other book you will ever read about cancer. The book straddles the line between fiction and nonfiction and is based... Read more


You Called an Ambulance for What? (Tim Booth, Macmillan) x

In You Called an Ambulance for What?, former Top Gear Australia journalist Tim Booth has penned a series of entertaining stories depicting the craziness and drama... Read more


Honey and the Valley of the Horses (Wendy Orr, A&U Children's) x

Wendy Orr, the bestselling author of Nim’s Island, has written a new magical story that reads like a classic in all the best ways. In... Read more


I Am The Mau & Other Stories (Chemutai Glasheen, Fremantle) x

Chemutai Glasheen delivers a powerful and vibrant collection of short stories in I Am the Mau & Other Stories. Inspired by her upbringing in Africa,... Read more


Monet Chases the Light (Jenny Gahan, Little Pink Dog Books) x

There is a particular aesthetic challenge to nonfiction picture books about artists: they must do more than simply emulate the artist’s style, yet they risk... Read more


Two Sides to Every Story (Beck and Robin Feiner, ABC Books) x

This vibrantly illustrated story by the team that brought us If I was Prime Minister is about weighing up the various options when decision making–a... Read more


Vale Joy McKean

Joy McKean, an Australian country music singer-songwriter and the wife and manager of Slim Dusty, has died. Hachette Australia writes:  ‘Hachette Australia is saddened to... 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

Text to publish James Islington’s Hierarchy series

Text Publishing has acquired ANZ rights in James Islington’s epic historical fantasy series that starts with The Will of the Many.

Text will publish The Will of the Many in trade paper at $34.99 on 18 July 2023. James Islington is the internationally bestselling author of The Licanius Trilogy which has sold more than one million copies across all formats.

The Hierarchy series will appeal to fans of Naomi Novik, Pierce Brown, Olivie Blake and V.E. Schwab. James Islington lives on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.


The Poison of Polygamy stage adaptation at Sydney Theatre Company (8 June to 15 July)

Once you’ve seen the adaptation, you’ll want to learn what makes this book an Australian literary standout.

Originally published in 1910, The Poison of Polygamy was Australia’s first ever novel by a Chinese Australian author and the first novel of the Chinese Australian experience.

The story, which is set in Australia and China, concerns the history of writer Wong Shee Ping’s father’s generation, following the historical progress of Chinese Australians from goldmining to market gardening and other enterprises, and their gravitation from the countryside to the big cities.

Published as a bilingual parallel edition, Finch’s English translation runs alongside the original Chinese characters—making the book a brilliant tool for people learning to read Chinese characters.

It also includes extensive footnotes describing the historical, literary and linguistic context of the lives of Chinese Australians at the turn of the century.

This book is a rollercoaster ride of quintessentially Australian content—from blackmail and extramarital liaisons to a thylacine attack–and it shines a light our ‘rich, integral and largely overlooked Chinese Australian history’—Ely Finch.


Change of distribution for ABC-CLIO and UIT Cambridge/Green Books

Effective 1 June 2023, Bloomsbury Publishing will take over distribution of ABC-CLIO books, including the ABC-CLIO, Greenwood, Libraries Unlimited, Linworth and Praeger imprints, in Australia and New Zealand.

Effective 1 July 2023 Bloomsbury Publishing will take over distribution of UIT Cambridge/Green Books from Woodslane. The cut-off date for returns to be accepted by Woodslane is 30 June.

United Book Distributors (UBD) is the distributor for Bloomsbury Publishing and orders for ABC-CLIO and UIT/Green Books titles will be supplied to customers under trading terms set by Bloomsbury Publishing. No returns will be accepted for orders which have not previously been supplied by Bloomsbury. Stock and title information will be managed by Bloomsbury Publishing.

For price and availability, delivery, invoicing, and credit enquiries please contact UBD:


Phone: 1800 33 88 36 – Customer Service

New Zealand

Phone: 0800 860 808 – Customer Service

Other ANZ Sales Enquiries

Bloomsbury Publishing: or +61 2 8820 4900


Mad Cave Studios and Papercutz to be distributed by Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster Australia is pleased to announce a new sales and distribution partnership with Mad Cave Studios and Papercutz in Australia and New Zealand from 15 August 2023.

Mad Cave Studios is an independent publisher creating worldwide entertainment in the horror, sci-fi, action adventure, crime, noir and fantasy. In 2021 they added Maverick, a YA graphic novel imprint.

Papercutz is an imprint of Mad Cave, which is dedicated to publishing great graphic novels for all ages and in a wide range of genres, including humour, action adventure, mystery, horror and more. Papercutz was previously distributed in Australia by Pan Macmillan.

Backorders can now be placed at (HEDS) for September new releases onwards, send orders to or call 1300 551 721. Backlist titles will be available to order from 15 August onwards.

Mad Cave Studios and Papercutz titles invoiced and supplied prior to 15 August 2023 will not be accepted by HEDS for return.



Writers of the Future Volume 39

Twelve captivating tales from dark fantasy to time travel. Check out what Brandon Sanderson, Orson Scott Card, Nnedi Okorafor, Sean Williams, Kevin J Anderson, Jody... Read more



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