Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Strange encounter ...

His new colleagues at Paperchain Bookshop in Canberra must have been mightily impressed by bookseller Shane Strange's reputation. A regular customer of Shane's previous employer, Riverbend Books of Brisbane, had also recently moved to Canberra. They popped into Paperchain recently and asked for Shane by name. How nice to see a familiar face. The customer? None other than our new prime minister!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How NOT to market your business?

The marketing guru Dave Patton was so annoyed that a new edition of his book How to Market Your Business was being discounted heavily by that he wrote asking the online bookseller to stop stocking his book.

'If they’d read my book, they would know that you only discount to shift unsold volumes not new editions—this is the sixth —and certainly not on publication date,' Patton told the UK Booskeller. 'With a cover price of £12.99 they are selling it at just £8.57, so they’re giving away more than £4 a book. It’s madness.'

The madness looks set to continue. I note that, for the very first time, there were more discounted books sold in the UK than non-discounted books last year.

Poet's pay day

One week poet John Tranter is scooping a handsome $25,000 in the Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature, and the very next his partner, Lyn Tranter of Australian Literary Management, is advertising for a personal assistant in the Weekly Book Newsletter. A reader asks: are the two events in any way related?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Edgar gets award for picking winners

Some may have been a bit surprised that someone working in television should win this year's Dromkeen Medal for contribution to Australian children's literature. Patricia Edgar is a special case, of course. Her work for the Australian Children's Television Foundation, which included commissioning series such as Winners, Kaboodle, Touch the Sun and Round the Twist, not only gave work to a lot of Australian writers, but also sold a lot of books too. At her acceptance speech for the medal on 29 February, Edgar recalled McPhee Gribble's insistence that the scriptwriters on Winners also wrote the book tie-ins, which went on to sell a staggering 200,000 copies. This gave one young scriptwriter a chance to write his first book. His name? Morris Gleitzmann.