Welcome to the Small Press Network, the peak Australian organisation for small and independent publishers.


12 November

Sinking independents into libraries | Pepi Ronalds

There’s a quote on the Internet that is attributed to Virginia Woolf. ‘I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunk treasure,’ it reads. In order to find its source I paste the full quote into a search box, held together by inverted commas. ‘Did you mean: “I ransack public libraries, and find them full of sunken treasure.”’ Google asks me. Hmmm, I wonder – did I?

Be they sunk or sunken treasure, libraries are certainly the places to find them. A library’s collection policy, as Tricia Genat, Managing Director of ALS Library Services says, ‘is not just about working to the mean but also making sure that you’ve got some outliers in your collection.’

Where both libraries and bookshops will stock bestsellers, libraries are looking for a little bit more. ‘People are interested in all sorts of weird and wonderful things,’ says Genat. Librarians want to make sure that they’re ‘expanding the collection to include more unusual [publications] or some new trends or different kinds of formats,’ she says.

So libraries can provide a solid opportunity for independent publishers to get their work to readers. In contrast to being included in bookstores (which can be complex and difficult for independent publishers), Genat says that there are no disadvantages to getting books into libraries. ‘One of the major advantages for small publishers is that they’re in an open field competitively,’ Genat explains. Librarians have wider mandates and make their decisions about buying a book on a computer screen using filters based on genre, category, etc. ‘When the library selector is scrolling through those titles your book has as much chance of getting picked as one from [a major publisher],’ Genat says. There are, however, a few provisos.

To be noticed on the computer screen you’ll need a decent cover and a well-written blurb. ‘If you’re a small publisher and you spend absolutely no money on your cover (and it’s going up against lovely covers), then a library selector is just going to scroll past yours and not select it,’ Genat warns. ‘If the blurb that you’ve written is correct, up-to-date, informative and helpful then that’s the second thing that the library selector looks at,’ she says. If you make these elements the best you possibly can your book will be in contention for selection.

Library selectors read blogs, newspapers and sites such as Goodreads. ‘If [a library selector] sees a name that pops up as they scroll through the list (i.e a brand new author, a brand new publisher, a tiny publisher that’s causing a little buzz) they will [remember it],’ says Genat. The selector’s decision is only a $20 or $30 one – at times they can just order a book and see what happens. ‘If it gets borrowed half a dozen times then that’s a publisher or author [the selector] might add to the standing order,’ says Genat. She says that social media is absolutely essential for publishers in this context. ‘If it’s out there people will be reading it,’ she says. (For more on publishers and social media read this post on vertical marketing).

In addition to considering cover designs and blurbs, independent publishers also need to pay attention to things including ensuring that page numbers are correct, that there’s a bar code on the back and that the book has an ISBN. ‘The physical quality is also important. It can’t fall apart,’ says Genat. Recently she had to return an order of over 30 books because of their poor quality. ‘There was absolutely nothing wrong with the content of the book. The printer just did a bad job,’ she says.

In a panel at this week’s Independent Publishing Conference Genat (as chair), Anita Cattogio (Yarra Plenty Library), Michael Mackenzie (Boyd Library) and Leesa Lambert (Little Bookroom) will share some of the joys and frustrations of putting together a library collection. They’ll discuss what a collection policy does, what’s available, what the price points are, what captures people’s attention and what’s important to have on the shelves in the context of independent publishing. (They’ll give advice on sinking independent treasures into libraries!)

In the meantime my Internet searches aren’t confirming whether Woolf said sunk or sunken (or where she said it). I can see that the British Library are going for sunk, and I figure that’s a reliable source… but I might just need an excuse to ransack my local library this afternoon. You never know what treasure I’ll find.

Genat’s panel Libraries and Librarians will be held at 1.15pm, Friday 14 November at the Independent Publishing Conference.

Follow @futurelongform on Twitter (or its writer, Pepi Ronalds on Facebook) for more stories about the Independent Publishing Conference and The Most Underrated Book Award (as well as other stories about writing, publishing and long form non-fiction).


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11 November

Molecular verticality: trends in book marketing | Pepi Ronalds

‘I think molecular specialisation is the only way that book publishers are going to survive in something that resembles their traditional format,’ says Anne Treasure, a digital marketing enthusiast. This molecular specialisation is spawning vertical marketing, or customer/reader-focused marketing. In the context of publishing vertical marketing recognises, as Mike Shatzkin writes on idealog.com that publishers are no longer dependent on books being displayed in stores and that, ‘the marketing that used to take place around store inventory is becoming digital’. Vertical marketing is particularly useful to small and independent publishers (as well as to writers).

‘It used to be that publishers would market a lot through their retailers,’ says Treasure, ‘But retailer relationships aren’t so important any more, and in publishing it’s more about the direct-to-consumer relationship,’ she says. Not surprisingly social media is one of the key vertical marketing tools available to the literary community. On social media writers and publishers can converse directly with their readers and build communities of interest. It’s quite a contrast from old school broadcasting and one that many publishers are already harnessing. Treasure cites Meanjin, Overland, Kill Your Darlings and Seizure as journals that are doing a good job. ‘They bring [their publication’s] personality into the social media space so that readers can get to know them as well as the writers therein.’

But it’s not just journals that are capitalising on vertical marketing. Treasure adds that, ‘all kinds of publishers are becoming involved in the conversations around reading, books, literature and writing (rather than just being the gatekeepers and broadcasters).’ Genre publishers – particularly romance and science fiction – are leading the charge. ‘[Some publishers are] getting to the point where whatever they publish, readers in the community will trust that it’s going to be good and something that they’re interested in,’ Treasure says. This is the vision for vertical marketing – writers and publishers producing such high quality and relevant publications, communities and conversations that readers, ‘will trust them and be willing to buy whatever they publish.’

There is a lot of noise in social media and this is one of the challenges says Treasure. But it can be overcome. ‘It’s about being authentic, about showing personality, seeing through all of the boring chatter and engaging your readers in a space where they already are,’ she says. Publishers should also take care to include and train their writers . ‘No matter how much the market fragments it’s going to be hard for a publisher to have as loyal a following as an author or a writer,’ says Treasure. While social media is one of the major tools for vertical marketing it isn’t the only one. Treasure notes a good example of offline vertical marketing in 2013 newcomer Tincture Journal. It placed promotional stickers on street crossings in Darlinghurst (Sydney). ‘They’re right where you’re going to press the button – so you can’t fail to see them,’ Treasure says. In this respect vertical marketing is nothing new. ‘It’s marketing that has been going on for 20 or 30 years… marketing that you would see for rock or pop gigs (except that now we’re bringing it to books and literature),’ she says.

Vertical marketing has created unprecedented opportunity for the independent publishing sector in particular. As Treasure says, ‘It’s definitely leveling the playing field and it means that independent publishers have more opportunities to engage with communities of readers.’   Anne Treasure will chair the panel Vertical Marketing (with panelists Kate Cuthbert [Escape Publishing] and Mark Robinson [Exisle Publishing] at this week’s Independent Publishing Conference. Treasure’s session will be held 10.15am on Friday 15 November.   Follow @futurelongform on Twitter (or its writer, Pepi Ronalds on Facebook) for more stories about the Independent Publishing Conference and The Most Underrated Book Award (as well as other stories about writing, publishing and long form non-fiction).


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07 November

On being underrated (the MUBA) | Pepi Ronalds

For Christmas last year Wayne Macauley’s partner gave him a t-shirt printed with the words Most Underrated 2012. ‘I don’t wear it out that often but it’s a beautiful thing,’ Macauley quips. The t-shirt is a reference to last year’s inaugural Most Underrated Book Award (MUBA) which Macauley won for his novel The Cook. ‘[The most underrated book] is a very catchy line and I think people like the idea of it,’ Macauley says. ‘[The award] got quoted a number of times afterwards in blogs and reviews and even when the book went overseas.’ As Macauley notes, the title of this award, ‘has a hook’.

The MUBA, says the Small Press Network (which organises the award), ‘aims shine a light on some of the outstanding titles that are released by small and independent publishers that, for whatever reason, did not receive their fair dues.’ This year’s shortlist was recently released. It includes Fish-Hair Woman by Merlinda Bobis (Spinifex Press), Staunch by Ginger Briggs (Affirm Press), Whiskey Charlie Foxtrot by Annabel Smith (Fremantle Press) and The Hum of Concrete by Anna Solding (MidnightSun Publishing). The winner will be announced next week (click here to book your free ticket to the awards announcement event).

‘[Last year] there was some uncertainty as to whether this was a badge that authors particularly wanted or not,’ says Martin Shaw, Books Division Manager at Readings. ‘But most people got what it was about – it was trying to make sure that nobody got completely overlooked – which does happen,’ Shaw says.

For this reason Readings gives the MUBA shortlist, ‘the biggest blast we can,’ says Shaw. The books are being promoted online, in their newsletter and on a table in store. Last year Macauley noted a contrast between the MUBA and another award he was shortlisted for (which was announced in the same week). ‘The MUBA shortlisted winners were really prominent in the Readings Carlton store… I couldn’t see anything displayed for [the other award],’ he says. As Macauley notes the MUBA’s tie with bookshops is critical, ‘If the books are not promoted in the store then the award is great for you spiritually but not really commercially.’

Readings reported a tenfold increase in sales of the full shortlist of the 2012 MUBA. ‘[The MUBA] definitely makes a difference,’ Shaw says. ‘Now that we’re into the second year it will build up as a [list on] the best of the small press.’

For Macauley, winning the MUBA also had other benefits. ‘The book had been a runner-up and it was great for it to win something. But from a personal perspective I felt like I was being recognised with an independent award for an independent attitude,’ he says. That’s something he values as a person with an interest in independent publishing and theatre. That independence is relevant to buyers too says Shaw, ‘A lot of book buyers out there are looking for something a bit different, something that isn’t massively hyped about from large commercial houses.’

Looking forward Macauley is excited by the potential of independent publishing. The old structures are being broken down he says, and new possibilities are opening up. ‘My view of that is that we should all be brave and should never be afraid to take risks,’ he says. ‘Everyone should give wholly and utterly of themselves to their work. They should make their work in their own voice. They should make it the very best that they can.’ The thing that never changes with independent publishing, says Macauley, is that ‘we’re making art out of integrity.’

The 2013 Most Underrated Book Award winner will be announced at the Independent Publishing Conference on Friday 15 November. Click here to book your free ticket for the awards event.

Follow @futurelongform on Twitter (or its writer, Pepi Ronalds on Facebook) for more stories about the Independent Publishing Conference and The Most Underrated Book Award (as well as other stories about writing, publishing and long form non-fiction).


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06 November

IndPubConf 2013: Exploding the margins Pepi Ronalds

There was a time some years ago when I burned with annoyance when, upon opening a library book, I would discover that a previous reader – or readers – had marked up all of the salient points, underlining key words and phrases with scribbles in pen. Little did I know that I was experiencing ‘social reading’ in one of its earliest forms. Travis Alber and Aaron Miller describe social reading as, ‘the act of reading while connected to other people, or the philosophy of reading as a connected activity, not an isolated one.’ It’s a subject Charlotte Harper (Editia) will be covering in the paper she’s presenting to next week’s Independent Publishing Conference (titled Social Reading, Long form Journalism and the Connected Ebook).

I confess that my early ‘social reading’ in the library made me feel frustrated. The mark-ups denied me my earnest pursuit to form my own conclusions, to find the salient points on my own merit, and to have an unencumbered ‘first read’. Yet recently I was drawn to a library book for research and on taking the tome from the shelf I discovered that my old foe (underlined texts and comments in the margin) had become a friend. The underliner had done me a service – enabling me to more efficiently establish the relevance of the book to my research.

Electronic publishing has taken social reading to a far deeper level than the (often anonymous) scribblings in the margins of a book. Readers can now use their devices (such as Kindles, Kobos or apps like Readmill) to share and read in-book annotations with everyone else (functions that can thankfully be turned on or off). The geographical breadth of this electronic exchange encourages a wide spectrum of social reading perspectives. Damien Walter, writing for the Guardian, sees the benefits of social reading in a longitudinal context, ‘[I]magine reading a book published in 2013 in the year 2063. In the 50 years between now and then, dozens of critical texts, hundreds of articles, thousands of reviews and hundreds of thousands of comments will have been made on the text.’ Harper says that social reading extends to discussions about texts on social media and sites like Goodreads. ‘The readers’ discussions can form part of the book and enhances it that way,’ she says.

Harper agrees that when it comes to in-book annotations social reading can interrupt the flow and give spoilers – but social reading in the electronic space is particularly salient to non-fiction, she says. ‘[Readers get engaged and want] to continue the conversation about stories that don’t end… When they’re reading a work of non-fiction on a topic that they’re passionate about (or intrigued by) they’ll want to know what happened next – how the story continues.’ Social reading doesn’t just benefit and engage readers says Harper, it can also help writers and publishers. ‘Some of the conversations that have taken place around the book can be taken into consideration or can inspire content for new editions,’ she says.

As well as the social reading elements Harper sees great potential for long form non-fiction in the electronic realm. She cites commentators like J Max Robbins, who recently wrote that, ‘E-book singles – non-fiction and fiction pieces between 5,000 and 30,000 words – are on the cusp of becoming a significant business and may well propel a renaissance in deep-dive journalism.’ Harper also points to the success story of Long Play, a Finnish publisher of long form non-fiction e-singles that is close to making a profit within a year of its launch.

Along with perspectives on social reading, Harper hopes to provide attendees at next week’s conference with some insight into the burgeoning market for long form journalism in e-book format. She’ll cover the impact of recent events (like the acquisition of Goodreads by Amazon) and likely developments for the book industry and journalists.

Harper sees a healthy future for long form non-fiction in electronic format. ‘There are more and more publishers specialising in long form non-fiction. As the number of publishers specialising and the number of books grows, then readers will become more aware of the genre and become used to factoring it into their purchasing patterns,’ she says.

Charlotte Harper will present as part of the Authors, Genre and Publishing session (1.15pm, Thursday 14 November) at the Independent Publishing Conference.

Follow @futurelongform on Twitter (or its writer, Pepi Ronalds on Facebook) for more stories about the Independent Publishing Conference and The Most Underrated Book Award (as well as other stories about writing, publishing and long form non-fiction).

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06 November


Anyone in publishing knows the wonderful things that can happen in small spaces. Award-winning manuscripts have been produced in backyard huts, burgeoning publishing empires started on kitchen tables and literary classics typed out clack-by-clack at lonely desks. So too this year’s Independent Publishing Conference (14 to 16 November) – for the past few months Tim Coronel, Conference Coordinator, has had his laptop perched on the edge of the only desk in Small Press Network’s office (a space he once described as a fishbowl). ‘It’s a small office which is three by three metres (if that). Like all publishing spaces it’s full of books and bits of paper and a carton of wine – which is very useful at times,’ Coronel quips.

This year’s conference came together with the work of an impressive planning committee (Michael Webster, Emmett Stinson, Aaron Manion, Andrea Hanke, Catherine Lewis, Mary Masters and Nathan Hollier – with Coronel bringing it all together). It’s the second of its kind but 2013 promises new ideas. ‘We’ve made a conscious effort not to double up – not to get the same faces back again,’ says Coronel. ‘There’s probably twice as many sessions and speakers as there were last year – both days of the conference are going to be running parallel sessions.’ (ie two sessions in each time slot).

Coronel hopes the conference will soon become an ‘annual destination’ for the Australian publishing sector. ‘It’s the only opportunity in Australia for publishing professionals to get together like this. You can be tweeting with people and emailing people back and forth for years and never have the chance to actually meet them face-to-face,’ he says. Both the industry and academic day programs have been shaped to meet the needs of these independent publishing individuals. There’s over 16 sessions on the topics of markets, marketing, trends, different genres, rights, distribution, reviews, libraries and all manner of publishing. Funding: from crowds to grants will feature a panel including Anna Maguire, author of Crowdfund it!, Sophie Cunningham, Chair of the Literature Board with the Australia Council and Zoe Rodriguez, Cultural Fund Manager at Copyright Agency Limited (chaired by Sam Twyford-Moore, Director of the Emerging Writer’s Festival).

Earlier on the same day Charlotte Harper (Editia) will lead Business Models, a self-explanatory session which will include input from publishers at all ends of the spectrum. ‘Those nuts and bolts sessions will be very useful,’ says Coronel. ‘They’ll explore how you do it, how you run your little business and hopefully make a bigger business out of it and make it viable.’ Coronel notes that the act of publishing has become far less exclusive than it once was. ‘I think it’s getting easier and easier to publish in the most basic sense – to get your words out is simple,’ he says. To wit one of the biggest challenges for publishers these days is in finding an audience. ‘To find a paying audience is even more of a challenge and to generate enough revenue to make a sustainable business is hard. It always has been,’ he says.

Still that’s not to say that humble beginnings can’t result in big things – after all this year’s Independent Publishing Conference has been brought together by the efforts of Coronel – a solitary figure with a laptop perched on the edge of a desk.

Follow @futurelongform on Twitter (or its writer, Pepi Ronalds on Facebook) for more stories about the Independent Publishing Conference and The Most Underrated Book Award (as well as other stories about writing, publishing and long form non-fiction).


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25 July

Robert Galbraith Didn’t Sell. Why is Anyone Surprised? | Keiran Rogers

This article was originally published on the ‘Books + Publishing website. Join up today for all the news and publishing discussions you need.


The Cuckoo’s Calling achieved mediocre sales before it was revealed bestselling author JK Rowling was the actual author

‘The Cuckoo’s Calling reminds me why I fell in love with crime fiction in the first place’—Val McDermid

‘One of the most unique and compelling detectives I’ve come across in years’—Mark Billingham ‘Every time I put this book down, I looked forward to reading more. Galbraith writes at a gentle pace, the pages rich with description and with characters that leap out of them. I loved it. He is a major new talent’—Peter James

‘One of the best crime novels I have ever read’—Alex Gray

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, aka J K Rowling, could not have received better reviews. Yet before the secret broke, the Bookseller reported The Cuckoo’s Calling had sold a total of 449 copies through BookScan since its April release. Many people appeared very surprised that even without her name on the cover in 72-point font, JK Rowling’s quality of writing did not shine through and propel The Cuckoo’s Calling up the bestseller charts. I was not one of them. There are two obvious and major factors working against Mr Galbraith that completely explain the case of the missing book sales.

Firstly, an author who doesn’t exist can’t actively be involved in promoting their title. No radio or TV publicity, no attending writers’ festivals, no book signings, and certainly no bookshop tours to meet the people who directly handsell the books.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, it is very hard to break in a debut author when you have a book market like that of the UK. Supermarkets aren’t taking punts on new talent, and the Book Depository certainly could not care less. With so few quality independent booksellers left in the UK there is simply no-one to actively engage with new talent and handsell quality writing. In Australia, across our independent and chain book channels, we have over 300 retail outlets that are still responsible for around half of all books sold in this country. Within these stores work many talented and dedicated staff, adept at handselling books and not daunted by debut authors.

Unsurprisingly, these stores like to support the publishers who support them. If publishers want their debut authors to succeed they need to: support the indies with a competitive base discount, not sell the same book on their own website at half the price, and not sell to Amazon or the Book Depository—or at least control their pricing.

If you need a better example look no further than the recent bestseller, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Sure, it won the 2012 Victorian Premier’s award for an unpublished manuscript, but the book succeeded because it is a good story, it was well published by Text (which has a great reputation among indies), and because the author Graeme Simsion has been everywhere meeting booksellers, signing stock and doing events.

Many Australian publishers talk about supporting our independent booksellers, but their actions suggest otherwise. As George R R Martin says, ‘words are wind’. Next time I launch a debut author I’ll run an event with Gleebooks, submit a review copy to Readings Monthly, talk to Dymocks George St about merchandising and take the author to meet the brilliant people at Shearer’s on Norton. We’ll ensure Fullers get reading copies, pitch to Riverbend for their Book of the Month, and ask Hill of Content if they can put it in their window. We’ll not forget Beaufort St Books just because they’re way out west, and we’ll give Dillons Norwood Bookstore a little extra discount to take a pile for out front.

Keiran Rogers is the new sales and marketing manager at Affirm Press. He is a former senior sales manager at Hinkler and sales director at Hardie Grant


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05 June

Meet the publisher:

STEPHEN MINCHIN from Steam Press (NZ)


(Editor note: we LOVE this photo!)

Steam Press is … a publisher of New Zealand science fiction, fantasy, and horror that is determined to give local authors a viable market for their work, and make that work available to the world.

Stephen Minchin is… Drinking far too much coffee.

When was the last time you were lost in a book? This morning, on the train – The Future is Japanese, from Haikasoru

Why did you become a publisher? When I studied publishing I realised that no New Zealand publisher had any interest in the genres I like. It seemed that the most sensible solution to this was to start my own company. I guess the shorter answer is “Because I didn’t think it through.”

Three skills every independent publisher needs are… The ability to function on a lack of sleep, to keep your spouse happy while you bleed the mortgage dry, and to spot the proverbial diamond in the rough.

What is the most exciting thing about your job? Reading submissions and suddenly finding yourself reading a novel that has the spark you’ve been looking for.

What are the biggest challenges facing independent publishers/your company at the moment? Financial viability – no question at all there. Our books have been reviewed really well, and according to all the publishers I know our sales have been pretty good for New Zealand in the present market, but we’re still far from breaking even.

Screen VS Page? Screen. Printed books still have a place, but the vast majority of people I know who’ve bought themselves an iPad, Kindle, or whatever are loving it and won’t go back.

When I’m not busy publishing fantastic New Zealand writing you can find me… Running in the hills around Wellington, skiving off to go rock climbing, or in my basement brewing beer :D

(Editor note: we look forward to many more NZ publishers becoming members, joining in on our services and networking across the Tasman!)

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10 May

Round-up of SPN's involvement at Clunes Booktown Festival


Last weekend the Small Press Network journeyed on down the highway to tranquil Clunes in rural Victoria to take part in their annual Booktown Festival weekend, as part of SPN’s 2013 Roadshow series. Every year the historic township of Clunes hosts the Booktown event. Around 20,000 book lovers from across Victoria and interstate head to Clunes for ‘Back to Booktown’ each May, to soak up the historic atmosphere of the old gold town while fossicking through thousands of collectable and secondhand books. Over the weekend the town transforms into a European-styled Booktown, with some 60 visiting booksellers setting up shop in and around the town’s heritage buildings, bringing with them one of the largest collections of rare, out-of-print, collectable and second-hand books ever gathered in one place in Victoria.

On the Saturday morning SPN hosted an event with three authors from three different SPN member publishers. The guests were Balli Kaur Jaswal (Sleepers Publishing), Jane Rawson (Transit Lounge) and Leah Swann (Affirm Press).


Balli Kaur Jaswal, Jane Rawson, Leah Swann and Sam Cooney

The panel shared with the audience their individual experiences with their small press publishers, and discussed things like how they found and chose their respective publishers, the promotion of work when it’s published with a small press, and having a debut work in print versus having it in digital. The conversation was wide-ranging, and each author discovered similarities as well as differences in their experiences.

President of SPN Zoe Dattner was there at the event, tweeting away:


On Sunday, SPN Programming and Communications Coordinator Sam Cooney also hosted an event titled The Art of Book Design, leading a discussion with three of Australia’s best book designers, W.H. Chong, Sandy Cull and Josh Durham. The three designers were asked as part of the event to put together some mock-up designs for George Orwell’s Animal Farm, which proved a hit to the audience, and provided some insight into the drawn-out through process that goes into designing a book cover. Below are the mock-ups Josh Durham brought along.


For more information about the Clunes Booktown Festival, click here. To see some photos from the weekend, visit the Books+Publishing Facebook page here.

Thanks to Clunes Booktown Festival and director Stephen Samuel for partnering with the Small Press Network to produce the events.

SPN is committed to furthering the interest of our members and helping to promote their products and reach new audiences – we look forward to working with Clunes Festival again next year and highlighting more of our members’ brilliant work.


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13 March

Why Print? Wrap up from the first SPN roadshow event in Sydney

“Why print?” was the topic of the first of the Small Publishing Network’s roadshow events, held at Berkelouw Books, Paddington, in Sydney the first week of March 2013. The panellists for the event were Linda Nix from new publisher, Lacuna Publishing, Sophia Whitfield of children’s book publisher New Frontiers and Alice Grundy of Seizure magazine and book publisher Giramondo. The conversation on the evening was wide ranging and engaging and all three panellists brought differing views to the table.

For those of us who couldn’t be in Sydney on the night, Linda Nix has created a GREAT blog post covering some of the topics that were raised during the discussion. In it she outlines her four very good reasons for continuing to produce books in print in the digital age: production quality; the supply chain; perceptions; and accessibility. read on here…

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28 November

INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS CONFERENCE: The latest news from Pepi Ronalds

If you weren’t able to make it to the inaugural Independent Publishers Conference in Melbourne earlier this month, fear not, blogger extraordinaire, Pepi Ronalds, has captured some of the most exciting discussions surrounding the past, present and future of independent publishing.


‘Cliff hanger’ and ‘conference’ are words that don’t often play in the same scenario. But when Malcolm Neil was cut off mid-presentation at last week’s Independent Publishers Conference these words came to mind. Neil is Director, Content Acquisition and Publisher Relations, APAC at Kobo Inc. Kobo provides e-reading services (including e-readers and e-books) to over […] read on here

READING AND WRITING ARE SOCIAL ACTS ‘One of the things that’s most annoyed me about the present debate [in publishing is that] it’s boiled down to one between techno-evangelists and technophobes,’ says Mark Davis Associate Professor (University of Melbourne) and non-fiction writer (Gangland: Cultural Elites and the New Generationalism). ‘We get caught up in that divide all the time and it […] read on here


I like to think I have a broad outlook on the potential of writing and new media. But in speaking with John Weldon, writer, author (Spincycle), academic (Victoria University) and coordinator (Meanland), I realise there is something my research has failed to uncover. I am embarrassed by the oversight. But I’m taken by it too […] read on here


Are you reading as much as you’re writing? And if you are, what are you reading? Are you reading – and buying – the kinds of publications you want to be published in as a writer)? ‘So many people want to write, and less want to read,’ says Amy Espeseth, writer (Sufficient Grace, Trouble Telling […] read on here


I’ve been trying to imagine a world without small and independent publishers. I can’t do it. I’ve tried to draw parallels. For example, I’ve wondered if it’s like a world without electricity, or a world without roses to smell. But neither is an appropriate comparison. When I try to imagine a world without these publishers […] read on here


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