How to be an Author: Fremantle Press unpacks the secret of selling books to booksellers

The Fremantle Press Podcast
The Fremantle Press Podcast
How to be an Author: Fremantle Press unpacks the secret of selling books to booksellers

By his calculations, Penguin Random House account manager Gavin Burbidge attempts to place 432 books into Australian bookstores per month. Across the publishing industry, that means your book will be competing against thousands of titles and your account manager’s pitch could be less than ten seconds long. For a deep dive into sales, Penguin Random House account managers Gavin Burbidge and Jane Parkhill join Claire and Georgia on the How to be an Author podcast. Meanwhile the final Comma Chameleon episode is all about the Macquarie Dictionary’s Word of the Year and Georgia and Claire discuss the relative merits of featuring cats vs dogs, and gerbils vs Hugh Jackman in your author publicity shots.

Topics discussed:

  • Competition for shelf space
  • How many titles your book competing with
  • Key promotions times for authors
  • The Macquarie Dictionary’s word of the year
  • Tips for authors on how to work with booksellers
  • What does a typical sell-in look like?

The How to Be an Author editions of the Fremantle Press podcast are an informal series of chats between publishing industry professionals. Co-hosted by Marketing and Communications Manager Claire Miller and Publisher Georgia Richter, it features regular guest appearances by editor Armelle Davies, as the Comma Chameleon, special publishing industry guests and top tips from contributors to the book How to Be an Author: The Business of Being a Writer in Australia.

Show Notes

Extend your podcast

How to Be an Author: The Business of Being a Writer in Australia by Georgia Richter and Deborah Hunn is available in all good bookstores and online. Between its pages you’ll find everything you need to know about the business of being a writer from people who live and breathe books.

Connect with Georgia and many of the contributors to the book and podcast in the Facebook group.


Gavin Burbidge and Jane Parkhill are both account managers for Penguin Random House Australia.

Author tip

Brendan Ritchie is a writer and filmmaker from Fremantle, WA. In 2015 he published his debut novel, Carousel, and was awarded a PhD in Creative Writing. Carousel has been critically acclaimed and is longlisted for the 2016 Gold Inky Award. The sequel, Beyond Carousel, was released to critical acclaim in 2016. In addition to writing, Brendan spends his time lecturing across a range of creative disciplines.

Organisations, books and people discussed

Books for Cooks

Chickensaurus by James Foley
Collins Bookstores
Hugh Jackman
Macquarie Dictionary
Matthew Riley
Moira Court
Natasha Lester
United Book Distributors

Original music

Title Music and Comma Chameleon Theme by Mo Wilson (copyright 2021)

Sound engineering
Aidan D’Adhemar, Fremantle PA Hire

Produced by
Claire Miller and Chloe Walton, Fremantle Press Marketing and Communications

This podcast was produced in Walyalup in Whadjuk Boodja, on the lands of the Noongar people.

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