02 Oct 2023

Come to the Australia party!

Ahead of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair, here is your chance to see the titles that will be on offer from Australian publishers! See the Australian Publishers Association’s 2023 Australian Frankfurt Rights Catalogue here, and read on through this issue of Think Australian for additional information about the titles Australian publishers are most excited to...

02 Oct 2023

Australian book market overview: 2023 so far

After three consecutive years of growth, the Australian book market flattened out in 2023. In the year to 17 June 2023, Australian book sales totalled $548 million, up 0.6% on the same period in 2022, while sales by volume were down 0.2% to a total of 28.3 million units, according to Nielsen BookScan Australia. Compared...

02 Oct 2023

Epics, experiments, escapism, excellence: Australian fiction at Frankfurt

Several prize-winning Australian authors will have new novels showcased at the fair. Waanyi (First Nations) author Alexis Wright, who is the only writer to have won both the Stella Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award, has released Praiseworthy (Giramondo, April 2023). This new novel is ‘an epic set in the north of Australia, told with the...

02 Oct 2023

From literary memoir to survival in a broken world: Australian nonfiction at Frankfurt

From literary memoir to survival in a broken world, from bookshop dogs to Sam Kerr’s World Cup journey, these are the nonfiction titles publishers are most looking forward to pitching at Frankfurt 2023. Memoir and biography On offer this year are a multitude of life stories, from genre-bending literary experimentation to a work contemplating the...

02 Oct 2023

Authenticity, truth, wonder: Australian children’s and young adult titles at Frankfurt

Picture books University of Queensland Press (UQP) is looking forward to pitching the forthcoming Yanga Mother from Kooma and Nguri (First Nations) writer Cheryl Leavy (July 2024), a ‘lyrical bilingual picture book about the all-encompassing love of mothers, layered with meaning and historical truth-telling’, following the journey of a grey kangaroo and her joey, with themes of...

02 Oct 2023

Local titles selling overseas

Since the industry last gathered for a major rights fair, titles from Australian publishers have continued to sell into international markets, with a range of new and established authors’ works to enter new territories. Among these recent international rights sales of Australian titles, Echo has sold UK and Commonwealth (ex ANZ) rights to Debra Dank’s We...

02 Oct 2023

Rights sales: Screen

Among recent book to screen adaptations, Cognito Entertainment, a new independent film and television production company in the United States, has optioned Every Version of You (Grace Chan, Affirm) for adaptation into an international feature film, in a deal negotiated by Bold Type Agency on behalf of Jacinta di Mase Management and Chan. Set in the ​near...

02 Oct 2023

Latest acquisitions: Fiction

Among the new fiction signed by Australian publishers this year are books by several authors trying something new. Echo has acquired world rights to Katrina Kell’s first novel for adults, via Fiona Smith at Beyond Words Literary Agency. The book is inspired by the French nude portrait Chloé, which has been displayed on the wall of...

02 Oct 2023

Latest acquisitions: Nonfiction

Hachette Australia announced last year that it would enter a publishing scout partnership with screenwriter, author and broadcaster Benjamin Law. The results are now materialising, with adult nonfiction publisher Sophie Hamley having acquired world rights to Complete and Utter Failure by Kara Schlegl and ANZ, UK and Commonwealth rights to Model Minority Gone Rogue by Lisa...

02 Oct 2023

Latest acquisitions: Children’s and YA

Christmas Press has acquired world rights to Leaf Letters, a junior fiction title by author-illustrator Lorena Carrington. Christmas Press publishing director Sophie Masson said, ‘Told in words and pictures, this is a story of friendship, the pleasures of the natural world, and the pleasures of mystery! Plus it’s an invitation for young readers to join...

02 Oct 2023

Chandran wins Miles Franklin, Wright honoured for Lifetime Achievement

Tamil Australian author Shankari Chandran won Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, for her third novel, Chai Time at Cinnamon Gardens (Ultimo). The book explores how the family behind the fictional Cinnamon Gardens Nursing Home came to be in Sydney, through five different perspectives and an ensemble of supporting characters. Waanyi...

02 Oct 2023

Introducing Key People

Earlier this year, publishing professionals Lou Johnson and Jeanne Ryckmans set up a new literary agency, Key People Literary Management. With a connection going back to their time as colleagues at Penguin Random House in 2000, Johnson and Ryckmans have worked across a wide range of publishing roles, and Ryckmans is also author of the recently...

06 Apr 2023

London calling

Ahead of this year’s London Book Fair (LBF), in this issue of Think Australian we once again round up the latest rights sales and acquisitions from Australia, as well as the titles on offer at LBF in fiction, nonfiction and children’s/YA. We also profile author Debra Dank, whose debut memoir We Come With This Place...

06 Apr 2023

Stories to tell: Australian fiction on offer at LBF

Following on from recent deals for her work in the UK and US, multi-award-winning writer Alexis Wright is the ‘top author’ for publisher Giramondo at this year’s London Book Fair. ‘We’ll be focusing on her entire catalogue: Praiseworthy, Tracker, The Swan Book and Carpentaria,’ says Nick Tapper from Giramondo. From Fremantle Press, look out for...

06 Apr 2023

Get your facts here: Australian nonfiction on offer at LBF

Forensic psychologist Ahona Guha’s groundbreaking book Reclaim: Understanding complex trauma and those who abuse (Scribe) will ‘broaden and expand your thinking, whether you are a trauma survivor, someone who loves a survivor, or someone seeking to understand abuse’. In Reclaim, Guha shines light on the ‘”difficult” trauma victims that society often ignores, and calls for...

06 Apr 2023

Australian market: Christmas 2022 sales up but booksellers look to challenging year ahead

According to booksellers surveyed by Books+Publishing for its annual post-Christmas survey, there was a bump in book sales in the lead-up to Christmas 2022 compared to the previous year. Booksellers reported an average increase of 6.9% in sales and most booksellers (79%) said sales were ‘up’ during Christmas. In the previous year, Christmas had been...

06 Apr 2023

Australian titles selling internationally

Fiction sales Black Inc. has sold world English-language rights (ex ANZ) to One Hundred Days by Alice Pung to HarperCollins imprint HarperVia. Shortlisted for the 2022 Miles Franklin Literary Award, One Hundred Days is Pung’s first novel for adults. Exploring the faultlines between love and control, the novel follows 16-year-old Karuna who falls pregnant and is confined to her 14th-storey...

05 Apr 2023

Latest acquisitions: Fiction

Affirm Press has acquired world rights to One Divine Night by Mick Cummins, the winner of the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award (VPLA) for an unpublished manuscript, in a deal brokered by Jane Novak Literary Agency. One Divine Night is ‘a gritty and compelling novel exploring homelessness, independence and the ties that bind’, according to the publisher....

05 Apr 2023

Latest acquisitions: Nonfiction

Affirm Press has acquired world rights to the debut nonfiction work by journalist and activist Melinda Ham, via Rochelle Fernandez of Alex Adsett Literary. The Lucky Ones is about refugees from different generations, different countries and diverse backgrounds, with one thing in common—they all escaped persecution, found safety in Australia and built new lives. Affirm...

05 Apr 2023

Latest acquisitions: Children’s and YA

Affirm Press has acquired world rights to a new five-book series by Amelia Mellor as well as the third novel in Mellor’s series that began with The Grandest Bookshop in the World. Set in a fantastical island world that is on the brink of ruin, the new series for readers 8–12 years follows a fiery young...

05 Apr 2023

De Kretser, Parker-Chan internationally recognised

Australian authors recognised recently with international awards include Michelle de Kretser, who won the fiction category of the 2023 Rathbones Folio Prize for her novel Scary Monsters (A&U), and Shelley Parker-Chan, who won two British Fantasy Awards, taking out both best fantasy novel and best newcomer for She Who Became the Sun (Tor), as well as winning...

05 Apr 2023

We Come With This Place: Debra Dank on her debut and what comes next

Ahead of the London Book Fair, Think Australian talks to author Debra Dank, whose debut memoir is in the running for three NSW Premier’s awards and the Stella Prize, about the book’s journey to publication, what she hopes international readers might take from it, and plans for her second book. Your book We Come With This Place...

05 Apr 2023

For the kids: Australian children’s and YA on offer at LBF

Winner of the 2022 Text Prize, Let’s Never Speak of This Again by Megan Williams (Text) is a ‘big-hearted YA debut’, which celebrates ‘the depth and strength of friendship through all of life’s ups and downs’. Another debut YA novel, also discovered through the Text Prize, is Robyn Dennison’s Blind Spot, ‘an immensely readable and unflinching look at teenage...

21 Feb 2023

We love books for kids

Coming to you from a country that has seen sales of children’s books boom in recent years, we are so pleased to share news and new books from the world of children’s and YA publishing in Australia in this Bologna issue of Think Australian, which is produced in partnership with the Australian Publishers Association (APA)...

21 Feb 2023

Who’s at Bologna? Come meet them at the party!

Publishers attending the Bologna book fair in person on the Australian Publishers Association (APA) Australian Collective Stand are Allen & Unwin, Berbay Publishing, CSIRO Publishing, Five Mile, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, Interactive Publications, Magabala, Pascal Press, Scribble, UQP and Windy Hollow Books. They will be joined on the stand by literary agencies the Annabel Barker...

21 Feb 2023

The Australian publishers shortlisted for the 2023 Bologna Prize

Australian publishers Affirm Press, EK Books, Magabala Books, Starfish Bay and Wilkins Farago have been shortlisted in this year’s Bologna Prize for Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in the Oceania category. For Affirm Press, EK Books and Magabala it is the second shortlisting in a row. The winners will be announced at the fair....

21 Feb 2023

2022 Australian Market Overview

The Australian book market is trading well above the last pre-Covid year of 2019 after three consecutive years of growth. Sales of books in Australia grew 7.2% last year to A$1.3 billion, up from A$1.26 billion in 2021, according to Nielsen BookData, while the total number of unit sales for 2022 was 70.9 million, an...

21 Feb 2023

First Nations YA to look out for

A debut young adult title by Lystra Rose, a descendant of the Guugu Yimithirr, Birri Gubba, Erub and Scottish nations, took out the prestigious $25,000 Indigenous writing prize in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. The Upwelling (Lothian) is the outcome of Rose’s research over many years and of her time as a participant of the black&write...

21 Feb 2023

Junior and middle-grade fiction offerings

In junior fiction on offer at Bologna this year, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing has Monsties: The Lost Bunny (Zanni Louise & Kyla May) featuring Orla, Pearl, Mig, Boo and Oops—five best friend monsters who live in Scaryland, surrounded by scary monsters, but who are hopeless at being scary. They much prefer candy and cupcakes to...

21 Feb 2023

Pitching pictures at Bologna

Experiences in nature fill many of the picture books on offer from Australian publishers at Bologna this year. Thank you rain! (Sally Morgan & Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr, Magabala Books) is full of the plants and animals that welcome rain: raindrops in the treetops; birds singing in the rain; raindrops wetting the dry earth and filling...

21 Feb 2023

The fascinating truth: Nonfiction titles on offer at Bologna

In nonfiction the ‘long-awaited’ picture book Your Brain is a Lump of Goo from Idan Ben-Barak (A&U), the award-winning author of Do Not Lick This Book, and Christopher Nielsen. It explores ‘the biggest and most mysterious organ in the human body’ with expertise and humour, says A&U, while All About the Heart (Berbay) will give curious...

21 Feb 2023

Aus publishers’ latest acquisitions

Among the latest children’s and YA acquisitions by Australian publishers: Children’s Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing (HGCP) has acquired two books by Maxine Beneba Clarke. Releasing in June 2023, It’s the Sound of the Thing: 100 new poems for young people, is Clarke’s debut collection of poetry for children and teens. Aimed at upper primary through...

21 Feb 2023

Baby boom: The growth of children’s and young adult market

Children’s and young adult (CYA) titles have been driving the growth of the Australian book market in the past year, with titles like Heartstopper, Bluey and The Bad Guys becoming regular presences on the bestsellers chart. The numbers from Nielsen BookData confirm this: looking at children’s and young adult fiction alone, the CYA fiction category...

21 Feb 2023

Award winners

Lystra Rose has won the $25,000 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Indigenous Writing for her YA debut novel The Upwelling (Hachette Australia), while We Who Hunt the Hollow (Kate Murray, HGCP) took out the $25,000 YA category in the awards. In other state-based awards, Ella and the Ocean (Lian Tanner & Jonathan Bentley, A&U) took out...

21 Feb 2023

Graphic novel researcher: ‘Australian publishers are hungry for titles’

Sophie Splatt, an editor of books for children and young adults at Allen & Unwin for the past decade, is the Australian Publishers Association’s (APA) 2023 Beatrice Davis Editorial Fellow. Her research project will take her to the US and Canada to meet with graphic novel publishers, editors, agents and creators for her research project...

21 Feb 2023

Spotlight on Annabel Barker

The launch of your own agency was quickly followed by the pandemic; how did that affect what you were pitching and how you were making deals? Like others, I had to cancel my trip to Bologna Book Fair with two weeks’ notice and pivoting to digital meetings was, to begin with, really challenging. The deals...

21 Feb 2023

Spotlight on Jess Racklyeft

Melbourne-based author and illustrator Jess Racklyeft has been awarded a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) International Bologna Scholarship to attend this year’s Bologna book fair. Here she shares her journey to illustration and writing, upcoming projects, the illustrators she admires and why she cried at Bologna the last time she visited. How...

20 Feb 2023

Australian creators recommend

Australian creators tell us the most recent book they have read and loved, and why.   Illustrator and author Jess Racklyeft will attend this year’s Bologna Book Fair as the winner of a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) International scholarship: ‘I am a huge fan of Claire Saxby’s work (I have been...

13 Oct 2022

Australia is back at Frankfurt, come say hello!

Australians have spent most of the past two years confined to our home country (and much of that time confined to our homes!), so it is wonderful to report that representatives from 14 Australian publishing businesses will attend Frankfurt this year as part of the Australian Publishers Association (APA) stand. A further 14 will be...

12 Oct 2022

High-profile memoirs, political books, self-help guides: top nonfiction at Frankfurt

Memoir and biography  Look out for Ash Barty’s memoir My Dream Time (HarperCollins), which reflects on Barty’s tennis career, her family, and ‘finding the path to being the best I could be, not just as an athlete but as a person’. Hachette is excited to pitch Ellidy Pullin’s memoir Heartstrong, which debuted at number five...

12 Oct 2022

Middle-grade series, queer YA romances: CYA books Aus publishers are pitching

Picture books Allen & Unwin Children’s (A&U) is pitching a list of exciting new titles from beloved authors, including the picture book Shadow Catchers by award-winning team Kirsty Murray and Karen Blair, that captures the joy of playing with shadows; and Big Cat, a richly illustrated story about finding your inner wildness in unexpected places,...

12 Oct 2022

Australian book market overview: 2022 so far

The Australian book market posted strong results throughout the Covid-affected years of 2020 and 2021, and has continued this growth in 2022, with overall sales for the year to 18 June up 4.1% year-to-year, for a total of A$544 million, according to Nielsen BookData. Coming after two years of consecutive growth in 2020 (up 7.8%)...

12 Oct 2022

Get educated: Introducing Australian educational publishers

As well as a wealth of trade offerings, Australia boasts a healthy educational publishing sector. Attending in person on the Australia stand at Frankfurt this year will be ATF Press Publishing Group an Australian-based independent publisher with an international reach, established in 1993. ATF publishes trade books as well as academic books and peer-referred journals...

12 Oct 2022

Fiction acquisitions: spec-fic, debuts, short story collections

Among recent fiction acquisitions by Australian publishers are literary speculative fiction books, a plethora of debut authors, and more poetry and short story collections. HarperCollins Australia has acquired ANZ rights to The Visitors by Jane Harrison, in a highly competitive auction brokered by Danielle Binks of Jacinta di Mase Management Literacy Agency. Based on Harrison’s...

12 Oct 2022

Nonfiction acquisitions: memoirs galore

Among the most recent nonfiction acquisitions by Australian publishers are a plethora of memoir titles, including actor Sam Neill’s memoir Did I Ever Tell You This?, for which Text acquired world rights and which is due to be published in the first half of 2023. Described by the publisher as ‘the work of a natural...

12 Oct 2022

Middle-grade boom: recent Australian CYA acquisitions

The Australian children’s middle-grade market continues to grow, and recent acquisitions show it won’t be slowing down anytime soon. Allen & Unwin (A&U) has acquired ANZ, Oceania and non-exclusive Asia rights to Two Sparrowhawks in a Lonely Sky, the new middle-grade novel by Rebecca Lim, via the Annabel Barker Agency. From the author of Tiger...

12 Oct 2022

Down wins Miles Franklin for ‘Bodies of Light’

Melbourne writer Jennifer Down took out Australia’s most prestigious literary prize, the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award, for her second novel Bodies of Light (Text). The winner was chosen from a shortlist announced in June, in a headline-grabbing year for the Miles Franklin that featured a plagiarism scandal as well as the shortlisting of a...

12 Oct 2022

Introducing Bold Type Agency

Nerrilee Weir, former Penguin Random House Australia senior rights manager and Fiona Henderson, former Simon & Schuster Australia publishing director, have joined forces to create new rights agency Bold Type Agency, which will focus on book-to-screen adaptations and representing Australian literary agents and publishers in international markets. Weir tells Think Australian what they’ll be pitching...

12 Oct 2022

Australian authors recommend

Australian authors tell us the most recent book they have read and loved, and why.   Michelle Kadarusman is the author of the middle-grade book on animal activism Berani (A&U Children’s, November). I usually have a few books on the go, both children and adult reads. Two newer books that really stood out for me...

01 Apr 2022

It’s good to be back

After more than two years attending rights fairs virtually, several Australian publishers will be attending the 2022 London Book Fair (LBF) in person next week. ‘We’re excited to attend LBF in person for the first time since 2020,’ Allen & Unwin (A&U) rights and international sales manager Sandra Buol told Think Australian. Buol will be...

01 Apr 2022

Moriarty, Dalton top Australian fiction, nonfiction charts YTD

Trent Dalton, whose 2018 debut Boy Swallows Universe remains in the top 10 Australian fiction bestsellers over three years after its publication, is at the top of Australian nonfiction charts for the year to date with his collection Love Stories, released in October last year. Love Stories is closely followed in the Australian nonfiction chart...

01 Apr 2022

Bios, how-tos, hybrid memoirs: recent nonfiction acquisitions in Aus

A biography of Australian surfer Owen Wright (world rights acquired by S&S Australia) tells the story of the surfer’s recovery after a serious brain injury ahead of the Pipeline Masters competition in Hawaii: in a single moment, he went from being ranked fifth in the world to having to learn how to walk and talk...

01 Apr 2022

Koalas, climate and real-life ‘Succession’: Australian nonfiction offerings at LBF

Of all the titles being pitched at LBF, perhap the most instantly recognisable as Australian is forthcoming nonfiction title Koala by biologist Danielle Clode (Black Inc., September), which promises ‘an immersive, entertaining journey into the hidden life of the koala’, which, despite their iconic status and celebrity, ‘remain something of a mystery’ says the publisher....

01 Apr 2022

Australian book market overview 2021

After a pandemic-fuelled record year in 2020—during which sales of books in Australia grew 7.8% to A$1.25 billion (unit sales for the year were 67 million) according to Nielsen BookScan—in 2021, the Australian book market experienced more modest growth of only 2.5% in value to A$1.3 billion. (Nielsen reported book sales in 2021 fell 1% in volume compared...

01 Apr 2022

Fiction acquisitions: debuts, familiar names and plenty of two-book deals

Among recent acquisitions are a spate of two-book deals. MacLehose Press, an imprint of Hachette-owned UK publisher Quercus, has acquired world rights to two new novels by Australian author Peter Papathanasiou in a deal brokered by Martin Shaw at Shaw Literary. The new books follow on from Papathanasiou’s debut crime novel The Stoning (Transit Lounge),...

01 Apr 2022

Australian authors recommend

Australian authors tell us the most recent book they have read and loved, and why.   Hayley Scrivenor is the author of forthcoming crime novel Dirt Town (Macmillan, May). ‘I was fortunate enough to see Larissa Behrendt speak at the 2021 BAD Sydney Crime Writers festival about her book After Story (UQP). I got the...

01 Apr 2022

Aus crime wave continues: the fiction publishers are pitching at LBF

Australian publishing continues to ride a literary crime wave, with several local publishers bringing crime offerings to London. ‘We are delighted to share Benjamin Stevenson’s Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone,’ says Penguin Random House Australia (PRH) senior rights executive Jordan Meek. Described by the publisher as ‘Agatha Christie meets Knives Out meets Richard...

01 Apr 2022

Debut memoir wins Australia’s richest literary prize

In February this year, first-time author Veronica Gorrie took home Australia’s richest literary prize, the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature at the 2022 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, for her memoir Black and Blue: A memoir of racism and resilience (Scribe). ‘Her personal journey, from thinking she can change Aboriginal worlds through joining the police force...

16 Mar 2022

Alex and the Alpacas Ride Again

After saving the world from Kiala, the ancient spirit of destruction, Alex longs for more adventure—and the chance to feel special again. Compared to riding through the Tasmanian wilderness on a talking alpaca, home seems pretty dull. So, when Kiala’s prison crumbles, Alex is secretly thrilled. Enter Ivette, a mysterious, talented and very competitive American...

16 Mar 2022

Zombie Diaries #1: Apocalypse Cow!

The first book in a fast-paced comedy-adventure series set in a town called Buttburgher where all the adults start turning into zombie cows! Jimmy, Daisy and Hooey will have to deal with cola explosions, bullies, runaway trains, really bad farts—and of course lots of drooling zombie cows!—to save the world. Highly illustrated with commercial, animation-style...

16 Mar 2022

Bologna Prize shortlist: EK Books

Publisher Anouska Jones introduces health and wellbeing press Exisle Publishing’s children’s imprint EK Books. How and why did Exisle’s children’s imprint EK begin its life? Exisle Publishing began 30 years ago as an independently owned nonfiction publishing company. Over the years, we’ve developed a very strong self-help/health and wellbeing list, and in 2013 we launched...

16 Mar 2022

Bologna Prize shortlist: Magabala Books

Publisher Rachel Bin Salleh introduces Australia’s leading First Nations press Magabala Books. How and why did Magabala’s children’s division begin its life? Magabala has been publishing children’s pictures books since our beginnings in the 80s. Our children’s poetry book Do Not Go Around the Edges by Daisy Utemorrah was first published in 1991 and is...

16 Mar 2022

Bologna Prize shortlist: Affirm Press

Children’s publisher Tash Besliev intoduces Melbourne independent Affirm Press. How and why did the Affirm Press children’s division begin its life? After successfully publishing across many other categories, Affirm Press began publishing books for children in 2017 as a way of continuing to grow the business and its list of books that ‘influence by delight’...

16 Mar 2022

Two Walker titles jointly win Prime Minister’s children’s literature prize

Two titles published by Walker Books Australia jointly won the children’s book category of the prestigious and valuable Prime Minister’s Literary Awards in 2021: middle-grade graphic novel Fly on the Wall (Remy Lai) and picture book How to Make a Bird (Meg McKinlay, illus by Matt Ottley). Metal Fish, Falling Snow (Cath Moore, Text) took...

16 Mar 2022

So much to share

Ahead of this year’s Bologna Children’s Book Fair, running 21–24 March, we are thrilled to share the latest children’s and YA titles from Australian publishers in this issue of Think Australian, which is being distributed by Publishers Weekly and BookBrunch. After two years away from in-person fairs, Australian rights managers are keen to meet up...

16 Mar 2022

Australian children’s and YA bestsellers for 2022 YTD

After a bumper year of sales in 2020, in which the children’s category was up 9.6% on 2019, the Australian children’s book market fell ever so slightly in 2021 (-0.2%), according to Nielsen Bookscan. Nonetheless, sales of children’s books in Australia in 2021 were still well above pre-pandemic levels. And children’s book authors dominated bestseller...

16 Mar 2022

Aus YA shows its range

From horror to fantasy with some wit and mystery along the way, Australian YA shows its range in several recent deals. Two recent acquisitions by Australian publishers present a similar premise: What We All Saw (Mike Lucas, Penguin) is ‘an upmarket horror tale between four friends, four truths and one nightmare which brings them all...

16 Mar 2022

Introducing Gabrielle Wang, Australia’s new Children’s Laureate

Australian children’s author Gabrielle Wang is the new Australian Children’s Laureate for 2022–23. Wang is the award-winning author and illustrator of over 20 books, including The Lion Drummer (illus by Andrew McLean), A Ghost in My Suitcase and The Wishbird (all Puffin), which each received the Notable Book commendation in Australia’s prestigeous Children’s Book Council...

16 Mar 2022

Aus middle-grade golden age continues

Australia’s ‘golden age’ of middle-grade fiction doesn’t look it’s ending any time soon, with several high-profile fiction acquisitions in the age bracket. Fans of Amelia Mellor around the world will be excited to hear Affirm Press has acquired world rights to The Bookseller’s Apprentice, the prequel to The Grandest Bookshop in the World. The Grandest...

16 Mar 2022

Picture this

From a nonfiction book about how trees talk to a slam poetry adaptation, Australian publishers are pitching some picture books with a difference at Bologna this year. Jordan Collins’ debut picture book Where?, illustrated by Phil Lesnie, started as a slam poem Collins wrote and performed when they were 14. ‘It challenges racism, is both...

16 Mar 2022

In Bologna? Pop by the Australian stand

If you’re on the ground in Bologna for this year’s fair, pop by the Australian stand, Hall 25, Stand B78. The Australian Publishers Association stand will be managed by Rome-based Australian freelance editor, English-language consultant and former bookseller and publisher Kabita Dhara, and will this year feature 15 Australian publishers. Books from Bologna Prize nominee...

16 Mar 2022

Serious about series

Australian publishers will be pitching several new series at Bologna—from some well established names, as well as emerging authors. In middle-grade, Penguin Random House Australia has a ‘charming’ new series from Jacqueline Harvey, whose previous series have sold widely: ‘Kensy and Max’ to North America; the Clementine Rose series to the UK, Brazil and Sri...

14 Mar 2022

Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon

By the new Australian Children’s Laureate, Gabrielle Wang.  Meet Zadie Ma, a girl who writes magical stories that sometimes come true. Zadie’s dearest wish is to have a dog of her own and so she starts to write the story of a poor unwanted dog called Jupiter, who’s just waiting to be rescued by a...

25 Jan 2022

Unlimited Futures (ed by Rafeif Ismail & Ellen van Neerven, Fremantle Press) 

Unlimited Futures is a YA anthology of sci-fi and speculative fiction edited by Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neerven. What makes it so different from other collections like it is the anthology’s centring of Blak and Black lives in an Australian context. Unlimited Futures contains a mix of genres including poetry, which is rare in...

18 Jan 2022

Growing Up in Flames (Zach Jones, Text)

Zach Jones’s debut novel Growing Up in Flames is as gritty as bushfire ash. Written for a doctorate in creative writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast, the novel’s provenance is evident in Jones’s masterly use of the extended metaphor of fire to explore the relationship between intergenerational trauma and adolescent identity formation. In...

11 Jan 2022

Pearly and Pig and the Great Hairy Beast (Sue Whiting, Walker Books) 

Pearly Woe is not your average 10-year-old. She can speak 27 languages, talk to and understand most animals and, in this tale, travels to Antarctica. However, this is no holiday. Pearly and her faithful friend Pig (a pig) are representatives of the Adventurologists Guild and need to find Pearly’s missing parents—all the while trying to...

26 Oct 2021

Australian international rights sales up by volume and value: new report

The Australia Council has released the results of its research into Australian international book rights sales. The original research for the report was based at Macquarie University and supported by the Australia Council for the Arts and the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. Success Story: International rights sales of Australian-authored books looks at data reported by...

26 Oct 2021

Family Tree (Josh Pyke, illus by Ronojoy Ghosh, Scholastic)

Family Tree shares the beauty of life through the growth of a tree, one that unites families and communities around the world, spreading joy, love and spirit—and it all starts with one seed. Australian singer–songwriter and children’s author Josh Pyke delivers this deeply poignant and lyrical narrative that touches every fibre of our being. Representative...

19 Oct 2021

Exploring the natural world: Australian picture books and children’s nonfiction with an environmental theme

Australian artist and mother of three Kat Macleod was inspired by the challenge of entertaining small children during lockdown to create her first picture book for Thames & Hudson Australia. The Tiny Explorers takes readers on a treasure hunt through the garden, exploring the natural world—including grass, leaves, bugs and flowers—up close through what the...

19 Oct 2021

The bigger picture: Australian books respond to climate change

It’s hard to find a theme more urgent in publishing today—and one that unites fiction and nonfiction—than climate change.   Australian independent publisher Black Inc. has been particularly active in publishing books about the environment and climate change—and its titles have been picked up by numerous publishers around the world. ‘Books about the environment—particularly books...

19 Oct 2021

‘Magical Australian light’: Rights successes and recent titles from Australian illustrated nonfiction publishers

Australia’s leading publisher of books on the visual arts, Thames & Hudson Australia, has been publishing—and exporting—local titles for many years.   ‘We find there is a real thirst for Australian illustrated books in the international market,’ says publisher Kirsten Abbott. ‘Thames & Hudson usually publishes at the higher end of the market, but even...

21 Sep 2021

The Boy and the Elephant (Freya Blackwood, HarperCollins)

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 wordless picture book—allows her quiet images to shine and tell their own story. Blackwood has described her work in the past as having both ‘softness and darkness’, able to be...

07 Sep 2021

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day (Davina Bell, illus by Allison Colpoys, Scribble)

Tomorrow is a Brand-New Day is an ode to making a mistake and then making things right. It follows two children—friends with different styles—who come into conflict with each other and those around them. The wrongdoings range from small (spilling a bowl of cereal) to large (ripping up a book) and the rhyming text insightfully...

07 Sep 2021

Marcie Gill and the Caravan Park Cat (Monica McInerney, illus by Danny Snell, Puffin) 

With a dozen adult novels under her belt, Monica McInerney is now turning her hand to children’s fiction and her first foray into middle-grade territory is just as full of heart and laughter as her previous books. Imagine 45 & 47 Stella Street receiving a visit from Salem, Sabrina the Teenage Witch’s familiar and you will have the premise of Marcie Gill...

02 Sep 2021

‘Ghost Bird’ sells to UK

UK independent publisher Old Barn Books has bought UK and Commonwealth (ex Canada and ANZ) rights to Lisa Fuller’s YA novel Ghost Bird from University of Queensland Press (UQP). The deal was handled by UQP rights manager Kate McCormack in negotiation with Old Barn Books publisher Ruth Huddleston. Ghost Bird won the David Unaipon Award...

30 Aug 2021

Hachette acquires two Jordan novels

Hachette has acquired world rights for two novels by Toni Jordan, in a deal struck between head of fiction Rebecca Saunders and Jane Novak of Jane Novak Literary Agency. The two novels are described as ‘family dramedies’, with the first novel titled Dinner with the Schnabels. Of Dinner with the Schnabels, Jordan said: ‘We all...

30 Aug 2021

Davitt Awards winners announced

Sisters in Crime Australia has announced the winners of the 2021 Davitt Awards for the best crime books by Australian women. The winners in each category are:  Adult crime novel The Good Sister (Sally Hepworth, Macmillan) Young adult crime novel  Where We Begin (Christie Nieman, Pan) Children’s crime novel A Clue for Clara (Lian Tanner, A&U) Nonfiction crime...

26 Aug 2021

Ned Kelly Awards 2021 winners announced

The Australian Crime Writers Association (ACWA) has announced the winners of the 2021 Ned Kelly Awards. Crime novels released by Text Publishing swept the fiction categories, with the winning titles as follows: Best crime fiction Consolation (Garry Disher, Text) Best debut crime fiction The Second Son (Loraine Peck, Text) Best true crime Stalking Claremont: Inside the...

24 Aug 2021

How to Repaint a Life (Steven Herrick, UQP) 

How to Repaint a Life is the latest offering from Steven Herrick, author of award-winning young adult titles including The Simple Gift and The Bogan Mondrian. This is gritty, heartbreaking prose that delves into topics such as homelessness, domestic violence and #MeToo, and is best suited to mature teenage readers. However, the narrative is written with sensitivity and offers...

20 Aug 2021

CBCA Book of the Year 2021 winners announced

The winners of the 2021 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards have been announced. The winning titles and honour books in each category are: Older readers: winner The End of the World is Bigger than Love (Davina Bell, Text) Older readers: honour books Metal Fish, Falling Snow (Cath Moore, Text) Where We...

18 Aug 2021

The First Scientists (Corey Tutt, illus by Blak Douglas, Hardie Grant) 

In The First Scientists, Corey Tutt, founder of the Deadly Science charity and NSW Young Person of the Year 2020, brings us an extremely engaging, informative and at times funny account of the much-overlooked contribution of early First Nations people to various scientific fields. The text is presented in loosely chronological segments including First Astronomers, First Engineers,...

10 Aug 2021

My Brother Ben (Peter Carnavas, UQP) 

Acclaimed Australian children’s writer Peter Carnavas has followed up his wonderful first novel The Elephant with another book equally full of heart. An ode to sibling relationships, growing up and the natural world, My Brother Ben tells the story of 10-year-old Luke, whose love for birds and birdwatching is eclipsed only by his adoration for his older brother, Ben....

04 Aug 2021

‘Still Alive’ sells to Fantagraphics

Melbourne graphic novel publisher Twelve Panels Press has sold world English rights (ex ANZ) to Safdar Ahmed’s Still Alive to Gary Groth at Fantagraphics, to be published under the Fantagraphics Underground imprint. Interweaving journalism, history and autobiography, Still Alive is the result of Ahmed’s visits to Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre, beginning in 2011, where he...

04 Aug 2021

Pantera acquires McWilliams debut middle-grade novel

Pantera Press has acquired world rights to The Reindeer and the Submarine, the debut middle-grade novel by Beverly McWilliams. Inspired by the true story of a reindeer who lived aboard the HMS Trident in 1941, The Reindeer and Submarine follows Pollyanna as she is taken from her beloved herder by a Russian admiral and gifted...

03 Aug 2021

Dark Rise (C S Pacat, A&U) 

Will is on the run from the men who killed his mother. When a terrifying artefact is unleashed on the Thames docks, Will finds himself thrust into a hidden world of danger and forgotten magic, defended by the Stewards, an ancient order of knights dedicated to the Light. To prevent the rise of a terrible...

29 Jul 2021

PRH acquires Chadderton middle-grade graphic novel

Penguin Random House (PRH) Australia has acquired world rights to the contemporary middle-grade graphic novel Oh, Brother by Adelaide author-illustrator Georgina Chadderton. Rights were acquired in a joint deal between PRH Australia, Random House Graphic (US), PRH Children’s (UK) and Tundra Books (Canada), via Annabel Barker at Annabel Barker Agency and Daniel Lazar at Writers House....

27 Jul 2021

Dragon Skin (Karen Foxlee, A&U) 

Dragon Skin is the much-anticipated new novel by Karen Foxlee, author of cherished modern classics including the internationally successful Lenny’s Book of Everything. Foxlee is skilled at writing brave yet vulnerable young characters who steal readers’ hearts forever, and Dragon Skin is no different. Ten-year-old Pip is going through a tough time. Her best friend Mika has left,...

22 Jul 2021

S&S acquires two McAlister rom-coms

Simon & Schuster Australia has acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to two adult novels by Jodi McAlister, author of the YA series ‘Valentine’, via Alex Adsett from Alex Adsett Literary. Here for the Right Reasons and Can I Steal You for a Second? are, according to S&S, two ‘adorable romantic comedies’ set on the same...

21 Jul 2021

Simpson wins 2021 ALS Gold Medal for ‘Song of the Crocodile’

Nardi Simpson has won the 2021 Australian Literature Society (ALS) Gold Medal for Song of the Crocodile (Hachette). Song of the Crocodile is Simpson’s debut novel, and was the winner of the 2018 black&write! Writing Fellowship. An intergenerational family saga, the novel charts the experiences of Billymil family as their rural town undergoes social and environmental...

15 Jul 2021

Lohrey wins 2021 Miles Franklin Literary Award for ‘The Labyrinth’

Amanda Lohrey has won the $60,000 Miles Franklin Literary Award for her seventh novel, The Labyrinth (Text). Lohrey, the second Tasmanian writer to win the Miles Franklin in its 64-year history, has twice been shortlisted for the award, with her shortlisted novel Camille’s Bread (Fourth Estate) winning the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal in 1996....

14 Jul 2021

UQP sells ‘The White Girl’ to HarperVia

UQP has sold world English rights (ex ANZ) for The White Girl by Tony Birch to HarperCollins imprint HarperVia. The deal was handled by UQP rights manager Kate McCormack in negotiation with Judith Curr and Rosie Black from HarperVia. Curr said The White Girl ‘helps us understand the history, struggles, and culture of Aboriginal Australians’....

02 Jul 2021

Robotham wins CWA Steel Dagger

Michael Robotham has won the UK Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award for best thriller for his novel When She Was Good (Hachette). The judges praised Robotham’s novel as ‘an urgent, poignant and terrifying thriller’. ‘This page-turner will hold your attention until you get to the very last page,’ the judges said....

30 Jun 2021

Hachette acquires Yarwood debut in two-book deal

Hachette Australia has acquired ANZ rights to Sydney author Dianne Yarwood’s debut novel The Wakes in a ‘hotly contested’ international auction. The six-figure, two-book deal was struck with Catherine Drayton at InkWell Management, while UK and Commonwealth rights (ex ANZ) were sold to Francesca Main at Phoenix, an imprint of Orion. Set in Sydney, and...

28 Jun 2021

Affirm acquires Berry’s ‘Fearlessly Failing’

Affirm Press has acquired world rights to nutritionist and podcast host Lola Berry’s new personal development book Fearlessly Failing. Affirm said Fearlessly Failing is ‘a guide to embracing challenges and learning from mistakes, told with refreshing candour from Lola—someone eminently qualified in failing without fear.’ Fearlessly Failing is the first acquisition by Affirm’s commercial publisher...

04 Feb 2021

Canadian Networking Event

Last week the Australian Publishers Association held the first in its series of international rights online networking events, in collaboration with Canadian counterpart, Livres Canada Books. This free event was an opportunity for Australians to connect and build new relationships with publishers and rights agents, while learning more about the Canadian publishing market. Proceedings began with...

27 Oct 2020

More Than Just Grit

One of our key Frankfurt initiatives for the online fair put Australian writers and publishers in the spotlight around the world as part of BOOKFEST digital. This is a day-long international festival of books that will stream live on YouTube, Facebook and the Frankfurt Book Fair website on Saturday 17 October. A panel facilitated by Benjamin Law, with authors...

09 Oct 2020

Dalton, Pape, Bluey top Australian bestsellers YTD – by Think Australian

By Think Australian Trent Dalton’s 2018 debut novel Boy Swallows Universe has topped the Nielsen BookScan’s Australian fiction chart for the year to date, having sold more than 80,000 copies in 2020. Literary, historical and crime fiction are all represented in the top 10, including a number of bestsellers from 2019 or earlier—indeed, only two of the...

08 Oct 2020

Award-winners – by Think Australian

By Think Australian Three Australian books have collected several prestigious awards and shortlistings over the past six months: Tara June Winch’s novel The Yield (Hamish Hamilton), ‘a powerful reclaiming of Indigenous language, storytelling and identity’, which won the Miles Franklin Literary Award; journalist Jess Hill’s investigation of domestic violence, See What You Made Me Do (Black Inc.), which picked up...

07 Oct 2020

Australian children’s, YA titles headed for screen – by Think Australian

By Think Australian After a decade in print, Sally Rippin’s bestselling Billie B Brown junior fiction series (Hardie Grant Egmont) is finally heading to the screen. Global production company Fremantle and development partner 720 Creative have acquired screen rights to the children’s book character Billie B Brown, describing the brand as having ‘enormous potential for an international screen...

05 Oct 2020

‘The Dressmaker’ sequel among recent Oz acquisitions – by Think Australian

By Think Australian Australian publishers have been busy acquiring new titles over the past six months, including a kids’ guide to journalism, a ‘vital, groundbreaking book’ about gender transition, and a highly anticipated sequel to Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker. Adult fiction acquisitions A 2015 film adaptation of Rosalie Ham’s The Dressmaker (Duffy & Snellgrove) sent the novel to...

03 Oct 2020

Award-winners among recent rights sales successes – by Think Australian

Award-winners among recent rights sales successes Despite the Covid-19 pandemic putting a halt to international travel, a majority of Australian rights managers and literary agents have reported a stable rights market over the past year, with strong demand for audio and screen rights. Here are some of the highlights. Adult fiction sales A major award...

01 Oct 2020

Publishing and the pandemic: The Australian book market in 2020 – by Think Australian

by Think Australian Despite the disruption that the Covid-19 pandemic has had on the Australian book industry this year, overall sales figures are looking surprisingly healthy. For the first eight months of 2020, adult fiction sales were up 12% in value compared to the same period in 2019, and children’s, YA and educational sales were...

30 Sep 2020

Gearing up to Frankfurt: Lead titles from Australian publishers & agents – by Think Australian

by Think Australian With the Frankfurt Book Fair now purely online, Australian publishers and literary agents are gearing up to pitch their titles via the fair’s—and their own—digital channels. Here are some of their highlights: Adult fiction and nonfiction The rights team at Penguin Random House Australia (PRH)—Nerrilee Weir, Jordan Meek and Alice Richardson—is excited to be...

29 Sep 2020

Meet UQP rights and contracts manager Kate McCormack – by Think Australian

By Think Australian Kate McCormack has been the rights and contracts manager for Brisbane-based independent UQP for the past four years, joining the publisher after 10 years at Penguin Random House Australia and stints in the UK and India. She spoke to Think Australian about her rights list and how Covid-19 has changed the way she works....

14 May 2020

2020 ABIA Award Winners Announced

Across Australia, the 2020 ABIAs were streamed into our homes, where winners were toasted, writers celebrated, and history made. The 2020 Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIAs) were announced on Wednesday 13th May via a Virtual Awards Event streamed on YouTube, hosted by musician and performer Casey Bennetto. The awards are judged by an academy of more than 250 respected publishing industry figures and...

17 Mar 2020

Announcing Australia Reads

The Australian Reading Hour has become the flagship event of a new 17-day books and reading festival Australia Reads! Reaching more than 11 million Australians in 2019, The Australian Reading Hour has become the most successful campaign to unite the nation to pick up a book and discover the joys of reading. This year, this major event has...

12 Feb 2020

Magabala’s Dark Emu talked about at first Parliamentary Book Club

Making history, MPs and Senators discussed Bruce Pascoe’s book, Dark Emu at the first Australian Parliamentary Book Club last night. During a nation-wide call out for nominations, Pascoe’s award-winning non-fiction book was a clear favourite. Bruce Pascoe and Anna Moulton, CEO of Dark Emu publisher Magabala Books, attended the evening and had a conversation with...

07 Oct 2019

In Australia, Publishers and Readers Embrace Diverse Books

by Andrea Hanke, published in Publishing Perspectives, sponsored by the Australian Publishers Association The case for publishing diverse voices is ‘self-evident’ in Australia, as books on diverse experiences become a bestselling force in the market. A memoir from Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani—who has been detained by the Australian government for over five years after attempting...

01 Oct 2019

Rising Traction for Australia’s Indigenous Publishing

by Andrea Hanke, published in Publishing Perspectives, sponsored by the Australian Publishers Association ‘There has never been a better time for Indigenous publishing,’ says one publisher, as Indigenous writings find staying power on Australia’s bestseller lists. When Melissa Lucashenko became the third Indigenous author to win Australia’s prestigious Miles Franklin Literary Award for her novel Too Much Lip in...

18 Sep 2019

Australia’s University Presses Find a Following Off-Campus

by Andrea Hanke, published in Publishing Perspectives, sponsored by the Australian Publishers Association Far from the halls of ivy, Australia’s university presses find favor with readers in search of authoritative information in time of fake news. It’s not unusual to find titles from Australia’s university presses stocked in bookshops across Australia, from independent booksellers to airport chains. Melbourne...