Dying in India
the newsletter of IP (Interactive Publications Pty Ltd)


Director's Welcome


With another year drawing to a close, we have lots to reflect on at IP. The Global Financial Crisis, or GFC as it’s not-so-affectionately known, didn’t do us any favours in the short-term, but we hope we’ve seen the worst of it, and that 2010 will be a year of growth.

We will have reached our goal of 25 new titles this year, a momentous task for such a compact operation as ours, and most of the credit is due to our dedicated staff, which includes volunteer interns from the Queensland University of Technology and the University of Queensland, without whom we would be just another struggling independent press, and perhaps not even that by now.

So let me thank all those who contributed so much over the year. Lauren Daniels, who does amazing things with our prose list, and Anna Bartlett, who is proving herself a force to be reckoned with for our newest imprint IP Kidz. Thanks also to those who have already departed like visiting foreign students Lilith and Liza, from Germany and the UK, respectively, Jeremy Green, who got us “wired” with Facebook and Twitter, Kieran Davis and Katharina Schmelzer who were all-rounders assisting with event organisation and other things. Soon to be departing are Laura Simpson, who smartened up some of our media campaigns, and this issue's Newsletter Editor, Jo Brennan – though hopefully Jo’s absence will only be temporary as she takes up a summer position to help finance her next year of academic studies.

As IP canters, rather than limps, into our 13th year of operation, I’m hopeful that the company can continue to concentrate on what it does best – producing quality titles by established and emerging authors. The company deserves far more appreciation than it receives from the State and Federal funding bodies, but the gratitude of our authors and readers makes up for much of the financial worries that seem to be every day fare for independent publishing houses.

We hope that you, our eNews subscribers, will continue to spread the good word about IP so we can extend our audiences for work that truly deserves to be read, enjoyed and talked about, titles that might otherwise not have seen the light of day.

Our thoughts and best wishes go with you for the upcoming holiday season. Here’s hoping it’s the springboard for a new era of optimism and enthusiasm for the Arts and for our lives in general.



Editor's Welcome


Welcome to the final edition of eNews for 2009!

There’s no slowing down here at IP as we rapidly approach the silly season. We have some excellent new titles out, are in full swing on the Digital publishing front and IP Picks is picking up speed. As a result, this issue of eNews is packed full of interviews, highlights and insights; including IP’s response to the Government’s rejection of the Productivity Commission’s report.

In fact, this edition is so jam-packed I won’t even try and do all the content justice here. You’ll simply have to read on to find out more.

However there is one piece of news which must be noted. Speaking of things ‘that have to be seen to be believed!’, and in the spirit of the silly season, IP has launched a limited, SECRET CLEARANCE deal – Just in time for Christmas. As David, quoting the Chaser’s spruiker, would say, ‘What are you waiting for? Get in early and get in often to take advantage of these never-to-be-repeated specials!’

A big thank you to everyone who contributed to this edition, particularly Laura Simpson, Anna Bartlett and all our interviewed authors.

As this is my last edition of IP eNews, I would also like to extend my thanks to David for my time at IP, and to Lauren Daniels for all her support. The internship program provides opportunities to those who are enthusiastic, excited about, and committed to Australian publishing – wanna-be authors who are just looking for a publisher willing to give us a go.

Enjoy the issue!



Mark Carthew's Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots, illustrated by UK artist Mike Spoor, is due for release just as Mark tours New Zealand!
read more >


Libby Hathorn's Zahara's Rose was launched with a performance of school kids at Centennial Park in Sydney. Iced cupcakes decorated by roses were very much in evidence!
read more >

Tim Jones accompanied David Reiter to events on the South Island during the recent Voyagers Tour in New Zealand.
read more >


We're putting the final touches on the film based on Dale Kentwell's book Mum: speaking Latin with a singlet tan.
read more >

David was pleased to be appointed Established Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susanna Prichard Centre in Perth for 2010 where he'll work on the third junior novel in the Project Earth-mend Series.
read more >

Several events are taking shape in Sydney and elsewhere to mark the launch of former Olympian Nadine Neumann's memoir, Wobbles: An Olympic Story.
read more >

Lorraine McGuigan will seek to break EA Gleeson's record for most poetry books sold in Ballarat in her 5 December launch of Wings of the Same Bird.
read more >

Ashley Capes will join Lorraine for launches of their poetry books at two events in Melbourne on 6 and 7 December. Ashley's book is Stepping Over Seasons
read more >






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Will the Kindle Change Life as We Know It?

With Amazon’s Kindle Reader now available in Australia the fur is flying on both sides of the equation: will this latest generation of eBook Reader change the way we acquire books and even the way that we read?

Behind the barricades you can still hear the familiar line: I prefer real books. But the chant is getting a bit thread-bare these days as people spend more and more time in front of screens large and small. Like it or not, we’re getting acclimatized to these digital channels of content – cultural and otherwise.

Those who say that eBook readers won’t catch on are sounding hoarser these days. The take-up of the Kindle – aside from other devices, including eBook capable “smart” 3G phones like the iPhone, which can already display Kindle content via a software app called Stanza – shows that people are voting with their feet, despite the traditional reflex of preference. Production of the Kindle has never kept up with demand in North America, and the experience is very likely to be repeated here, since Australians have proven to be avid consumers of new digital devices.

All indications are that the Kindle will saturate the Australian market within a few years, boosting demand for eBook content. Will Australian publishers be ready to take advantage of this new market, or will they adopt a wait-and-see stance, in the hope of maintaining their paper-based product lines? The North American experience is again telling. After some initial misgivings, publishers there now embrace the Kindle, often releasing Kindle editions of soon-to-be “bestsellers” before the paper versions.

Most Kindle titles sell for US$9.99 or less, which has proven to be attractive to consumers. Why bother fighting traffic to get to a bookshop, or be wait-listed at a library (for a fee!) to borrow a title when you can have it on your Kindle or iPhone in a few minutes to be read at your leisure?

As usual, IP is ahead of the pack in providing content for the Kindle, with nearly 40 titles already available for download. Far from seeing the Kindle as a threat, we actually see it as an opportunity for distributing our content globally – without the hassle of third and fourth parties like distributors and foreign publishers. While the selling price of titles is certainly lower, when you remove the costs of upfront printing, distributors, Customs clearance, transport and storage, the margin for publishers can still be quite attractive.

As the Kindle and other eBook capable devices begin to elbow their way into Australia, there will be a shake-up of the local book industry, as the key players try to defend their turf, sometimes with amusing tactics. I just had to smile after receiving an email from the Australian Publishers Association (APA) announcing an agreement with the Australian Booksellers Association whereby consumers would be able to buy eBooks through bookshops. Here’s the way it would work. The buyer comes in looking for a title in the usual way. A staff member looks up the book on TitlePage, the APA’s database that many bookshops refer to when trying to locate a book they don’t have in stock. Finding the title, the staff member collects the money for it from the customer, gives her a URL, and off she goes home to download the title! I think this is wishful thinking. Why would anyone who has a computer and broadband access at home be bothered going to a physical bookshop to shop for an eBook? In this scenario, which will become increasingly common, bookshops and TitlePage will be ignored, as buyers go directly to eBook stores like Amazon, ContentReserve and FictionWise – outlets where IP titles are already available, 24/7, globally.

Publishers and bookshops need to understand that the times are a’changing, and they will need to change with them or they will find themselves sinking into the sands of irrelevance.

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IP Picks 2010

If you're thinking about taking the plunge with that unpublished manuscript and entering it into IP Picks this year, you'd better get your skates on – the competition closes on 1 December (although we do allow entries that are postmarked 1 December).

For those of you who missed last issue, here's the essential informaiton about the competition (you can get the small print on the Picks Page).

The Awards are open to citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand. This year, we’ve added a new category for Best Junior Fiction or Non-fiction work. The winner is guaranteed full royalty publication under our IP Kidz and/or IP Digital imprints. Depending on the standard of entries, we may well offer publication to the best fiction and non-fiction entries.

So this year the categories will be:

Best Fiction
Best Creative Non-Fiction
Best Poetry
Best Junior Fiction / Non-fiction
Best First Book

You can enter more than one category with the same manuscript (an additional fee applies).

Last year, we offered entrants the option of requesting a Short Report assessment at a reduced rate when they apply and pay for it with their entry fee. This proved to be quite popular, so we will be offering this as an option again. The discounted rate is $199 (normal rate is $249).

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[Joanne Brennan interviews Ashley Capes about his new poetry book, Stepping over Seasons]

JB: Before we dive right in to your current work, more generally, what attracts you to poetry? And keeps you there? What feeds your personal hunger?

AC: Poetry’s ability to be concise and direct, and through that, wring every drop of power from a comparatively small amount of words – as a writer I love trying to achieve that. As a reader I’m usually drawn to poetry that surprises me with its use of language and convinces me to take a second look at something; a place, a person, an object or a moment.

I think what keeps me writing poetry is harder to define. Obviously any successes and the feedback from people who read my work keeps me going; meeting other poets and working with them is amazing. And the fact that a single poem can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, especially compared to a novel, is a nice motivator too.

JB: Do you think that, in contemporary Australia in particular, it is an under-appreciated art form?

AC: From some quarters, perhaps. Major publishing houses show a drastically reduced level of appreciation, especially when you see their publishing lists of the past. I don’t think the general poetry readership has shrunk or that appreciation has dipped, because poetry performance like slams and spoken word events haven’t disappeared. Small press publishers have expanded and the internet has opened up a world of interactive elements for far-flung people, so poetry doesn’t seem under-appreciated where it counts.

JB: How did you start out, writing poetry? Was it a case of ‘falling into it’ and then discovering it was where you were meant to be?

AC: During high school I know I drew on a lot of lyricists to begin with, while at the same time I was reading Elliot, Wilde and Plath. Singing in bands had a hand in it too, but that was quite different, writing lyrics usually involves some sort of constraint – melody and song structure. Poetry on the other hand, was only bound by what fit on a page – and that’s probably what led me to the Beats: On the Road by Kerouac and the poetry of Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti. Tyrannus Nix? by Ferlinghetti for instance, just blew me away.

JB: Turning to your latest collection, Stepping Over Seasons, tell us a little bit about your work.

AC: Haiku masters like Basho and Issa have influenced me greatly. It’s that whole ‘economy of words’ that I try to achieve – haiku is an incomparable genre for it and I want my work to have the same power. Like haiku, a lot of my poetry is grounded in the seasons – either with overt references when I write about single moments, or in a more metaphorical sense, where winter, for instance, represents an entire frame of mind. Or a town, or a house, or a year of my life.

I’m still influenced by lyricists and by the Beats and occasionally quite directly by jazz artists like Herbie Hancock – there are a couple of poems in the collection with odd reading rhythms, and that comes from the Beats and jazz.

People tell me that I deal with ‘place’ a lot, and looking over the collection I think that’s true. A few of my poems explore ideas of being trapped, of moving from one place to another, or of the times when my loved ones, like my wife and my family, make the place worth living in.

JB: It has been said that Stepping Over Seasons “artfully depicts the finer details of life, encapsulating change within people and places as the seasons unfurl...” Was this a conscious thematic choice? Do you believe the best poetry does, indeed, focus on the very real details, and, through this focus, can make powerful, broad, more abstract statements? Or do you need to begin with a powerful theme as impetus?

AC: It was a conscious thematic choice, absolutely. I think some technological advances have dehumanised society a little, and perhaps as a reaction to this feeling, I’m drawn to seasonal references and using them to illustrate change. They’re very obvious markers for change but I like their universality.

A sharp focus on detail that resonates with the reader is integral to great poetry. Using intimate moments and objects do allow me to touch on broader ideas. The way I work is usually responsive – in that I write in response to my immediate environment and it might not be until later that I discover any themes that run through poems.

JB: How did the collection come about? Did you write the poems specifically for inclusion, or collate existing work spread across time/space/theme but which somehow came together and worked well?

AC: I looked at work spanning a couple of years and piled together around eighty pieces before whittling it down to the strongest fifty. These I sent to a few people that I knew would be honest and constructive – thanks again, to Michelle Cahill, Graham Nunn, Brooke Linford and Simon Cooper. Once I took in their advice and made adjustments, it was ready to send to IP.

Even after the manuscript was accepted, I was still refining the thematic structure. Thankfully IP was flexible enough to let me make a few final substitutions, and I removed some pieces that I felt were either interrupting the overall flow of the MS or simply weren’t as strong as some newer pieces.

JB: Some poems in the collection particularly stand out. Would you mind telling us a little about these specifically? Are there any which are especially significant, for you as writer?

AC: Shell comes to mind – I wrote it after leaving a rough patch in my life, and much like Overlook it deals with ‘place’ about the way the house we lived in had become painfully empty – even before we left. On a lighter note, I very recently found out that Shell was awarded first place in the 2009 Ipswich Poetry Feast Open Age Competition, which was fantastic news.

Other Objects is a poem in the collection that uses a fairly broken but prose-like line structure, which is fun for me to do as it’s rare that I work outside of my regular patterns. It’s also one of the more positive poems, where I’ve attempted to humanise domestic objects and put my marriage into an honest and but tender setting.

Finally I’ll mention Botanic because it’s one of the longest in the collection, and writing longer poems is always a challenge for me. That, and it’s full of good memories of the Brisbane Botanic gardens, and contains some of what I hope are my most interesting bits of imagery.

JB: The notion, in ‘Overlook’ that it’s much easier for great poets to romanticise the world’s most classic cities, than, for example your own not-so-romantic Australian hometown (very tongue-in-cheek!), is an interesting idea. What role do you think a poet’s environment plays in determining the nature of their work?

AC: I think a writer’s environment is very influential – it certainly bore down on me at times, especially when I lived in more industrial areas of Victoria. Oppressive winters particularly seeped into my poetry.

JB: Do you think that if you were to move to London for a year, tomorrow, your work would change? Inevitably? Why?

AC: A lot about my poetry would change. While I’d still be looking at how the shift of season changes us, I’d have a different experience of those seasons. Famous white Christmases and shorter days in winter. And being exposed to various dialects of English would alter my work too.

JB: Your poem ‘Leaking’ explores the slow loss of love between two people, with love seeping out with the momentum of a leaking tap. Is it difficult writing about relationships, either in terms of specific, personal examples or in more abstract terms? Do you need to be wary about being too specific, in wanting to protect the privacy of those you have loved/lost? And also be wary about being specific in a way that serves to alienate readers?

AC: I used to be more reserved and I included more in the way of metaphors for relationships, but the desire to be honest and direct has taken over for the most part. As soon as I self-censor I do the poem a disservice. On the other hand, as you point out, being too specific can easily alienate readers. I remember reading about David Gilmour and Roger Waters disagreeing over the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s Animals – which contains scathing attacks on the conservative right, including very specific references to Thatcher and censorship stalwart Mary Whitehouse. In that case, where it has political overtones, I think it works. But for poetry dealing with more intimate relationships, it’s probably going to put up a barrier between the poem and reader.

JB: Finally, the IP Picks competition is currently in full swing again this year. Do you have any advice for aspiring poets, who may currently be working on their poetry entry?

AC: I believe it’s vital to seek advice and feedback from people you can trust to be honest, even brutally honest. If you’re lucky enough to know even one writer who is both friendly and accomplished – then it’s worth approaching them to ask for some assistance in looking over what you feel is your best work.

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[Assistant Editor for Children’s Titles Anna Barlett caught up with Mark Carthew about the second edition of his picture book Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots.]

AB: Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots is a fun search book full of ‘rhymes and riddles to make you giggle’. Tell us a bit about the history of this book. Where did the original concept come from and how did the book come to be published?

MC: I started thinking about and writing this book a long time ago and it has the longest history of anything I have written. I have always been intrigued by the end sounds of words and love fun rhymes, riddles and limericks – I suppose inspired by my own love of books and the work of Edward Lear, Lewis Carroll, J.R.R. Tolkien, Dr Seuss and a long list MarkCof others. I had this idea of a book based on the end sounds of words and their odd, different spellings – but same sound. I was attracted to the fun illustrations of Mike Spoor as I just loved the humour in his work, so I rang him in London. Mike liked the sound of it and was gracious enough to do some fantastic preliminary sketches... and we haven’t looked back since!

I showed the book to Pearson Education, who loved it but instead commissioned me to do a different literacy series. Meanwhile I contacted Alf Mappin at Scholastic and showed him the illustrations, and he subsequently commissioned the work for Scholastic Press. It took quite some time for Mike to finish the art as it was so incredibly detailed, so when Alf retired we ended up finishing the project with Margrete Lamond as editor. When it was designated out-of-print and the rights reverted, I approached David Reiter at IP Kidz with some extra design ideas and I was delighted when he agreed to publish it in hardback.

AB: In Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots children have to look through the illustrations for hidden objects. It’s a search book with a difference though, because the kids are also looking for objects or actions that rhyme with certain words. How do you see these sorts of activities as playing an important role in encouraging literacy and a love of language in kids?

MC: In an intensely visual and computerised world, extra layers are definitely a plus. I think we all like searching for things, especially if there is a reason that’s linked to the base concept of the book. As a librarian I have seen how much kids (and adults!) love the quest of finding things as in the popular Where’s Wally? and I Spy books, and of course it is the wonderfully successful hook in Graeme Base’s Animalia.

AB: Of course, as well as encouraging literacy, Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots is a lot of fun. There’s humour in the poems throughout the book, and an amazing level of detail in the illustrations. What did you do to make sure that Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots would be a book kids would enjoy reading?

MC: I think it is the combination of fun rhymes and the Newtschallenge of the riddles whose answers match the end sound illustrations, and of course Mike’s humorous visual narrative! We also hid a little newt or bandicoot playing a lute in every picture except the last as an extra search element.

AB: How important do you think it is that kids enjoy what they’re reading?

MC: Well if they don’t enjoy reading, they aren’t even going to pick the book up... let alone read it!

AB: You’ve had a number of books published that incorporate rhymes and songs. How did you first become interested in rhymes, and what do you love so much about them? What do you think kids love so much about them?

MC: I just love word play. Rhymes are generally very accessible. Rhyming meter done well can be a good way to get ideas across. Edward Lear’s limericks are a good example, as well as Dr Seuss’s verse. Kids also love accessible and punchy humour. Music of course adds an extra layer and is the universal language. Songs done in a contemporary way that kids can relate to can be a great way to link language and music with an extra layer of resonance. I also think we all love good visuals, which is why I enjoy combining with and working with talented illustrators such as Mike.

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[Anna Barlett also caught up with Rebecca Bloomer about her new book for teens, Willow Farrington Bites Back.]

AB: Willow Farrington Bites Back is the story of an almost-fourteen-year-old girl who’s on the road to recovery after having been hospitalised with anorexia. Throughout the book you deal with the darker side of eating disorders very gently, and use an uplifting tone; what made you choose to do this?

RB: Well firstly, I don’t think that depressing people with a sad story about all the awful things associated with eating disorders helps either the sufferers or their families overcome the disease.

RebeccaBSecondly, there are numerous books available on the causes, symptoms and problems associated with anorexia and other eating disorders. Of the girls I’ve met who’ve had the illness, none of them liked those books and none of them actually finished one from cover to cover.

Lastly, I think in many books about eating disorders, the illness becomes the main character in the book. I think the main character in any story should be the ‘good guy’. Anorexia is no ‘good guy’, it’s evil through and through. I’d hate writing a story that gave it more ‘air time’ than the heroic, clever, wonderful people who defeat anorexia.

AB: Willow Farrington Bites Back is based on a true story. Without giving too much away, how much of it actually happened?

RB: Willow is real. She really was hospitalised. She really did have to gain a certain amount of weight before her fourteenth birthday. She really did get better. Izzy is based on real people I’ve met and stories I’ve heard. The rest of the story is a result of research (which is ‘real’, right?) and imagination (which is just really cool).

AB: This is a story that’s obviously very close to your heart. How long have you wanted to write it?

RB: Well, Willow is now seventeen, so it’s been three years since she was hospitalised. When her treatment began, I asked her if she would keep a journal for me, so that one day we could write a book about her illness together. She read the manuscript before I ever sent it to publishers and gave me positive feedback as well as her permission.

That said, since the moment I began work as a high school teacher, I’ve wanted to rant at my students about being individuals. I’ve taught so many brilliant, funny, smart-alec students and for some reason, they all want so much to be accepted, that they will sacrifice themselves in order to belong. Willow is just one example of this phenomenon. Ultimately what I would like to do is write an entire series of books about rebels, outcasts and defiantly different kids, who are all brilliant in their own right.

That dream is yet to be realised, so I reckon that while Willow took me three years, the big dream has been waiting ten years…but I’m working on it!

AB: Your novel is written in first person, and the teenage voice is vibrant, appealing and amazingly realistic. What did you do to make sure that your main character’s voice stayed so realistic?

RB: Hehehe…did I mention I’m a high school teacher? While I don’t work full time anymore, I still do the odd supply day. While some people hate the thought of supply teaching, I love it. On those days, I learn new words, new trends, all about fashion and a whole range of other teen life skills that I hurriedly note down and take home with me.

AB: In the story you draw a link between Willow, a girl with anorexia, and Izzy, a WWII concentration camp survivor. What gave you the idea of juxtaposing these different forms of starvation?

RB: This was actually a piece of research that came to my attention while Willow was still in hospital. While Willow was sick, everybody who knew her read everything they could get about the illness, treatments and survival stories. Since then other evidence has come to light which supports that original research. I found it very interesting that while both groups suffer from similar physiological and psychological dysfunction, anorexics are often not considered to be truly sick. People tell them ‘get over yourself and just eat would you’, or ‘you’re not really sick, you did it to yourself’. Nobody would have dreamt of calling a concentration camp survivor a liar when they said they weren’t hungry!

AB: One issue the story raises is the importance of promoting positive self-image and the confidence to be yourself, even if that means being different from others. How crucial do you think it is that young people are presented with this message?

RB: I think it’s vital for all people (but we can start with young people) to value themselves. Somehow as a global community, we’ve grown into a false belief that there is one standard for all. There is one acceptable version of beauty, one measure of success and one belief about happiness or peace. How can this be? Every country and culture has its own look, its own economy and its own cultural understanding of humanity. By holding up icons as yardsticks, we impoverish ourselves in more ways than one.

AB: If you could tell young people one thing through Willow Farrington Bites Back, what would it be?

RB: EAT! No, seriously, any biology teacher can tell you that an ecosystem’s greatest strength is diversity. Don’t talk about it. Live it. Just for fun, instead of seeing the latest blockbuster, go watch a foreign film. When everyone is getting a spray tan for the formal, be pale and proud. Don’t diet, it’s so boring and bad for you. Oh, and it takes strength to stand up for yourself, so you should definitely eat!

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[Assistant Editor Laura Simpson cornered jetsetter Tracy Woolley about her new book Inspire Your Day ~ A Little Book of Inspiration]

LS: You're an inspired national and international, award winning landscape photographer. What first drew you to photography?

TW: I've been a photographer most of my life actually. When I was ten my father was enthusiastic about it and spent hours in camera stores buying all sorts of equipment. I got my first camera then and just mucked around. But it wasn't until I decided to go back to university and complete an Art History degree in 2005 when I chose a photography elective that I realised my passion!

LS: What is it about landscapes that you find so inspiring?

TracyWTW: I find all nature...the colours and textures of the sky, earth, ocean, flora and fauna awe inspiring. Earth is a beautiful planet and if people would stop and look at what's around them they would realise it. Twice a day nature puts on a magnificent show in a sunrise and sunset
and I want to give tmy readers an appreciation of this beauty.

LS: Inspire Your Day ~ A Little Book of Inspiration is full of inspiring quotes and sayings. Why did you decide to use quotes to complement your photographs?

TW: It was a natural progression. I started my photography business first, then Inspire Your Day Australia on the internet. The main theme was to send out a motivational and inspiring quote to subscribers all over the world.

I noticed that there were many quotes that described
what my photographs were showing visually, so I decided to create a few ecards. People loved them, so it progressed to eBooks, calendars and now 'A Little Book of Inspiration'
the first of many books!

LS: What process did you use to match the beautiful landscapes in Inspire Your Day to certain quotes?

TW: Wow...great question. There isn't a process at all. I just look at a photograph and the quote that goes with it quickly jumps out at me. Synchronicity!

LS: Your book is full of Australian landscapes. Why just Australia?

TW: Australia is my home and where I have spent a lot of InspireYourDaytime exploring and taking photographs. It is a country of diverse natural contrasts with inland sweeping plains, superb deserted beaches, busy cosmopolitan cities and flora and fauna unique in every way.

People the world over are fascinated with this country, and I want to help show them how sensational it truly is.

LS: You said that you want to use this book to "inspire others to create a life they have always imagined". Do you feel that you finally have the life you've always dreamed of?

TW: Yes, I overcame several obstacles to follow my dreams, from domestic abuse, to bringing up five children on my own, and thinking that I might not make it to see them grow up. Yet always inside of me was a small flame of knowing flickering...knowing that if I just kept going and followed what made me feel good...then I would know I was going in the right direction.

A long time ago I reached the life I dreamt of , yet the dreams keep coming and I keep moving towards the new ones, reaching them and creating others to strive for. I now know that I can do 'anything' that I think and believe I can.

My favourite quote of all time and my motto is: "Whatever you vividly imagine, ardently desire, sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass!"

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A Victory for Australian Publishers and Authors?

The Australian Government has rejected the Productivity Commission’s call for removal of Parallel Importation restrictions in what is doubtlessly a victory for local publishers and authors. The Government accepted the view put forth by the Commission’s critics that changing the copyright provisions would have little effect on the availability of books in Australia and would almost certainly be harmful to the local publishing industry and the royalty income of authors.

However, the small print in the media release should act to moderate the clinking of champagne glasses among the Bill’s opponents, since the reason given by the Government for keeping the current provisions in place is that the growth of online bookshops acts to maintain downward pressure on prices in Australia. This is very true. Buyers here can easily comparison shop and order books online if the domestic editions get too pricey.

As we said in the feature Deathknell of Bookshops? in the previous issue of IP eNews, the notion of territory in the publishing industry is dissolving before our eyes. As books become more readily available online in physical and digital editions, publishers and bookshops will find their grip on the marketplace becoming increasingly tenuous. Dividing the world into territories only makes sense if you can maintain barriers against the import of competing editions from other territories. It’s time for a radical rethink of the meaning of “subsidiary rights”, where licenses for books are sold from one territory into another. What is the seller actually selling if the title can be bought online globally 24/7? In reality, many titles are already online via POD or eBook editions before native editions are released.

The Government has doubtless taken the view that the marketplace will enforce price discipline more readily than changes to copyright regulations. It’s a pragmatic decision but one that should serve as a wake-up call to both sides of the debate.

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Does it Pay to Market Poetry?

[IP Director Dr David Reiter shares a few tips about publishing poetry]

Way back in 1997, when IP was in its infancy, David Reiter visited Ray Coffey, publisher at the Fremantle Arts Centre Press and asked his advice about promoting poetry.

‘David,’ Ray said. ‘You need to understand that there are 300 buyers of poetry books in Australia today, and our job is to let those 300 people know when a new book has come out.’

Coffey was being tongue-in-cheek, but his advice wasn’t far off the mark. Over the past 12 years, IP has tracked its sales of poetry titles, and they have in fact averaged about 300.

So, are we wasting our time trying to promote poetry? Is anyone in the general community interested in poetry these days? Or should we simply seek to let the buyers of poetry know when a new title worth their attention comes out?

Perhaps not. Our experience in the promotional campaign for Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand may give us reason for hope.

The title had several things going for it. The editors – Mark Pirie and Tim Jones – are well known in New Zealand literary circles. And the anthology featured most of the Who’s Who of New Zealand poetry.

On the other hand, the anthology was to be published by IP, and we weren’t sure how that would be viewed by New Zealand libraries and bookshops, which generally focus on local titles and international “bestsellers” – not unlike their Australian counterparts. The other unknown was the mix of science fiction and poetry. Could the two forms co-exist, or would poetry purists and science fiction aficionados ignore the title?

In our marketing meetings, which included frequent consultations with Mark and Tim, we came up with a strategy. We would promote the title as “different”, a refreshing hybrid of forms, as well as a chance for audiences to engage with some of New Zealand’s best poets in unfamiliar territory.

The strategy worked. We got reviews in key magazines like The Listener, on New Zealand national radio, in newspapers like the Wellington Dominion, and all over the Web. We plugged it heavily in this newsletter and on our Facebook and Twitter sites, as did Tim on his. Other online sites picked up the vibes and did their own promos for the title.

As a result, when the NZ Tour finally happened (after a delay due to the Swine Flu outbreak), we had an audience for our events. Not a huge one, but certainly larger than your normal poetry event, which only attracts the poet’s friends and acquaintances and a hard core of poetry enthusiasts. From Dunedin to Devonport, we had people attend who had read The Listener review, or heard the Radio National clip, and were curious about the book.

The lessons here are pretty obvious. If you’re going to bother promoting poetry, you’ve got to find an angle on the book. What makes it distinctive? How is it not just your average poetry book? Why should a general reader, or person on the street, want to attend your event. The answer may have something to do with the author, some personal interest that might attract some media attention, something that looks a bit distinctive in a newspaper column, or keeps up the pace during a radio interview. Be creative in developing your marketing campaign. Find an angle, and go with it.

At the very least, you’ll give that core of 300 people another reason to consider adding your book to their library.

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IP Kidz Update

With two new picture books and the introduction of a Best Junior Prose category in IP's annual compeition, IP Kidz is certainly buzzing!

In a change of pace for book launches, Libby Hathorn’s Zahara’s Rose (illustrated by Doris Unger) was launched at Centennial Park in Sydney on 22 October, with the support of the Centennial Park Trust. Several local schools were invited to send students to perform parts of the book, with the bonus reward of cupcakes decorated with a rose.


Watch the Launch of Zahara's Rose
at Centennial Park, Sydney

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Mark Carthew’s latest book, Newts, Lutes and Bandicoots, illustrated by Mike Spoor, will be released this month just in time for Mark’s mini-tour of New Zealand, where he’s featured at a conference and in events organised by Christchurch Libraries and the Children’s Bookshop, Christchurch, as well as at the Story Centre on Waiheke Island. The book is the second edition of the Scholastic original, with design and educational enhancements that make it easier for young readers to find visual clues and poetic riddles on each page. Mark and Mike’s second IP Kidz book, Witches Britches, Itches & Twitches is scheduled for release in the third quarter of 2010. Check out the Focus interviews with Mark and Mike.

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We’re just about to go to press with the Hazel Edwards and John Petropoulos picture book Plato, the Platypus Plumber. Plato is into sustainable plumbing and has his own style of ensuring his customers toe the line. Release is scheduled for early March next year.

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David was delighted to see some character concepts from MonkeyStack for the Project Earth-mend animated film based on his junior novels The Greenhouse Effect and Global Cooling. Even more welcome was his selection as Established Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Centre in Perth for next year, where he will work on the third novel in the series, Tiger Tames the Min Min.

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Our Assistant Editor, Children’s Titles, Anna Bartlett is eagerly awaiting entries to the new IP Picks category, Best Junior Prose. The new category joins the previous ones of Best Fiction, Best Creative Non-Fiction, Best Poetry and Best First Book. The annual competition closes 1 December. For more information, including past winners, check out the IP Picks Page.

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IP Digital Buzz

The world of digital publishing is changing and IP Digital is at the forefront!

We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of Amazon’s Kindle Reader. The third generation eBook Reader has taken the North American market by storm and will likely do the same in Australia, changing the face of publishing here as it has in the USA. It has an onboard browser that allows it to locate and download eBooks efficiently. IP has been working closely with Amazon to upload many of our recent titles for Kindle viewing, and for iPhone viewing via the Stanza iPhone app. IP titles are also available on the Kindle and in the normal Amazon shop in several large print editions thanks to our partnership with company ReadHowYouWant.

Also on the digital front, Assistant Editor Jo Brennan has become our in-house expert on conversion of our masters from portable document files (.pdfs) to ePub, a widely used eBook standard. Most of these titles to date have been uploaded to ContentReserve.com, which specialises in eBook distribution and sales.

Our expanding range of eBook versions is good news to people eager to try out their new eBooks readers, and the best news is that the titles are accessible 24/7 via Amazon and ContentReserve.com, so there’s no need for our international fans to have to wait to enjoy IP content.

IP’s Director Dr David Reiter is planning a major announcement on the digital front in late January. The complete details will be in eNews 45, the first issue of 2010. We encourage all eNews subscribers to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest breaking news.

Assistant Editor, Digital Projects, Stephanie Cairns is putting the final touches on our short film based on Dale Kentwell’s artbook Mum: speaking Latin with a singlet tan, which we launched earlier this year at the Manly Gallery. At that launch, we showed a sneak preview of the film via a trailer already available on YouTube. The 30 minute film features Dale’s artwork, her son Jarrah performing the witty text from the book, and interview segments with the filmmaker Esban Storm.

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IP Sales Scoop

David’s recent trip to New Zealand gave him several opportunities to introduce IP to libraries, bookshops and individuals who had never heard of us previously. The impressive array of high profile Voyager poets who contributed to the Tour, making it a success on several fronts, also drew audiences who might otherwise have passed up on an event for a single author. David made contact with several bookshops in cities such as Hamilton and Palmerston North, as well as those in the larger centres. He also had meetings with New Zealand Standing Orders, a key distributor of children’s titles, and Total Library Solutions, who have several contracts with libraries across the country.

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Our upcoming Southern Tour promises to expand our contacts in centres outside Melbourne and Sydney, with confirmed events in Dubbo, Ballarat, Bairnsdale and Wollongong, and stops in Bega and Kiama, as well as the major cities.

MumIP continues to look for innovative ways to promote our books, and we seem to making headway. The successful launch of Dale Kentwell’s Mum: speaking Latin with a singlet tan at the Manly Museum and Art Gallery and Libby Hathorn’s first IP Kidz title at Centennial Park in Sydney show that thinking outside the square for launch events is a good idea. We encourage our authors to do so with their local events. Tracy Woolley, for example, is launching her photography book, Inspire Your Day: a Little Book of Inspiration, at the Mooloolaba Surf Club on 25 November, and combining it with an auction to benefit the Australian Koala Foundation. The Manly Art Gallery has already expressed enthusiasm for a return event early next year for the screening of the film we’re working on for Dale’s book.

We’re also working harder at showing our children’s titles to specialist suppliers and have just completed a research project identifying the key ones in Australia and New Zealand, as well as some overseas. In the new year, we’ll be making personal contact with these suppliers in the hope of expanding our sales in this market, which has plenty of room for expansion. Similarly, we’re making direct contact with the general library suppliers to try to persuade them to highlight our titles with their clients.

In the medium term, we plan to put greater reliance on setting up and selling titles via print-on-demand, which has certainly come into its own, as well as investing in on eBook listings with our overseas partners such as ContentReserve.com. IP continues to lead the way in Australia with uploads to Amazon’s Kindle Reader, which in turn is giving us access to iPhone through the Stanza.app. Amazon recently announced that Kindle content will be made available to Windows PCs, with no Kindle device necessary (sorry Mac buffs!)

With the support of Trade Queensland and Austrade, IP will likely be attending the Delhi and Calcutta Book Fairs early in the New Year with the aim of selling rights to a selection of titles that we think have international potential. If we make progress there, we will look to the other major fairs like Frankfurt, London, Bologna, and Book Expo (USA) in the near future. Selling rights is certainly crucial to our viability as a publisher.

Small Press Distribution, our North American distributor, has been Hitchers of Ozfeaturing a selection of our titles online. Some titles such as Hitching Oz, Voyagers and Poems for America have attracted buyers, and we’ve already had to stock them up on a couple of titles. We invite our friends in North America to visit them in real or cyberspace and get their fix of Aussie content over Christmas!

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Out & About

David travelled to Sydney to MC the launch of Dale Kentwell's Mum: speaking Latin with a singlet tan at the Manly Museum and Art Gallery. The event was a roaring success, and included a screening of a YouTube trailer based on the film-in-process. He also met with a librarian at Sydney Central Library, where they discussed a possible event featuring Sydney IP authors early in the New Year.

David then moved on to Wagga Wagga, where, over a few days as guest Global Coolingwriter for the Booranga Writers Centre, he ran his Selling That Book workshop for the Wagga Wagga Writers Writers and did a reading from his junior novels The Greenhouse Effect and Global Cooling, as well as his highly acclaimed picture book Real Guns for students at Sturt Primary School. The plan is for David to return in 2010 to present a digital seminar for the academic staff at Charles Sturt University.

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Our major excursion was the tour to New Zealand to feature the Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand anthology, plus Iain Britton's new book Liquefaction, Euan McCabe The World Cup Baby, and a selection of new IP releases such as Primary Instinct.

VoyagersOur first stop was Dunedin, where David met Tim Jones, one of the Voyagers editors at the airport. Tim proved to be an excellent MC for the opening event at Dunedin Library as well as at the atmospheric Circadian Café, which featured authors like James Dignan, David Karena-Holmes, Sue Wootton, Trevor Reeves, David Eggleton and Jenny Powell. We're were chuffed to find not one but TWO camera crews recording at the Circadian, and we hope to have the footage as a part of a future podcast.

David found himself on a bit of a voyage himself in trying to locate the Madras Café, which was our Christchurch venue, but Tim soldiered on as MC introducing David Gregory and James Norcliffe. All the readers involved read from the work of other contributors as well as their own to make it more of a community effort and give the audience a better taste of the contents.


See a Selection of New Zealand Poets
Reading on the Voyagers Tour

Rather than fly to Wellington for our next event, David elected to drive up to Nelson and then Picton for the ferry trip up to the North Island, thus avoiding any excess baggage charges for hauling the extra books we'd had shipped to Dunedin to last the tour.All work and no play makes a Director's job a bit tedious, so David welcomed the chance to do a few walks in Nelson, a picturesque town.

Wellington Library pulled out all the stops as hosts for their event, and a good crowd listened to large contingent of authors including Helen MarkPRickerby, Marilyn Duckworth, Jains Freegard, Gary Forrester, Robin Fry, Ruth Gilbert, Rachel McAlpine, Harvey Molloy, Michael O'Leary and the other co-editor of the anthology, Mark Pirie.

Several of these poets drove up to Kapiti Coast Library for the next day's event, which was also very well attended. Puri Alvarez, who lives on the Coast joined us for the reading there. She's a native Spanish speaker and is interested in translating David's Hemingway in Spain. Watch this space!

The final leg of the Tour took us to Auckland, where we had events at the Auckland Library in the CBD and then across in Devonport, an arty community in the North Shore district. The last venue was Depot Arts, a pleasant gallery where we had our final readings surrounded by a myriad of engaging paintings. The Auckland poets, too, were numerous: Raewyn Alexander, Jenny Argante, Iain Britton, Janet Charman, Thomas Mitchell, Michael Morrissey, Jacqueline Ottaway, Alistair Paterson, Anna Rugis and Iain Sharp.

David heartily thanks Assistant Editor Kieran Davey as well as Brooke Butler for their efforts in organising the itinerary for this epic tour. It's no mean feat to organise a tour in the first place, but when the tour takes place overseas, it becomes all the more complicated and time-consuming.

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KathyKKathy Kituai (Straggling into Winter and The Heart Takes Wing) has received a grant from ARTS ACT to take up a residency for three months in Scotland 2010, to teach and write a new body of work. The project is called 'pots and poetry'. She's writing tanka in response to Fergus Stewart's pottery, which wil result in two exhibitions (one here in Australia, the other in Scotland) and a new body of poetry. She also is working on a film to be shot in Japan that will use her tanka as voice overs.

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Libby Hart (Fresh News from the Arctic) has created a fabulous blog: Thoughts on Writing, Language and Ideas, as well as Quirky Information about the World in which We Live.

Her latest work, This Floating World, was written while she was in residence at the Tyron Guthrie Centre in Ireland and will be performed at the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas as a part of the Australian Poetry Centre's Poetic Monologue Series.

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Gala '09 and the IP Summer Season Tour

We seem to say this every time a new Season is upon us, but we expect this to be our best Season ever! If you live in Victoria or points east, there may well be an IP event happening nearby. The schedule below is up-to-date when we release this newsletter, but follow us on Facebook or Twitter for the latest info on what's happening.

InspireYourDay25 Nov: Mooloolaba Surf Club, 7pm- the launch of Tracy Woolley's Inspire Your Day: A Little Book of Inspiration, plus an auction in support of the Australian Koala Foundation. RSVPs essential to Tracy: 07 5453 7730

27 Nov: Summer Season Literary Soirée, Punjabi Palace, 135 Melbourne Street, West End, from 7pm - mix & mingle with our Summer Season authors: Josh Donellan; Nadine Neumann, Rebecca Bloomer and Tracy Woolley $25.50/head for two-course Indian banquet. With book sales and signings. RSVPs to the restaurant by 25 November: 07 3846 3884

29 Nov: Summer Season 09 Gala Performance, The Performance Dying in IndiaStudio, 4MBS Classic FM, 384 Old Cleveland Road, Coorparoo, from 2pm. Free event, with refreshments, book sales and signings. Hear the authors perform their work. RSVPs essential to Ph/fx: 07 3324 9319 or sales@ipoz.biz

3 Dec: Dubbo, NSW, Macquarie Regional Library, Dubbo. All day. As one of the featured panelists, David speaks about digital publishing and composing at a conference sponsored by Orana Arts. For more info: mspencer@oranaarts.com

WingsSameBird5 Dec: Ballarat, VIC, The Ballroom, Portico Wine Bar, 203 Dana Street, Ballarat, 1:30 - 3:30 pm. Launch of Lorraine McGuigan's Wings of the Same Bird by Dr Robyn Rowland AO. RSVPs to: llorraine_mcguigan@hotmail.com

6 Dec: Melbourne, The Ross House, 247 Flinders Lane, from 2pm. IP Gala Performance featuring Lorraine McGuigan, Ashley WobblesCapes, Josh Donellan, Nadine Neumann, Rebecca Bloomer and Tracy Woolley. David Reiter as MC. Free, with refreshments. RSVPs by 3 Dec to: Ph/Fx 07 3324 9319 or sales@ipoz.biz

7 Dec: Melbourne, Collected Works Bookshop, 6 for 6:30pm. Readings by Lorraine McGuigan and Ashley Capes. David Reiter as MC. RSVPs to: 03 9654 8873 or collectedworks@mailcity.com

SteppingOverSeasons8 Dec: Bairnsdale Library, Bairnsdale, VIC from 5:30pm. Ashley Capes reads from Stepping Over Seasons; David Reiter reads from Primary Instinct. RSVPs to: 03 5152 4225 or DarrylW@egipps.vic.gov.au

10 Dec: Wollongong Library, Wollongong, NSW, 4 for Primary Instinct4:30pm. Author Talk with David Reiter and readings from Primary Instinct (teachers especially welcome!) RSVPs to: 02 42277432 or dhorricks@wollongong.nsw.gov.au

12 Dec: NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle Hospital Grounds, off Balmain Road, 10-4pm, David Reiter's workshop RETOOL AND REMIX: JOIN THE DIGITAL AGE! Register with the Writers' Centre on 02 9555 9757 or info@nswwriterscentre.org.au

WillowFarrington12 Dec: NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle Hospital Grounds, off Balmain Road, from 5pm. IP Gala Performance featuring Libby Hathorn, Dale Kentwell, Nadine Neumann, Josh Donellan, Rebecca Bloomer and Tracy Woolley. Free, with refreshments. RSVPs to: Ph/Fx: 07 3324 9319 or sales@ipoz.biz

13 Dec: NSW Writers Centre, Rozelle Hospital Grounds, off Balmain Road, 10-4pm, David Reiter's workshop CREATING DIGITAL PROJECTS. Register with the Writers' Centre on 02 9555 9757 or info@nswwriterscentre.org.au

14 Dec: Newcastle (TBC)

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For the latest information on Tour events, and everything else related to IP, please follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter!

In Review

[These are snippets from full reviews. Click on the link to view the complete review for each title.]

On Lee Knowles’ Invaders of the Heart:

Aussie Kid Heroes“Lee Knowles, one of the real poets to have survived,has ignored ephemeral poetic fashions and has shown a quiet and steady dedication to the art. She may also be one of those with whom hope for a regrowth of Australian poetry lies… This is a rich and intriguing collection. Lee Knowles’s poetry combines an individual vision and highly-wrought technique with sometimes profound cultural resonances. She is also one of those who, by showing that poetry can still engage important subjects, prove again what the true function of the poet is.”

- Hal G.P. Colebatch, Quadrant


On Mark Pirie's & Tim Jones’ Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand:

“An anthology that makes you think afresh about some of our best-known poets… [It is] the first-ever anthology of a poetic subgenre that has hitherto flown so far under the radar in this country as to be virtually subterranean. Editors Mark Pirie and Tim Jones have cast a wide net, bringing together a rich profusion of poems by more than 70 different writers, including names as well known and as diverse as Fleur Adcock, Alan Brunton, Owen Marshall and ARD Fairburn.”

- David Larsen, The Listener

“This is a rather smashing tome of Kiwi-esque poetry, with a sci-fi Voyagersslant—but it’s not only sci-fi. In this instance, the sci-fi genre expands and encompasses all manner of thought pertaining to our modern fears, apprehensions, excitements, discoveries, prophecies, and imaginative forays into both darker, lighter, paler, androgynous worlds within worlds. Don’t for a second think you need to be some über-trekkie sci-fi freak to enjoy this, it’s something for everyone.”
- Guy Armstrong, Salient

Voyagers, Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand edited by Mark Pirie and Tim Jones (Interactive Press, The Literature Series) contains 152 pages of poetry by various authors; a wonder-filled, fun journey through time and space… There are too many to quote here, buy the book and off you’ll go.”

– Linda Addison, SpaceTime


On Goldie Alexander’s Hedgeburners:

Hedgeburners treads lightly over lots of issues – mums who have affairs, dads (including Zach’s) who are looking down the barrel of bankruptcy and those who have lots and those who don’t – without ever being preachy. Alexander’s snappy turn of phrase and humour propel the twosome’s adventures down some interesting paths.

This is the first in the series. Let’s hope it’s not the last. The younger generation needs books like this. As I always say, it’s never too young to start on a life of crime.”

– Carmel Shute, Sisters in Crime

Hedgeburners“The book was inspired by a nasty incident in Melbourne about ten years ago, when private schoolboys went round the leafy suburbs of Melbourne, firing old old hedges (a very sad tale)… In all, a satisfying read, very approachable with the many sketches by Marjory adding to the readability and the excitement too.”

– Virginia Lowe, Buzzwords

“The theme of firebugs is just the springboard for the many issues covered here. The book teaches awareness and responsible behaviour and includes the effect adult actions and problems have on children and vice-versa. It also teaches that one should never assume anything, for sometimes things appear to be one way, but turn out to be something entirely different.”

– Anastasia Gonis, Freelance Reviewer

On The Giggle Gum Tree by Juliet Williams and Elizabeth BottéGiggle Gum Tree

"This debut picture book tells a gentle story with a satisfying resolution, and is well complemented with richly coloured illustrations."

– Sally Murphy, Reading Time

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Your Chaser Deal

IP needs to clear some stock NOW to save on warehouse space. As The Chasers' spruiker says: 'Get in early and often to take advantage of these never-to-be-repeated specials!"

This is no joke!!!

We're so serious about chasing out some of these books that we've set up a special IP SECRET CLEARANCE page to display them, and we're giving our subscribers a head start at helping us GET THESE AMAZING DEALS OUT THE DOOR!

With Christmas just a month away, what are you waiting for? Don't even THINK of telling anyone else until you've placed your order, especially if you're planning to buy something for them (you wouldn't want them to know how little you had to spend on them for some really nice books until AFTER Christmas!!)

Order online, specifying YD44 in the Comments field. Orders accepted from individuals only, and you must not be related to any member of The Chaser Team (but, hey, who's checking?) I

f it all gets too hard, and you suspect the ABC Board might be breathing down your neck for thinking satiric thoughts, just email us at sales@ipoz.biz with your list and we'll send you your books in a (mostly) unmarked Tough Bag.

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