Arlo
 
the newsletter of Interactive Publications Pty Ltd

 
 

Director's Welcome

DR_Photo

Welcome to our final IP eNews of 2010! It's been an exciting year for us at IP, doing our best to weather the GFC while expanding our publishing programs to take advantage of the rapid changes in publishing technology.

IP continues to be at the cutting edge of the industry. With our emphasis on green sustainability, we're cutting back on conventional print runs in favour of more efficient print on demand (POD) options. We now routinely release our POD editions globally at the same time or even before the launch of our local conventional print versions. I'm pleased to report that our growth in revenue from POD sales via our key partners Lightning Source (Ingram International) and CreateSpace (Amazon) accelerated throughout 2010, providing our authors with a welcome source of extra royalty revenue.

eBooks have certainly come into their own in 2010 with the release of several new reading devices like the iPad, Nook, and Kobo Reader and software packages that enable us to read books on our laptops or 3G phones. While Australian publishers – with the notable exception of IP – have taken a back seat to publishers in North America and Europe, I'm optimistic that things will change in 2011. The survival instinct is a great motivator for most businesses!

IP continued its partnership with Amazon, via the Amazon Advantage Program, and now routinely publish our titles to the Kindle Reader. We now have more than 80 titles available on the Kindle. We continued to publish our titles in pdf version to OverDrive, a major supplier to libraries and bookshops worldwide, and also began to provide them with ePub versions of selected titles. Also on the ePub front, this year we signed on with Apple to provide content for the iPad / iPhone platforms and already have 25 of our most recent titles on the iTunes Store. More recently, we joined with Kobo, an eBook company associated with Borders and Chapters, as well as For-side, a Japanese company that specialises in text and audio content for mobile platforms. We're also looking for ways to distribute our eBook content directly from our website. You can now order many of our titles as ePub downloads to read directly on your Reader.

2010 also saw the launch of our Digital Publishing Centre, providing a focus for our POD and eBook publishing activities. Authors can come to the DPC to have their works published through these channels without sacrificing quality since the DPC offers full editorial, design and proofreading services to ensure that every work is as good as it can be before it's published. The DPC can also assist in releasing new editions of work that has been out of print.

I'm particularly pleased by the growth of our children's imprint IP Kidz, in large part due to the hard work of Anna Bartlett, our Children's and YA Editor. Five new titles were released in 2010 and another five have just gone to press.

I also want to recognise the contribution of our other staff during 2010. Lauren Daniels, our Senior Prose Editor, took some time off to have a baby but is now back in the fold, raring to go. Jo Brennan was a great help in the prose area in Lauren's absence. We also had a fine crop of volunteers and interns during the year, including Talya Arditi, Cindy Ruch (visiting from Germany), and Liza Miller (from the UK). More recently, QUT Interns Sandra Castada assisted with promotion and Judilyn Bauer helped out in our multimedia area. Still with us are volunteers Dan O'Regan and Emanuele Gelsi. There's no way that IP could do half as much as it does without the dedication of staff like these. I can't thank them enough in words, but it's worth a try!

As this issue goes to press, the deadline for IP Picks 2011 has passed, and the team is looking forward to a new crop of winners in Picks' five categories. Our 2010 Picks titles are now all in print and have had very successful launches across Australia. If you haven't checked them out yet, browse to http://ipoz.biz/IP/IP_picks.htm and pick yourself a few winners to read yourself or choose as gifts over the coming holiday season.

Speaking of which, all of us at IP want to wish you the very best whatever holidays you celebrate at this time. The Studio will be closed from 17 December through 4 January, but we'll look forward to renewing contact with you in the New Year. Have a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2011!

Cheers!

David

Editorial

Let's Save Collected Works!

I read with concern recently the news that Melbourne bookstore Collected Works may be forced to close its doors due to changes in the lease agreement for its store space on Swanston Street. For years, CW has been a literary icon in Melbourne, stocking the titles that the more mainstream bookshops won't, providing space for launches especially of new poetry titles and a sanctuary for lovers of literature to come to browse the latest releases.

A talented poet himself, Kris Hemensley, owner of CW, has always gone out of his way to support the national as well as the Melbourne writing community. I can recall at least one occasion when Kris opened the shop just for an IP launch on a Sunday. We were immensely grateful for that, and we hope that the literary community will repay Kris' selfless dedication by supporting CW in its hour of need. We need to keep CW open!

There's been much debate about the future of physical bookshops as more and more titles become available online and eBooks take a larger share of the publishing market. Is this further evidence that the physical bookshop is an endangered species? Perhaps. A lot depends on the marketplace itself and whether loyalty to physical bookshops means anything in the face of online availability and discounting.

If anything will save independent bookshops like CW, it will be people expressing their desire to preserve them by the most obvious way – doing business there on a regular basis, and encouraging others to do the same. Yes, you may save a few bucks by ordering that book online, but have you factored in the invisible costs of subjecting valuable enterprises like CW to a process of slow starvation? Think again!

As Director of an independent publishing house, I can certainly understand CW's plight. Many people pay lip service to the need to support our local authors and publishing industry – and then they go out and buy "best sellers" published by international companies from chain stores offering discounts. Perhaps they think our local industry will survive on dedication and the wish to preserving our cultural identity. They won't – not indefinitely.

We depend on independents like Collected Works to preserve a diversity of choice and to stock low volume work like poetry that the chain stores won't even consider. Just today, when I was visiting Kris at the store, a woman came up to the counter with a hefty hard back book that she'd found on the stacks. It didn't have a price on it, and it turned out it had been on the shelf for some years (compare that to the average shelf life of a book in the chain stores). Remarkably, the customer, recently from Ireland, was the grand niece of the author and was amazed that she'd found the book so far from home. Would that have happened in Borders?

Should we do something decisive to help Collected Works? Of course. IP is determined to do its part – with your help. From now until Christmas, we'll donate 20% of the GST-exclusive proceeds of all sales ordered by email to sales@ipoz.biz with Collected Works Appeal as your subject (see Your Deal for ordering details).

Consider ordering several books and using some as gifts over the holiday season. Don't wait until Christmas, though. Put your order in now so that Collected Works can have a happy holiday, too!

— DR

<title>IP eNews/<title>

Focus

Interview 1: Olwyn Conrau

[Melbourne author Olwyn Conrau's memoir of the rougher side of life in the Big Smoke won the IP Picks 2010 Best Creative Non-FIction Award..]

DO: Some real-life characters in this book have been obscured for privacy reasons: how do you tread the line between what is legitimately your story and what might be someone else's? What process did you go through to work out what you could and couldn't say?

OC: It was crucial to tell the story as honestly as possible from Oli's perspective. I didn't really think about it too much but followed my instinct mainly because it's hard to remember names from so long ago. I actually met up with someone from that era and I mentioned an incident which was used in the book, but we both remembered a different person being involved. So on that level, truth is subjective anyway.

OlwynCI did draw the line at inventing events for dramatic purposes. A good writer can make the most boring aspect sound interesting. So the events in the book did happen.

DO: For a memoir, the book is written much more in the mode of a novel. Do you prefer this to the more traditional, more confessional one of modern memoir?

OC: I guess it's more of an autobiographical novel and yes, I do prefer it. When I first started writing the book my main task was to get the voice right. I felt that being, at the time, close to middle-aged and writing from that perspective would turn it into something lame - someone looking back on a period in their life but without that raw energy of youth. I find many memoirs that are written in that confessional mode tend to be preachy. I just wanted to tell a story the way I felt it was back then and for younger readers to relate to that voice.

DO: As the story sits knee-deep in youth drug and partying culture of Melbourne, do you think people from elsewhere will still be able to identify with it?

OC: Absolutely. I'd say anyone, anywhere will relate to the story. It's a universal story and one that will never go away and probably never be resolved.

And there's this bizarre collective thought that it is only a certain type who get involved in this culture. But that just isn't the case.

DO: At the beginning of the book, Oli pities those young people who lead less dangerous and fun lives than her own. Do you still feel that all people should have a phase of going wild?

OC: Oli felt alienated throughout school andImportanceBeingCool estranged from her peers. It's probably how most people feel at that age. But she had different tastes and interests to what her peers did and wasn't interested in pursuing the same suburban dreams. So when she fell in with this cool group of people who shared similar interests, life suddenly held possibility. It seemed new and exciting. Here was a group of eccentric, indiviual young people living life on their terms. Not settling for what 'the establishment' said they should settle for. It's a pretty amazing thing to be welcomed into.

I don't know if people should have a phase of going wild but I believe, for many, it's a natural progression to rebel.

<title>IP eNews/<title>

 

Interview 2: Barbara Winter

[Barbara's well-known for her meticulous research into historical topics. Her first book with IP was The Australia-First Movement, an exposé of the Ultra Right during the Second World War. The focus of her latest book is on the Intelligence community at the same time.]

DO: When did you first gain your interest in Intelligence?
 
BW: I think that I have always been interested in why things happen, not just in what happens. Knowledge is power, and knowledgeBarbaraP means information. Nationally, some of this information is furnished by Intelligence services operating in secret. Every country engages in this sort of activity, if it can, and within limits it is quite legitimate. So does every successful business enterprise and in a small way every individual. When it comes to the Intelligence services of countries, it is not an exaggeration to say that it can be a matter of national survival.

DO: Is it hard to find relevant documents to your case? Since some have not been released to the public, how do you read between the lines in documentation?
 
BW: The availability of documents is variable. Since the catalogues of the holdings of National Archives Australia have been made available on Internet, locating scattered material has become easier, and the digitisation of documents has also been advantageous. However, research of this nature is time-consuming and expensive. At the time of going to print, I don't think that any of my requests was still outstanding.

Filling in the gaps entails having wide background knowledge, and sometimes tracking down all the carbon copies of a document to see whether several screeners have made expungements in different places. Some dossiers on the Russian fascists contained quite silly expungements of material that was readily available elsewhere. I have never broken the law, or even bent it, to obtain information, but I have pushed the boundaries to the limit, and I am not going to reveal trade secrets on how to do this.

DO: Some means that ASIO adopted of gathering information for the source cases might have been illegal, either under the standards of today or under civilian standards of the time. Was ASIO justified in using such methods, in your opinion?
 
BW: In the first place, this book covers mainly the period between 1920 and 1947. ASIO did not exist then; it is involved only to the extent that it has become custodian of material created by other services. These were mainly the Commonwealth Investigation Branch and the Commonwealth Security Service. Although the Special Branches of State Police and Military Intelligence also collected information, their reports are difficult to access, except when they provided copies to the CIB or CSS.

In the second place, much of the information-gathering in the files consulted for this book took place during the war, and it was covered by emergency powers. Little of it was illegal, although of course it was clandestine. There was a period covering about 12-15 years when ASIO engaged in some illegal secret activities because it was denied the authority to carry out operations considered necessary, but that has nothing to do with this book.

DO: How many dangerous men did you consider on your shortlist before coming to those that you thought were dangerous enough to feature in the book?
 
BW: I had envisaged a total of ten sections in the book, but in the end they more or less MostDangerousManselected themselves. They had to be rather mysterious, so I rejected those whose activities had been covered adequately and fairly correctly by others, and also most politicians. Some politicians were more dangerous than any of the persons in this book, but they needed a different treatment, and in my intended next book a few of them will get this.

Some people in this book were not in fact dangerous: they looked that way, but they were too stupid to be useful to an enemy. Many of those concerned were under notice not only for suspected subversion or espionage, but also for other reasons. Some were involved in criminal activities that could not be pursued in court, while a lot had a questionable family background. I wonder whether this connection was intrinsic, or coincidental, or whether in my selection I was showing an unintended bias. I am not sure.

<title>IP eNews/<title>

Interview 3: Cynthia Lindenmayer

[Cynthia's forté is romantic fiction. A grandmother who thinks life may well begin at 70, she's been a darling of the media with revealing interviews on A Current Affair and Brisbane radio station 3BC.]

DO: Is there life after 70?

CL: Yes, certainly: and it is limited only by the state of one's health, one's physical capacities, and the breadth of one's imagination. It is probably true to say that each generation, in turn, entertains many misconceptions about previous generations, particularly those which still share this earth with them. But, none of us was born old, and most older generation CynthiaLmembers have lived through the same sorts of experiences that younger people are now going through. The young did not invent sex, for example, and it is not their exclusive province of enjoyment or experimentation. We've all been there, and done that, in varying degrees, at some time or other, and many members of the older generations are still doing it, in some measure, whether or not the young like to think about that.

DO: Following on from the last question, is it quite an exciting life if it produces a book such as Facades? How much as been drawn from personal experiences?

CL: These are matters for me (and my husband of 50 years) to know, and for my readers to speculate about. But remember, too, what I said about imagination, in my answer to your previous question.

DO: Which of your characters would you most want to spend time with?

CL: I think, Teale, Simone's handsome, young lover – because he is young, handsome and virile. Not much conversation would be required!

DO: Which scenes are the most fun to write? D you imagine they'd also be the most fun to read?

CL: In Façades, I think I had most fun writing the 21st birthday party scene, especially Sasha's party-stopping little performance with one of her more exotic (and erotic!) gifts. That would be closFacadesely followed by the lustful assignation between Lee and Nadine at The Misty Mountain Lodge. As for the reading, I cannot speak for readers, as everyone's tastes are different, but I think some might prefer one of Simone's sultry encounters with Teale,particularly the one that took place during the Braithwaites' garden party.

<title>IP eNews/<title>

Interview 4: Paul Meailng

[Paul is a writer, author, engineer and general jack-of-all-trades living in Melbourne. Though he's been writing fiction and screenplays since the 80s, the action-packed sci-fi book Elvene is his first published novel]

DO: Sci-fi is generally seen as a genre for males, especially young ones: spanning early teens to twenty or so. Did you have this audience in mind when writing Elvene?

PM: I really didn't have any audience in mind when I wrote Elvene, except myself. This is the book that I'd like to read, and I think that's the approach one should take as a writer. I certainly didn't expect women readers to like it PaulMas much as they do, but I think that's the result of a combination of a strong female protagonist and a naturalistic love story. Believe it or not, I never intended to write a love story, yet I think that's the book's greatest appeal, along with a driving suspenseful narrative in its second half. I expect teens would like it, especially male teens, but I would like to think that this is a sci-fi novel for people who don't normally read sci-fi, and feedback I've had to date supports that view.

DO: How much research did you have to put into the book? Which field or aspect took th emost studyng to get right?

PM: I subscribe to scientific magazines like New Scientist, Scientific American and COSMOS, and I read authors like Paul Davies, Roger Penrose and John Gribbin (all physicists). But the most difficult aspect of the story to research was not futuristic or technological at all; it was the navigation skills of the indigenous Micronesians of the Pacific region. Fortunately, I had a copy of David Turnbull's Mapping the World in the Mind: An Investigation of the Unwritten Knowledge of the Micronesian Navigators. I didn't tackle this aspect of the book for nearly a year because I knew it would be difficult to convey in a believable manner.

DO: In Elvene, the characters are split between coming from the Space Corps (a futuristic scion of our culture) and the Kiri (the tribal-living natives on the planet involved.) As neither of these groups has much to do with our modern-day society, was it difficult to write dialogue for them, considering they can't draw on the shared historic or cultural knowledge we have now?

PM: The most important aspect of dialogue is to engage the reader, so writing in an affected or pseudo-foreign 'voice' probably wouldn't work. If you look at something like Tolkein's Lord of the Rings, he created an Elven language but the dialogue is still written in a manner that sounds and feels familiar. I did the same, where I invented some words, especially for the Kiri, but still kept the dialogue 'natural' in feel. As a writer, one always writes dialogue from the point of view of the character as if you are inhabiting their mind, so you would never use a term or concept that they would be unfamiliar with. It was an interesting challenge writing Alfa's dialogue (the spaceship's computer) because I had to 'think' like him, yet it provided most of the few humorous interactions in the book.

DO: How do you find the balance between exposition and narrative when dealing with a world we're entirely unfamiliar with?

PM: The trick is to give exposition to the Elvenecharacters, but in a way that doesn't read like exposition. So if you have a character, like Elvene, who is visiting a strange and unfamiliar world, we literally see it and interpret it through her eyes and senses. The mind works in an interesting way, in that we can only understand new knowledge by integrating it into existing knowledge, which is why a dictionary can only explain an unfamiliar word using words one already knows. Therefore, in sci-fi, you need to describe landscapes, objects, creatures and persons that subconsciously reference similar events and objects in our world that the reader is already familiar with. For example, I created creatures that fly in the air with tentacles hanging down like giant aerial jelly fish. The reader would axiomatically make that association even though I didn't describe them that way. 

 

 



         FEATURED ARTISTS

HazelEChristineA

Hazel Edwards / Christine Anketell / Mini Goss

The DuckStar Series

LeahK

Leah Kaminsky

Stitching Through Things

JamesL1

James Laidler

The Taste of Apple

LynR

Lyn Reeves

Designs on the Body

Olwyn

Olywn Conrau

The Importance of Being Cool

DavidR

David P Reiter

Tiger Tames the Min Min

GleniseMocco

Glenise Clelland / Mocco Wollert

Love Falls in Love with Love / Of Loving and Sensualities

BarbaraP

Barbara Winter

The Most Dangerous Man in Australia?

CynthiaL1

Cynthia Lindenmayer

Façades


 

 

 

 

 

Demystifying Bookshops

Once upon a time, physical bookshops used to be a crucial element in the plan for selling a book. With increasing competition from online shops, bookshops are feeling the pinch and many are up against the wall, doing the best they can to survive. So what are the chances of getting them to take on your book, even if it's been published by a reputable company? Increasingly slim!

But if your book is to stand any chance of being stocked by bookshops, you've got to understand how bookshops work and what makes them decide to take on one title and not another.

First of all, there's no such thing as the bookshop. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are part of multi-national companies, some are sections within larger stores, others are company stores within larger chain stores, still others are franchises associated with larger companies. And, of course, there are the independents who call the shots for themselves.

In Australia, two of the larger chains, Angus & Robertson and Borders, are now owned by Red Group Retail, whose main corporate office is in New Zealand. Generally, all A&Rs and Borders are supplied through orders from Head Office, so you're probably wasting your time trying to list your book with all except your neighbourhood store (they might be nice and offer to stock a few copies if you're a local).

Dymocks is another major chain, but you probably have a better chance with them since each store has autonomy over orders; it's up to the buyer at each store.

Big W, Target, K-Mark, David Jones and Myer stores all have bookshop sections, but they are generally only interested in deeply discounted products that they order in large quantities. Most titles will be by high profile local and international best selling authors.

Do you think your murder mystery or zombie thriller would do well in airport shops? It might, but its chances of getting on the shelves there are almost nil – unless it's been published by a big publisher willing to pay to have the book stocked there. Possible exceptions are titles that have won the Miles Franklin or a major State award, but there's no guarantee even then.

Shelf life can be another discouraging factor. If your book does get selected, it has roughly six weeks to prove itself. If it hasn't sold out in six weeks, chances are it won't be reordered. Soon after, the distributor may receive a Request for Return from the bookshop, meaning the shop wants to return the stock for a refund or a credit.

If bookshops are unlikely to deal with authors, who will they pay attention to in choosing new titles? For the most part, bookshops rely on the reps of distributors to convince them to stock your book. Problem is, each rep may have dozens or even hundreds of new titles to promote with the buyer. Buyers will meet with many such reps each month and have to choose from thousands of new titles every year. Your book may well be Booker material, but if the rep isn't familiar enough with it to show it in its best light in a very short time, it won't get picked.

How do you increase the chances of your book standing out from the crowd? Promotion, promotion, promotion. Get it reviewed in the important newspapers and magazines. Get interviewed on radio, TV or online. Create press releases that are NEWS or have a special HUMAN INTEREST angle, so the media will pick up on it. Stage events that will attract media attention.

Bookshops respond well when customers flock in looking for a book that's had a buzz created about it. And if customers keep coming in looking for the book, they'll reorder. They're in business to make money, right?

You can offer to launch your book at a bookshop in the hope that they will stock it after the event, and they might – if it sells well at the event. Or you can offer to sit at a table out the front of the store to sign copies, but that usually doesn't produce many sales unless there's been good promotion of the book in advance.

We haven't talked about the packaging of your book, but it goes without saying that it needs to look professional. Bookshop buyers can tell when a book's been self-published by someone who thinks they know how to layout and design a professional product.

If you've tried all of the above, and the bookshops still haven't taken on your book, all is not lost. So long as your book is listed with the National Library and the major databases like Bowkerlink and BookData, bookshops will be able to find it if customers come in looking for it. You won't get huge sales this way, but something's better than nothing, isn't it?

The key is to ensure that your book gets the widest possible exposure and that it can be found with a quick search by clerks at bookshops or people browsing the Internet shops.

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IP Digital Buzz

Our Spring Season Tour saw the launch of our latest transmedia title, The Taste of Apple by James Laidler and Don Stewart in Melbourne and Warrnambool. The audiences were treated to live performances by James, assisted by Don, from the enhanced CD. TASeveral ABC shows are lining up to play tracks from the CD, including PoeticA, so we're hoping that this national exposure will help this title "break out". Typical of the other titles in our Text + Audio Series, the enhanced CD of The Taste of Apple has a complete eBook of the work but also embedded audio that can be played as you read the work on screen or by itself on a portable player. You can even download the audio anthology onto your mp3 compatible player. We're offering a special subscriber's rate of $45 ($10 discount) for a bundle of the physical book + enhanced CD, or you can order the book and CD on their own.

IP has now signed with two more distributors of digital content: For-side, a Japanese company that focuses on content for mobiles and PDAs; and Kobo, a company that supplies eBooks to Borders and Chapters. Both distributors have their own online stores from which you can download our titles.

Our distribution to OverDrive, Apple, and Amazon continues. We now have more than 80 titles on the Kindle and more than 25 on the iTunes Store – just in time for the launch of the Australian iBookstore. We're concentrating on front list titles for Kobo and For-side and are now providing OverDrive with ePub as well as pdf versions of our latest titles. We are also in the process of sending more than a dozen of our audio works to OverDrive and For-side.

If you browse through our Spring Season list, you'll see that we're now offering downloads directly to your ePub compatible Reader. You can also request pdf versions as downloads. At this stage, we're filling these orders manually, but we hope to announce a new 24/7 facility soon.

Thanks to print-on-demand, we were able to supply stock for a couple of events much more quickly than through our conventional channels. We launched two new children's books by Hazel Edwards, Christine Anketell and Mini Goss (DuckStar / Cyberfarm and Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour) recently in Geelong and also delivered stock of Leah Kaminsky's Stitching Things Together in time for the launch of a Scribe anthology she was launching at Readings before the main consignment of her book had arrived in Australia.

In Review

[The reviews that follow are snippets from the full reviews, which you can find by clicking on the thumbnail for the title]

TasteOfAppleJames Laidler's poetry has an immediacy to it that made The Taste of Apple one of the quickest novels I've read in a long time, while the sharp focus that this form demands – each poem evoking the quality of a relationship, a state of mind, a particular environment – also served to advance the essential ingredients of the story in such a way that it became a page-turner.

– Paul Burman, theviewfromhere

You are in a safe pair of hands with Lorraine McGuigan. She provides civilized, thoughtful, well-formed poems without perplexities – poems that do not take risks, yet deliver a balanced criticism of life. Many of the poems have been previously published and theyWingsOfTheSameBird confirm her ability as a sound poet who will never let you down, although they may astonish with moments of recognition. Her poems have the virtues of good prose – clarity and imagery that support a clear line of argument. She puts into accessible words what many people feel.

– Patricia Prime, Another Lost Shark

On Memento Mori by Daniel King:

The 21 short stories in this little collection investigate a world that crosses all the boundaries, sometimes even crossing from heaven to hell. Transgression is the keynote as King experiments with both form and content, and in so doing challenges our preconceptions of narrative.

– Ian Nichols, The Western Australian

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IP Kidz Update

Six new titles have just gone to press, demonstrating the strength of our newest imprint.

The titles scheduled are Christine's Matilda by Edel Wignell, which explores the influence of a woman on the composition of an iconic Australia song, "Waltzing Matilda", illustrated by Elizabeth Botté, whose first IP assignment was The Giggle Gum Tree. We'll also be releasing Edel's fractured fairy tale Long Live Us, illustrated by Brisbane-based Peter Allert.

Libby Hathorn's second IP Kidz title, I Love You Book, is illustrated by Heath McKensie, and seeks to remind us of the joy of reading physical books.

Anne Morgan's The Sky Dreamer considers how children can grieve over the loss of a loved one and is illustrated by Switzerland artist Céline Eimann, whose own picture book, Lyli Meets the Stone-Muncher is also in press.

Finally, Anna Bartlett makes her debut with the junior novel A Penny in Time, with line drawings by Susy Boyer.

TigerTamesMinMinWith the recent release of David Reiter's Tiger Tames the Min Min and Juliet Blair's Arlo and the Vortex Voyage, schools, libraries and individual kids will have lots to choose from in 2011 and beyond from IP Kidz!

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IP Picks '11

If you haven't sent in your entry for this year's competition, you've got plenty of time to plan ahead for Picks '12!

The judges will be reviewing the submissions in December and January, with the decisions due for release in the next issue of eNews. We'll also release the essential details through our Facebook and Twitter sites, so please follow us there if you don't already do so.

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Out & About

In rapid succession, David was a presenter at two festivals in October – the inaugural Logan Writers Festival and the Tropical Writers Festival in Cairns. As keynote speaker, David gave a condensed version of his Retool & Remix: Get a Digital Life! talk at the Logan event, which was met with great interest. Then, up in Cairns, he gave his take on the state of play in the publishing industry, and the challenges and opportunities this poses for authors, bookshops and libraries. He even got to be photographed shoulder-to-shoulder with Premier Anna Bligh for the local Channel 7 and ABC TV news reports!

David was selected to offer a two month writing course for the New Farm Neighbourhood Centre, which will start next February.

Also in February, David will travel to Tasmania to offer his Retool and Remix: Get a Digital Life and Digital Bootcamp workshops for the Tasmanian Writers Centre on concurrent weekends (giving the participants a breather in what is a fairly DesignsBodyintensive series of workshops. Mid-week, he'll tour the State with Lyn Reeves (Designs on the Body) and Anne Morgan, author of the picture book The Sky-Dreamer, with illustrator Celine Eimann. A launch event is tentatively scheduled for the Hobart Bookshop.

Our Spring Season Tour has just concluded, with successful events in Melbourne, Warrnambool, Woolongong and Sydney. The Melbourne Gala at Readings St Kilda attracted more than 90 people to hear the seven authors: David Reiter (Tiger Tames the Min Min), Lyn Reeves (Designs on the Body), Bruce Oakman (In Defense of Hawaiian Shirts), Olwyn Conrau (The Importance of Being Cool), Juliet Blair (Arlo and the Vortex Voyage), Leah Kaminsky (Stitching Things Together), and James Laidler & Don Stewart (The Taste of Apple). As in all our gala events, the emphasis is on performance rather than dry launch speeches, and several people remarked on how enjoyable this was.

A similar number of people rolled up at the Warrnambool Art Gallery for the launch of The Taste of Apple book & CD, with live performance by Don Stewart's band as a warm-up and then James performing to the CD. Already, we've had several expressionsDonS of interest from ABC programs wanting to give the CD air time, and any scepticism there was in the audience about the quality of the music and production was quickly dispelled when they heard it live. This latest in our Text + Audio series will continue to raise IP Digital's reputation.

Hazel Edwards continues to be a dynamo in support of her IP Kidz titles, which now include the two book series DuckStar / Cyberfarm and Operatic Duck / Duck on Tour MiniGwith co-author Christine Anketell and illustrator Mini Goss (pictured here). The books were launched at Kardinia International School in Geelong, with the POD version now available in North America and Europe and the Kindle and ePub editions available on various Readers.

Libby Hathorn (Zahara's Rose) is looking forward to the Autumn 2011 release of her latest IP Kidz book, I Love You Book, ZaharaRoseillustrated by Heath McKensie. Also a talented poet, Libby recently won the inaugural poetry prize at the Woollahra Writers Festival for her book Vietnam Reflections.

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IP Sales

Like most publishers world-wide, we've noticed a decline in our conventional book sales at least partly due to the Global Financial Crisis. Schools and libraries ran out of money for new purchases months ago. Increasingly, libraries are dealing with cutbacks by outsourcing book acquisition to library distributors.

This is not good news when we cannot depend on some of these distributors to let these libraries know about our new lists, let alone promote to them. But we're trying to compensate for this information gap by stepping up our email circular program, which now links directly to our mini-sites.

On the other hand, we have seen significant increases in sales revenue from our print on demand partners, especially Lightning Source.

We're hoping that the global trend in favour of eBook sales will also help our bottom line. Once more people purchase a Reader, they'll be looking for content to read on it, and IP's industry-leading eBook program will give them plenty to choose from!

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Our strategy of releasing new titles in the capital cities in Gala events rather than single title launches is also paying off. More than 90 people turned up at our recent Readings St Kilda event, which launched seven new titles, and a similar number for TasteAppleour Warrnambool launch of The Taste of Apple book and enhanced CD. These events give us the opportunity to cross-promote titles to people who might previously have not heard of the author. And the emphasis on performance rather than long winded launch speeches has also struck a chord with audiences, who give us feedback on how much they enjoy the event.

In 2011, we hope to step up our promotional campaign in North America and Europe to let people know that they can now purchase our titles in eBook as well as print form.

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Your Deal

Deal 1: Your choice of IP title, and we'll contribute 20% of the GST-inclusive price to the Collected Works Appeal in your name. Order from sales@ipoz.biz with Collected Works Appeal as your subject. Include your postal address and whether you want to pay by EFT or PayPal.

Deal 2: Inspire Your Day for $20. Inspirational photos from Australian landscapes and sayings. An excellent holiday present. Order from sales@ipoz.biz with IYD Special as your subject. Include your postal address and whether you want to pay by EFT or PayPal.

Deal 3: Project Earth-mend for the kids! Get all three novels in the Series for those sci-fi young readers (8-12 years) in your family for only $40, including the new release Tiger Tames the Min Min ($48 regular price). Order from sales@ipoz.biz with Project Earth-mend Bundle as your subject. Include your postal address and whether you want to pay by EFT or PayPal.