putting the finishing touches on our Spring list of titles, which
explain the unseasonably warm weather outside Treetop Studio!
There’ll be four titles on the new list: two prose, one poetry,
and one Text + Audio CD combining poetry and music.
I’m pleased to report that our testing of the new mp4 audio
format has demonstrated that it will work on most computers having
the necessary free players, as well as in your portable CD player.
For those of you who haven’t tried one of our Audio + Text
titles, there’s no time like the present!
I’m also pleased to announce that IP’s publishing program has
been endorsed, for the fourth year in a row, by the Australia Council
in the best possible way: with a grant of $8000! That puts us squarely
publishers like Allen & Unwin and Penguin. Congratulations
to Andrew Lansdown and Geoff Gates, whose books received the nod this
My schedule in support of our launches is looking to be even more
busy than last Season, where I managed to focus on events in Sydney
and Brisbane — only because our authors live there. Next Season
will take me to Sydney again, but also regional New South Wales,
the Gold Coast, Melbourne and Perth.
I was particularly pleased to be invited to serve as publisher on
a panel for the Queensland Writers Centre at their One Stop Shop
in Rockhampton recently. Martin Buzacott (QWC’s CEO) and I
were very pleased at the results and are planning to work closely
events, as well as activities in South-east Queensland. I’ll
be meeting with regional groups on a swing into Far North Queensland
later this month to find out what events they’d like to see
I’ve been putting some energy into gearing up our export trade,
and I hope to have an announcement on that front in the next
Stayed tuned as well for the details of Spring Season 2005
events as well as interviews and features with some of our
Season authors, plus some pre-holiday season deals to die for!
Dr David Reiter
When a Book is Not Just a Book
If you’re a published author, you may have heard of the Public
and Educational Lending Rights schemes run by the federal Department
of Communications, Information Technology and the Arts (DCITA). The idea behind the schemes is to compensate authors and, to a
lesser extent, publishers for revenue lost when readers check a
book out of a library rather than purchasing it. Both schemes survey
library holdings of Australian titles and assume that the numbers
held translate to the numbers checked out. PLR surveys public libraries,
while ELR tracks educational (schools, TAFEs, university) libraries.
The magic number for authors is 50. If the survey of selected libraries
finds 50 or more copies of your book on the shelves of public or
in educational libraries, you get the princely payment of $1.40
per copy. If the estimate finds 49 copies or less, you get nothing.
Sorry, you can’t add your ELR and PLR results: you have to
score a minimum of 50 from one or the other, or both, to be paid.
DCITA published the top 20 scoring books for PLR and ELR for last
year, and some may find the “winners” a bit of a surprise.
Here they are:
1 Fox, Mem, Possum magic
2 Marsden, John, The other side of dawn
3 Winton, Tim, Dirt music
4 Courtenay, Bryce, Solomon's song
5 Marsden, John, The Night is for hunting
6 Courtenay, Bryce, Matthew Flinders’ cat
7 Marsden, John, Burning for revenge
8 Bruce, Jill B, Flags and emblems of Australia
9 Courtenay, Bryce, The Potato factory: a novel
10 Morrissey, Di, Barra Creek
1 Fox, Mem, Possum magic
2 Rubinstein, Gillian, Space demons
3 Fox, Mem, Hattie and the fox
4 Rodda, Emily, Pigs might fly
5 Vaughan, Marcia K, Wombat stew
6 Rodda, Emily, Rowan of Rin
7 Jennings, Paul, Unbelievable! More surprising stories
8 Wagner, Jenny, John Brown, Rose and the midnight cat
9 Baker, Jeannie, Where the forest meets the sea
10 Base, Graeme, Animalia
Aside from the odd John Marsden and Bryce Courtenay, the most popular
titles for checking out are children’s books. I expected
non-fiction titles to be right up there, but that is not the case – at
least from this survey. People seem to go for fiction at their
The PLR and ELR schemes are now into their sixth year, and authors
and publishers seem to be happier to have them in place than not.
A bit of fuss was raised a few years ago when the Government tried
to scrap them, but the decision was soon reversed and both seem
to be secure
enough now that the like of Mem Fox and Paul Jennings can count
At the risk of not letting sleeping dogs lie, however, I would
like to suggest that it’s time to bring the schemes into
the new century by having them acknowledge that the notion of “book” has
changed in recent years. More and more titles are appearing in
digital form, as audio books, CDs, and DVDs. Pro-active libraries
are acquiring these New Media titles at an increasing rate – at
least from the distribution figures we have via IP.Sales.
Yet no one, least of all DCITA, has the slightest clue how many
digital titles are held at our libraries because neither scheme
is allowed to survey them.
When we submitted a few of our new digital titles this year, we
got a polite phone call from them to say, sorry, they cannot count
The legislation defines “book” in
the traditional sense, so, until the rules are changed, authors
and publishers of digital works will not be compensated for library
use of their material. Hardly the kind of policy that will encourage
innovations in the arts.
DCITA is behind the times. In contrast, the Copyright Agency
Ltd (CAL) is well advanced on a strategy to ensure that royalties
are paid for use of digital material in schools and universities
via photocopying and other means of reproductive distribution.
Of course, CAL is an independent organisation rather than an arm
of government, which may explain why it has to keep up.
We need to lobby the federal Minister for the Arts, the Hon Rod
Kemp, to introduce changes to the legislation governing PLR and
ELR. Our digital authors and publishers need to be encouraged to
pursue their interests in these new artforms. And they deserve
to be compensated when the public vote, with their library cards,
to share in the excitement.
[In this issue, Assistant Editor Anne Marshall
interviews Autumn Season 2005 authors David Musgrave and Liam Guilar
as well as IP Picks 2005 Best Fiction winner Geoff Gates.]
David Musgrave’s On
Reflection was launched in May in Sydney. We were pleased to receive
funding in its support from the Australia Council.
AM:On Reflection seems to have an experimental structure, fusing prose poetry
with verse poetry. What were your reasons for organizing it like this?
DM: I arrived at the structure of On Reflection more or less by accident.
I had written the first two poems and then on re-reading them later that
that they were inadequate to the task of saying what I wanted them to – so
I added the prose paragraphs, sort of like a Tranter haibun, which I had recently
been acquainted with. The idea seemed to work well and it just developed from
AM: Your first book of poems To Thalia, which was published in the Five Island
Press’ New Poets series, was actually written after On Reflection. The
structure of these two books is very different. What thoughts do you have about
the structure your new book might take?
DM: There are actually two books due. One will be poems on
the theme of water called Bodies of Water and will contain photos by my wife, the photographer
The poems will be structured in a kind of thematic segue, and each poem will
have a complement – I guess I’m still hung up on the mirror thing. The
other book will contain all the poems I have written since To Thalia and will
just be a collection.
AM: The cover of On Reflection is
from a still from the 1975 movie First Meetings by the Russian filmmaker Arseny
Tarkovsky. Do you have a particular interest in Russian cinema, or does it
reflect a broader interest in cinema
styles and periods?
DM: It’s actually from Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Zerkalo (Mirror).
Arseny was his father, a pretty well respected poet in his own day. I try to
many Russian films as I can as it helps with my study of the language. My main
interest is in Russian poetry, in particular, Brodsky and the four greats from
the revolutionary period: Mandelstam, Akhmatova, Tsvetaeva and Pasternak.
AM: The poems follow a young poet living in Sydney. Do you think the book’s
locale is essential to the book and the shaping of the character, or could
these poems have been set in another place or even another time?
DM: The place was pretty inessential; it was more about a
journey of spirit. There were some moments of serendipity with the Sydney setting,
AM: How did you arrive at the structure for the book, and
did you find yourself writing poems in counterpoint to one another or did you
to the structural principle after all the pieces had been written?
DM: After I hit on the idea of having prose paragraphs facing the poetry, I
think I wanted to make the book much larger, more a “day in the life
a minute level. My father died in the middle of writing, however, so that changed
the perspective. It seemed to make sense to put his death in the middle of
the book and let the work organise itself around that. The hardest thing was
ordering the poems as they tended to come out of nowhere. It was easier to
order the prose, although in some cases the prose came first. It was harder
to order them all at the beginning, but once I’d written thirty or so
poems, it all started falling into place pretty much by itself.
AM: Your next collection of poems is to be on the theme of water. Is this a
natural progression from On Reflection and what inspired the use of water as
DM: When my wife and I first got together we used to go away a lot, up and
down the coast. I’d have to follow her around as she took photographs
of rock pools and so on and, despite the romance and all that, I got a bit
just hanging around, so I started writing poems about where we were. Initially
it was only going to be a few and it would have made a small exhibition, but
like most things I turn my hand to, it got out of control pretty quickly. I
think there will be about 60 or more poems, and whereas they were meant to
be pretty simple poems about love, and place, they’ve taken on a great
deal more as subject matter. I think the attraction of water as a theme is
its protean qualities.
Poet Liam Guilar teamed up with composer/musician
Chen Yang to
produce the latest IP.Digital title, I’ll Howl Before You Bury Me.
Liam recounts some of the experiences leading up to release of the CD.
AM: As both poet and musician, how do you find your musical side connects
with your poetical mind and vice versa in producing works such as I’ll
Howl Before You Bury Me.
LG: I don’t consider myself a musician. Chen’s
a musician. I don’t
see poetry and music (or at least the music I like) as being separate. When
I write poetry I listen for the sound of it. I see poetry as being the most
basic form of music; a voice speaking rhythmically arranged words. I suspect
that happened before people started “singing”. I also like traditional
unaccompanied singing… and know the words to some of the “big ballads”,
which are as fine a poetry as anything you’d find anywhere. So I don’t
see this as “poetry and music” or “poetry with music” but
two different forms of music working in counterpoint. The difficulty is in
trying to explain it to most people who do live in separate camps.
AM: In your collaboration with Chen, what sort of
did you feel the
addition of the violin and piano would provide to your selection of guitar
LG: I wanted to use the
music to suggest different ways of reading or hearing the words. So poems like “Contradictions” or “Moonbathing” I’ve
always heard as lute ayres, my answer to what would I write if Dowland or Rossiter
asked for a lyric. It seemed natural to use a solo guitar. With several of
the other pieces I wanted to use traditional Irish music, for example in “Rereading
the Tain” to suggest a very simple and untroubled enthusiasm. And the
guitar is not indigenous to that music and, unless you’re one of a small
group of excellent guitar players, it sounds wrong. There’s a trajectory
to that sequence that the music follows, ending in the lyrical sweep of Carolan’s
Hewlett as “A Literary Education” resolves parts of the problems
in the middle pieces. As well as that there’s a mournfulness to solo
fiddle, especially if you play with it in Adobe Audition and put Chen in the
Taj Mahal that suits some of the poems.
AM: Allan Alexander is the arranger of some of the music
that appears on the CD. Did you have any creative input on these arrangements,
and how did the arrangements that Allan provided contribute to the overall
feel of the CD?
LG: Allan’s arrangements exist in book form, and I had no input into
them nor would I have the temerity to suggest anything about them to him. He’s
very good at what he does. What I did do is cut pieces or use bits of
pieces, or in one case take a piece and distort it till it no longer sounds
like his original tune (the weird background noise in “Rapunzel” is actually
the same tune you hear on guitar and piano bent out of shape). Most of Allan’s
arrangements are characterised by their apparent simplicity and their melodic
strength. His variations on “Hewllet” are probably better than
the original tune.
AM: What was the significance of using the Moon Rose by Alana Hampton as the
image on the cover?
LG: None at all really; it’s the book cover, and it’s
beautiful. And it combines several of the themes running through the book:
tides, and the ocean.
AM: How did your multimedia version of the book evolve
from your initial concept to its finished state?
LG: The process can be broken into two parts. There’s
development of the idea, which is the personal and there’s the completion
of the project, which is public. The impetus came a long time ago, when a student
what was the difference between a poem and a song lyric. I began experimenting
with running words and music across each other to create new spaces. I listened
to as much recorded poetry as I could, to see how other people had answered
the same question. I then went through a long period of experimenting by drafting
the same process as writing. With a computer, a decent sound editing program,
and a CD burner you can produce fairly good drafts of an audio CD. “Drafts” went
to America, the UK, Europe, and round Australia. Some of the feedback was highly
critical. I quickly learnt the difference between what I could do, and what
I could get away with. Over time some poems stayed the same, some were discarded
early on. If you go too far with digital manipulation you get babble and distortion
and while that is
interesting, all babble and distortion sounds similar.
By the time IP picked
up the idea, I thought I had a fair idea of what I was doing, and a wide variety
of opinions about what might work, and what wouldn’t, to draw on. So
on to the public part, when we came to do the CD. Many
poems selected their own music; the only real problem I had was that
I’d damaged my shoulder and couldn’t play the lute and I wanted
a Ney for one track, but failed to find a player.
The collaboration with Chen
worked on two levels. The first is that his ability as a musician allowed me
to extend the range of music I could use, and also covered for the lack of
lute music, which on reflection is a bonus. The second was his ability to compose
digital music for some of the tracks.
I was fairly prescriptive in what I wanted. At one stage, I had
envisioned giving the poems to a composer and asking him to create music. But
we didn’t have time and, because of that, Chen wanted directions. Often
these were odd: “I need a waltz. Think late night French Café;
Button Accordions” and he would come back with a piece reeking of Gaulois
and calvados or I’d provide a string of words: cold, distant, empty,
icicles, bamboo flutes. I was surprised at how close he got.
He made the decision to base the digital music around one theme,
to avoid too much variation in the overall sound. He was also very conscious
of not overpowering the words. What he came up with, a spare soundscape, is
one I like very much.
AM: How did you go about choosing which tracks to record
– by virtue of spoken or musical potential? How did you choose which tracks
would be best suited
to musical enhancement?
LG: I don’t see it as “enhancing”. It’s
just how I hear the poems, usually when they’re being written, but sometimes
in retrospect. When I wrote the whole “Rereading
the Tain” sequence, it was wedded to different types of music in my head,
even the one track that just has the bodhran beating away in the background.
When I wrote “Poetry and Blood” I
was hearing it as a slip jig called “the Kid on the Mountain”,
(although we didn’t use that tune when we recorded it), and then working
backwards during the initial editing to shake the lines free.
The movement in the sequence is musical, from dance music, through troubled
silence, via slow airs to a comparative tranquillity. “Rapunzel” (which
is one of the oldest pieces in the book) and “Folk Story” were
specifically written to be worked on digitally. I heard “Rapunzel” as
a collage of voices, layering over different soundscapes, like some of those
experimental radio programs that used to be on very late at night. Once you
begin recording, you can move the words into a different space and start playing
with the possibilities of digital manipulation. You’re giving them a
different context to bounce around in, extending away from natural voice or
On the other hand, some of the poems in the book are simply poems. I like reading
them aloud, but they don’t need music. The
exception here would be “You should know by now” which I did record
for this project, without music, because I don’t know how many readers
can hear the Welsh names.
< title>IP eNews </title>
Geoffrey Gates shows how a well developed
passion for travel spurred on his fictional impulse in his award-winning
first novel, A Ticket for Perpetual Locomotion.
AM: Since A
Ticket for Perpetual Locomotion has a book within a book, was it necessary for you to do a general
outline of Eduardo
Maranda’s book before you could write this one?
GG: The ‘two books’ evolved together, one echoing the other. Sometimes
when I was writing a section where Eduardo had ‘penned’ a chapter,
I really did feel like it was him who was writing it and not me! The general
concept behind Eduardo’s book was there at the start, however. It was
the point of departure for the imaginative journey.
AM: Was there a particular reason why you left the book open-ended?
GG: Without giving too much away, several characters disappear from their families
in the course of the novel. In the end, I bring these characters together and
there is a sort of poetic reconciliation. A few people have suggested that
the novel leaves itself open for a sequel. I’m not sure about this – I
think there is a unity to it as it stands.
AM: Did the idea for A Ticket for Perpetual Locomotion arise from your extensive
travel experience, or some other source?
GG: My earliest chapters of the novel were written nearly more than ten years
ago, when I was about to head overseas on my own for the first time, with a
ticket. The idea of travelling without stopping probably came out of a sort
of anxiety about leaving my family and friends indefinitely. Another thing
is that I was reading Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude at the
time. There is a bit towards the end about old men feeling a terrible nostalgia
for their home countries as they travel on trains. So, in all, the idea came
out of a mental situation rather than actual travel, although I did end up
doing plenty of that as well.
AM: Did the intricate connections between your main characters that reveal
themselves at the end come when you started writing the novel, or did they
the writing of the project?
GG: The connections between the characters slowly became clear as I wrote the
novel. Basically, I wrote the first third of the novel with one main character
in mind. But from the beginning, I imagined several stories happening at once.
At first I tried to write a historical background to Carlos’ life – I
drew a family tree and wrote chapters about the life of his parents and grandparents.
Then I dropped all this and developed the story of two other ‘Perpetual
Locomotors’ he meets. I tried to write a number of synopsis ideas to
link the characters. Eventually one seemed to be just about right but even
that changed as I wrote Part 2.
AM: What made you decide on the nationalities for some of your
characters, and the countries they visited?
GG: Carlos was always Australian but with a Spanish or South American background.
That was important for the more fantastical elements to work, as in magic realism.
The second character I developed was first from Holland, then Uruguay, then
Spain, and finally she became French. Similarly, Eduardo Maranda was originally
from Argentina but became Mexican. To an extent this is about ‘writing
what you know’. I made a trip to Mexico in 1999, for example, and that
determined Eduardo’s nationality and the exotic settings for Parts 2
and 3. I spent a summer in France in 2001 and that helped define Manon and
her background in Montpellier.
AM: Was there a particular strategy that you used to keep track of locations,
characters and the many subplots while you were writing A Ticket for Perpetual
Locomotion, or did that just come easily?
GG: I did a couple of simple things to keep track of the subplots. For example,
I wrote out a calendar for the months of the story (basically January to August
1993) and plotted key events as I wrote them. There was also a lot of writing
and re-writing, as a key narrative idea is to use foretelling – an implied
narrator holds the sequence together. It was a bit of a headache sometimes,
but very rewarding as well to keep several plots moving at once. Some of the
bigger ideas like the ‘Last Balloon Ride’ drove things forward
in a way, as I needed to plot both Eduardo’s narrative and my own. I
don’t think the plot came easily, although sometimes I could write several
chapters in a row quite rapidly. Then I would spend quite a bit of time working
out how to go forward from there. I guess that’s the usual thing in writing.
< title>IP eNews </title>
More and more publishers these
days are making their decisions based on who the author is rather
what’s inside the book.
Marketing and sales executives seem to have more clout than their
colleagues in the editorial department because so much depends
on their ability to “move” — that is, sell — books.
Less effort is put into “discovering new talent” than
attracting someone who has a strong profile in the community. With
a name like Schapelle Corby or Douglas Wood in hand, the question
is not whether to publish but how large a first print run.
With current-event celebrity status lasting not much longer than
the time lag between global crises (who had heard of Schapelle a
year ago?) there’s little time to lose once a name reaches
public attention. The deal is struck, the marketing plan formulated,
print deadline set. Somewhere along the line the content gets written,
or ghost-written, as the pre-orders pile up at the distributor’s
Needless to say, that scenario is as familiar to us at IP as the
controls on the New Dr Who’s spaceship. We didn’t have
Peter Beattie knocking at our door with his memoir — nor, for
that matter, did UQP! But it’s not what independent publishers
are there for. We still choose work on its merits first and keep
its marketability in perspective.
Even so, we have had an increasing number of titles of late where
the marketing plan became more than keeping our fingers crossed and
hoping for good reviews.
Joel Deane’s novel Another is a good case in point. Even before
the title appeared, we had two features in The Age. This had less
to do with the fact that Another was last year’s IP Picks winner
than the fact that Joel is Chief Speechwriter for Victoria’s
Premier, Steve Bracks. And sales were certainly boosted when the
Premier ordered copies of the book for his department as Christmas
presents! Joel made effective use of his contacts in the media to
get coverage in the major Melbourne papers and lifestyle magazines,
so we were off and running.
Merle Thornton’s novel After Moonlight also has kept us – and
her! – busy on the marketing front. Merle’s a leading
light in the Women’s Movement, as well as mother to prominent
actor Sigrid, so this was a dream-run. Thanks to the Regatta Hotel,
which has named a room for her in celebration of the time when she
chained herself to their public bar to protest against the exclusion
of women, we had our first conference attended by the national media.
Soon after pictures of Merle and Sigrid sipping beer at the bar graced
the major dailies, the orders began to flood in. Since then, Merle
has been invited to speak at various events often, but not always,
concerned with the status of women. Most recently she was keynote
speaker at the launch of The Griffith Review.
Most recently, we launched the inaugural winner of the IP Picks Award
for Best Creative Non-Fiction, No Middle
Name, by Brisbane author
Tilly Brasch. The book is a reflection on the tragic life of her
son Riley, who suicided after suffering from mental illness. Suicide
is one of those subjects that people feel uncomfortable about, so
it wasn’t certain from the outset that No Middle Name would
succeed. However, we promoted the book to various health and social
support agencies, and it all came together with the launch at Stepping
Stone Clubhouse, one of the few places Riley did find help. We sold
nearly 150 copies on the night, and the book is well on its way to
selling out of the first print run. Tilly’s been invited to
address several professional groups and associations over the next
few months, so that bodes well for the book.
But these are success stories, I hear someone at the back of the
room call out. What about those books that don’t have an obvious
market? What’s involved with putting together an effective
marketing plan for say, a book of poetry?
Here is some well-worn advice from a publisher who’s been pushing
that particular boulder up the mountain for eight years now.
1. Think events. It’s not so much that people hate poetry;
it’s more that they don’t understand it. Some would confess
to even being afraid of it. We all know the reasons — but how
can we fix the problem? You have to get people out to hear you. When
poetry comes off the page in a decent performance, people invariably
respond to it. Note that I ask for a decent performance, not something
that will remind an audience of what they suffered through in Grade
Eight English. Learn to perform your work well, even if you have
to be coached. And then plan to appear at several events in the first
six months after your book’s release. With any luck people
there will spread the word — which is still the best marketing
2. Call in your favours. You’ve been cultivating your local
bookshop manager for some time. Now it’s time to suggest a
book signing or reading there. A few IP authors have mobilised friends
to go into various bookshops, asking for their book, even ordering
it. That creates a sense of demand in the mind of the bookseller,
which can translate into orders.
3. Go for the right kinds of reviews. Our experience is that most
reviews in the “major” magazines do not translate into
sales. It could be that very few people actually read those reviews,
other than the author. You need to get coverage in your local newspaper,
and, if possible, in the metropolitan papers, radio and TV stations.
The broadcast media are a hard sell, but generally there are talk
shows that will consider your book — especially if it has an
angle (see point 4).
4. Find your angle. Think about your book. What is it trying to say?
Are there social or personal issues that might strike a chord with
readers looking for “answers”? Analyse the ideas in the
book to find a “hook” that will convince a reporter or
reviewer to run with it. Think about yourself, too. There’s
lots of empathy out there for authors who’ve struggled for
years until finally getting that book out there. If people are inspired
by your story, they may well buy the book and then spread the word.
5. Believe in your book. If you believe your book deserves to be
read — and convey that attitude — booksellers will give
it a go and people will buy it. Gone are the days when an author
could sign a contract and then just wait for the royalty cheques
to roll in. You have to be an active and positive force in the promotion
of your book. If it’s not “flavour of the month” on
its own steam, you have to do your best to make it so.
Armed with the knowledge of what the author’s role should be
in a marketing campaign, you will be an asset to the PR pro handling
your book. And if your publisher can’t afford expert advice,
you can help by being there when the calls for interview come in,
and being guest speaker at writers’ groups and bookclubs — whatever
is needed to give your book exposure.
We’re pleased to report that the
Australia Council will be supporting IP’s publishing program
for the fourth year in a row. Here are the highlights from our media
Jill Jones, Acting Manager of the Literature Board, said of the grant
that it was “well-earned in an increasingly competitive environment.” Each
year, publishers are invited to nominate the titles for the Board
to consider and only the best are offered grant support.
David was particularly gratified by the $8,000 award this year. “It
confirms that IP has a place among the most highly regarded publishers
in the country, and that the authors we have chosen to publish rank
with Australia’s best.”
In another significant move, the Board chose to support two of IP’s
fiction titles. “Up until now, we’ve been thought of
as a poetry publisher,” David said. “We’ve been
working hard to persuade them that our fiction list is worthy. Obviously,
that’s paid off.”
The grant will support a first novel by Sydney author Geoffrey Gates
and a short story collection by veteran West Australian author Andrew
Lansdown. Gates’ A Ticket for Perpetual
Locomotion won the
IP Picks 2005 Award for Best Fiction, while Lansdown’s collection
The Dispossessed was Highly Commended in the same competition.
Ironically, while IP’s star is rising nationally, Arts Queensland
has denied the company State support for the past three years on
a technicality – after several years of support under previous
Arts Minister Matt Foley. Acting on a policy that is unique in Australia,
the State body refuses to consider applications from private companies
for arts support.
“This effectively denies Queensland writers
access to being published by Queensland’s fastest growing publisher,” David
pointed out. “This policy is undermining our writing industry
at a time when the State government is squandering tens of thousands
of dollars on slick brochures telling us what a good deal writers
and publishers are getting in Queensland.”
Will things get any better under the new Arts Minister Rod Welford?
Treetop Studio now has the
newest version of Final Cut Studio, and we haven’t wasted a beat in
applying it to our latest projects. The suite boasts professional
music and video editing packages as well as a program called Motion
that creates animations and special effects.
The suite arrived midway through our post-production of Liam Guilar’s
I’ll Howl Before
You Bury Me. Liam is a bit of an audio geek
himself, so some of the mixing he’d done with his poems and
the music played by Chen Yang (violin) and Liam himself (guitar),
not to mention some of Chen’s synthesized pieces, posed a bit
of a challenge. But several “coasters” later we all came
Lisa and David are pleased to report that Soundtrack Pro, the audio
editing portion of the Suite, handled the fine-tuning of the work
with ease. The resulting CD is a stunner, and we’re really
looking forward to launching it. Building on our partnership with
is billed as A Celebration of Music and Words, will be held at 4MBS’ Performance
Studio on Sunday 28 August, from 2-4:30 p.m. It will be as much a
musical recital as a launch, with Liam calling in a few musicial
friends to assist. Seats are limited, so please book
For subscribers on the Gold Coast, the CD will also be featured at
an event at St Hilda’s College, on Tuesday 23 August, 6
the Caedmon Centre. Check with Liam for further details.
Meanwhile, back at the Studio, again
with Lisa’s assistance, David
is authoring a multimedia version of his award-winning Hemingway
work will be released on DVD, a first for IP.Digital. It will have
100 minutes of audio readings from the book, as well as video and
stills from Spain. (Hopefully the number of bonus “bloopers” will
be kept to a minimum!) David is planning to put Motion through its
paces in animating the visuals
set a release date for Hemingway in Spain as
yet, but we expect it to be ready early next year.
David’s also awaiting word from the Banff Centre for the Arts,
which is considering co-producing his multimedia memoir My Planets.
Fingers crossed on that!
Season 2005 saw us promoting six new titles in Sydney and Brisbane
in several events. The Season kicked off on 14 May with a combined
launch of David Musgrave’s On Reflection and Jenni Nixon’s
Café Boogie at The Friend in Hand in Glebe.
Poet Brook Emery did the honours for David’s book, while our Director, David
Reiter launched Jenni’s very fine Text + Audio CD. Although
David seems to have an uncanny ability to be in two places at once,
he missed out on the launch of the print version of Jenni’s
book last year, so he was very happy to make it to this event.
production of both print titles was supported by grants from the
Australia Council, for which we are grateful. Both poets performed
their works very well, with David reading in duet with Matthew Holt
to reflect the counterpoint of lyric and prose poem at the heart
The very next day, we had another double launch — this time
at the Sydney Jewish Museum. Our youngest author to date, Genevieve
Cumming-Jaffé presented her interactive CD on the life and
times of Abraham Jaffé, her great-grandfather and Holocaust
survivor. If These Walls Could Talk is a perfect example of how New
Media can offer writers alternative modes of expression to engage
readers — and viewers. The launch itself was a multimedia affair,
with David on his faithful laptop, cued in to play audio files etc
at the appropriate times, while Genevieve recounted her experiences
reconstructing her great-grandfather’s life through her research
in Germany and through interviews with family who came to Australia.
The launch of If These Walls was complimented by spirited readings
from Nora Krouk from her book Skin
for Comfort, drawn from her life
in Russia and China and then Australia, with great insights into
the challenges facing the Jewish people in modern day Israel.
The Jewish Museum is now stocking
both titles, so we encourage Sydneysiders to stop by the bookshop
after touring this amazing cultural facility.
As they say, ‘you don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate
following week, David was back in Brisbane for two more launches: Tilly
Middle Name and Barbara Winter’s The
Australia-First Movement. We
were pleased to partner with Stepping
Stone Clubhouse at Coorparoo for the launch of Tilly’s
award-winning book, which is at once a tragic indictment of our health
support system but also filled with insights about how we can, as
a society, do more for vulnerable youth. We were delighted by how
well the crew at the Clubhouse — itself a support agency for
youth — did in organising and catering the function, including
the serving up of Riley’s favourite sweet, pineapple tarts!
Arch Bevis, Senator for Brisbane, gave a moving tribute to the book
Tilly’s efforts to raise awareness of how we can do more to
prevent youth suicide. Tilly has since been interviewed on ABC 4QR,
and you can hear that moving interview in Real Media on her mini-site.
launched Barbara’s book at the Brisbane office of the National
Archives of Australia. Her study of the Australia-First
a group that started off nationalistic but went very bizarre from
there, involved many years of research at facilities like the Archives.
So it seemed quite appropriate to launch the book there. Unfortunately
the weather was not kind, with hail, wind and rain lashing Brisbane
that day, but the dedicated group who attended were rewarded with
Barbara’s witty anecdotes about how the book came to be. The
book has attracted national attention, with a feature on Radio
Perspectives program recently and an extensive feature
on the book about to appear in the West Australian. Check out Barbara’s mini-site to hear
the interview in Real Media.
David responded to several invitations
to speak on publishing over
the past few months. He was guest of the Gold
Coast Writers Group at Elanora on 21 May, then at a meeting of Crime
Writers Queensland on 17 July. Just recently, he served on a One Stop Shop panel sponsored
by the Queensland Writers Centre at Rockhampton. The QWC roadshow
has been travelling to several regional centres in Queensland as
part of a new push to assist regional writers and groups.
The event went so well that QWC CEO Martin
Buzacott and David are
already planning a more extensive partnership between QWC and IP
Most recently, David was guest lecturer at Southbank
campus, to a group of Publishing Diploma students, enlightening them
on the highs and lows of being an independent publisher.
Following up on his trip to
Rockhampton, David will be on tour in Far
North Queensland from 15-19 August.
He’s scheduled meetings with several writing groups and arts
organisations along the way, including guest talks at the Writers
in Townsville meeting on Wednesday evening as well as a session
early Friday evening with the Mackay
all interested authors to attend to hear what he has to say about
expanding opportunities for regional authors.
Tilly Brasch will also be busy over
the coming months.
As a direct response to No
Middle Name, Tilly has been invited to speak at the Carers’ (Family)
Forum as part of the 15th Mental Health Services Conference to be
held in Adelaide on 30th August. This is an international biannual
conference organised by the Mental Illness Fellowship of Australia
with keynote speakers from Italy, the United Kingdom, and Australia.
The conference attracts over 1000 mental health clinicians, managers,
consumers, carers, researchers, educators, and policy makers.
Her role will be to “tell her story” about the difficulties
she experienced living with her mentally ill son. She will also speak
about bereavement following her son’s suicide. But she also
intends to focus on the many positive aspects of Riley’s life.
The purpose of the Carers’ Forum is to “provide opportunities
to share experiences and learn as we journey together”.
On September 13, Tilly has been asked to address mental health professionals
at the Royal Brisbane Hospital Mental Health Grand Rounds.
She will speak about her experience with her son as a ‘mental
health consumer’, her understanding of his illness, and her
experience with mental health services.
The main focus of her address will be to compare public mental health
services with services provided by the private mental health sector.
She also intends to speak about the integrity of privacy laws when
a mentally ill person clearly lacks capacity.
Plans for Spring Season 2005 are already
on the drawing board, with events in Brisbane and the Gold Coast,
Sydney, Yass/Canberra, Melbourne
and Perth high on the list.
First up will be the launch of an exciting
new title in our Audio + Text CD series, I’ll
Howl Before You Bury Me. It’s a collaboration of words
and music by poet Liam Guilar and musician Chen Yang.The original
poetry volume was an IP Picks winner, for Best Poetry by a Queensland
We’ll be holding events at St Hilda’s School, Southport,
on Tuesday, 23 August from 6 p.m. and at The Performance Studio,
384 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo, from 2 p.m. Bookings for the 4MBS
performance are essential.
IP Picks 2005
Award winner, Geoffrey
Gates’ novel will be launched at two Sydney venues in October,
followed by the launch of Yass author Michael O’Sullivan’s
novel Secret Writing. IP Picks Best Poetry winner Joel Deane’s
Subterranean Radio Songs. Out West we’ll
be launching Andrew Lansdown’s latest, a collection of short fiction entitled The
There’s an intimacy and truth, imaginative transitory moments, old
wounds re-told and healed. Lovers of narrative poems will discover
Kennedy’s precision with language, metaphor, irony and humour that
are all strikingly pictorial.
Please raise your glass to Merle Thornton,
not only for her decades of feminist activitism, but also for the
genre-bending threads she has “plaited and spliced and plied” together
into this, her true fiction about the internal contradictions so
many of us white middle class women still struggle to resolve in
the ‘real world’.
— Merrill Findlay, Overland
We know you’re keen to hear about
this, so here’s a sneak preview!
The fifth annual IP Picks competition
for unpublished manuscripts will be open for entries on 1 October
and close on 30 November. As was the case last year, we will
be offering publication to the winners of the Best
Fiction, Best Creative Non-fiction and Best Poetry categories. Highly
Commended entries may also be offered publication.
This year we will add a new category: Best First Book. This can
be in any genre, and there are no age restrictions. The winner will
be published in our award-winning Emerging Authors Series.
Entry forms and conditions, along with further details about the
competition, including previous winners, can now be found on our
special IP.Picks page.
Order any IP title by David Reiter and get a copy of his award-winning
short story collection Triangles for free.
Buy any of the following from the IP Shop via our order
page to qualify.