CEO Alex Allan celebrates one-year anniversary

This time last year I was just taking up the CEO role at Fremantle Press, and the months have flown by! During this time the Press has had a lot to celebrate. 

It has been wonderful to watch the 2022 Hungerford winning book, Molly Schmidt’s Salt River Roadtake shape over the past twelve months and I’m so pleased to see it published this month, to great acclaim from early reviewers and with strong support from all our key customers. We also had a stellar lineup of shortlisters for the Fogarty Literary Award, and the winning title, The Skeleton House by Katherine Allum, is due for publication in the middle of next year. 

But when I think October, I think crime.  I’ve been busy reading the latest novels by authors like Dave Warner, David Whish-Wilson and Karen Herbert, who have toured their new books this month. And I’m so pleased to share the news that we have partnered with Wavesound Audio to bring our crime titles to you in audio format, so please look out for our Fremantle Press authors wherever you download your audiobooks. 

As we head towards the last quarter of what has been a busy year, I realise how much the team at Fremantle Press has achieved in 2023, with a record number of new books from WA authors (and some very clever re-promotion of some old favourites) plus more events, promotion and publicity than can be counted. During this time, they’ve answered my questions, taken on board my comments, and helped turn our spreadsheets and procedures upside down and inside out in the quest to publish as many wonderful books as we can while still balancing our own books!  

We’ve had an enormous amount of support from many quarters and our thanks go to so many of you who believe that reading matters and that books can and do make a difference. We’re especially grateful to the DGLSC for the renewal of our operational funding this year, to our Champions of Literature and other donors, and to the supporters of our Books for Little Bookaburras early reading initiative which we launched in March and will be returning in early 2024.  

But 2023 is by no means over! The largest international rights marketplace pops up in Frankfurt this month, and Fremantle Press will be on the Australian Publishers’ Stand representing our books and authors to agents and publishers from all over the world. We have plenty of events underway as part of the Great Big Book Launch series, and it has been wonderful to see so many avid readers supporting our local authors by attending launches, buying our books and being part of the wonderful reading and writing community here in WA. We hope to see lots of you at the Fremantle Arts Centre 50th Anniversary celebrations next month, where we will be hosting a special Fremantle Press author panel, and where you can stock up on signed copies in time for Christmas.  We will also be holding a 2024 preview event in December, where you can see everything we have coming up next year, so look out for details in the coming weeks.

Happy reading and best wishes for the rest of the year.

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