Sydney Writers Festival was held on the last week of May and with it the Visiting International Publishers (VIP) program, which I attended at the invitation of the Australia Council for the Arts to pitch our books to publishers from around the world. The VIP is an annual event and a great opportunity for local publishers who can’t always attend the international book fairs to have international agents and publishers come to us.
The Australia Council also announced the latest findings from the Macquarie University’s three-year research project titled ‘The Australian Book Industry: Authors, Publishers and Readers in a Time of Change’. Among the results of the Reading the Reader report were some encouraging predictions for the future of reading and writing in Australia: most Australians value and enjoy reading and think that books by Australian writers about Australian subjects help us understand ourselves and our country.
We couldn’t agree more and that’s why Fremantle Press is dedicated to nurturing, developing and promoting the literature of our state. Income to support this core activity comes in part from the consultancy services we offer, and I was delighted to be invited recently to attend the launches of two of our latest consultancy books: A Practical Guide to Rheumatoid Arthritis, which we produced for the Arthritis Foundation of WA, and Carlotta’s Perth, which we produced for the City of Perth Library. Carlotta’s Perth is a snapshot of the early days of Perth settlement through the eyes of a young girl, Carlotta Brockman. A number of Carlotta’s descendants were at the launch and it was delightful to hear their stories about their grandmother and great-grandmother.
Later this month we’ll be celebrating our latest children’s books in the Fremantle Press Great Big Kids Book Read at the State Library of Western Australia. Don’t miss the chance to meet our children’s authors and their books!