Dymocks to launch a publishing arm

Following hot on the heels of the news that a publisher has become a bookseller (Pearson purchasing Borders and Angus & Robertson online), comes the announcement that the bookselling chain Dymocks will launch a publishing arm in October.

To be called D Publishing, the web-based business will allow users to upload draft manuscripts online ‘and proceed to produce and publish their book’ the bookseller said in a statement.

Dymocks CEO Don Grover told the Weekly Book Newsletter that D Publishing will launch with two books by debut Australian authors in October. Dymocks are also inviting interested writers to submit manuscripts for consideration for a pre-launch trial of the service to dpublishing@dymocks.com.au. Dymocks will select 10 manuscripts from these submissions and the authors will be given the opportunity to produce their books in the lead-up to the October launch.

Following the launch, Grover said the first step for interested writers will be to upload their manuscript online. They will then be able to choose various features to add to their book, including cover design, editing and typesetting work. The author can then select to print hard copies of the book, using a print-on-demand option and create an ebook version of the title.

Grover said ‘a very small team internally but a much bigger team externally’ will be employed to work in the publishing arm of the business, and D Publishing will work with Griffin Press to provide the print-on-demand aspect of the service. ‘We think there’s a big opportunity for freelancers to be a part of it,’ said Grover, adding that Dymocks is ‘really looking forward’ to talking to those in the industry who might like to be involved.

Grover said more information about author rights and royalties for D Publishing titles will be available once the service has been launched. Titles published by D Publishing will have ISBNs and barcodes and ‘in certain circumstances, obviously at our choice, we will look at international and Australian distribution,’ said Grover.

Read more here.

Round-up of stories on REDgroup entering voluntary administration



For the most detailed reports on the REDgroup administration process over the past few months see the Bookseller+Publisher website.



As reported by the Weekly Book Newsletter yesterday, REDgroup Retail, owner of Borders, Angus & Robertson and Whitcoulls stores in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, has been placed in voluntary administration. Here is a round-up of recent media coverage:

General news

Borders, Angus & Robertson go bust’ by Eli Greenblat, The Age, WA Today, SMH and Brisbane Times, 17 February 2011

Borders, Angus & Robertson parent Redgroup Retail in voluntary administration’, by Blair Speedy, The Australian, 17 February 2011

Angus & Robertson enters administration’, ABC News, 17 February 2011

Borders, A&R stores in administration’ by Antonia Magee, Herald Sun and News.com.au, 17 February 2011

Borders and Whitcoulls put under administration’, by TVNZ, 17 February 2011

Borders bankruptcy spreads to US and Australia’, by The Guardian, UK, 17 February 2011

Dark chapter for booksellers’, by Blair Speedy and Stephen Romei, The Australian, 18 February 2011

Internet spells the death of bookstores’, by Peter Lloyd, ABC News, 18 February 2011

Owners move to salvage Borders, Angus & Robertson’, by Eli Greenblat, Jason Steger & Chris Zappone, The Age, 18 February 2011

Online shoppers write unhappy ending for Borders, Angus & Robertson’, by Eli Greenblat, Jason Steger & Chris Zappone, SMH, 18 February 2011

Borders and Angus &Robertson in hands of administrators’, by Tim Dornin, The Advertiser, Adelaide, 18 February 2011

Online closes the books’, by Antonia Magee, Tony Grant-Taylor & Lizzie Stafford, The Courier-Mail, 18 February 2011

Whitcoulls workers’ future uncertain’, by Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald, 18 February 2011

Whitcoulls stores face closure’, by Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald, 18  February 2011

Poor success rate for voluntary administration, says insolvency specialist’, by Tamsyn Parker,  NZ Herald, 18 February 2011

Borders, Whitcoulls under administration’, Stuff.co.nz, 18 February 2011

Technology blamed for Whitcoulls’ troubles’, by TVNZ, 18 February 2011

Troubled Whitcoulls issues voucher rules’, by TVNZ, 18 February 2011

Double trouble for holders of Borders’ gift vouchers’, by Chris Zappone, SMH, 18 February 2011


Internet blamed as booksellers enter administration’, by Peter Lloyd, Lateline, ABC, 17 February 2011

Nine Whitcoulls jobs threatened’, by Laurel Stowell, Wanganui Chronicle, 18 February 2011

Conroy links online retail to job losses’, ABC News, 18 February 2011

Borders, Angus & Robertson out of step, out of time: independents’, by Jason Steger, The Age, 18 February 2011

Book voucher auctions pulled’, by William Mace, Stuff.co.nz, 18 February 2011

Local shelf life looks good’, by Brian Ward, The Mercury, Tasmania, 18 February 2011

Book stores struggle as online sales rise’, by Greg Hoy, The 7:30 Report, ABC, 18 February 2011

Whitcoulls’ fate rests on two meetings’, by Tamsyn Parker, NZ Herald, 19 February 2011

Cuts loom as publishers rip into management’, by Tom Dusevic & Stephen Romei, The Australian, 19 February 2011

Shorten closes book on imports’, by Sid Maher & Blair Speedy, The Australian, 19 February 2011

Borders demise not just down to net, say booksellers’, by Jason Steger & Paris Cowan, SMH, 19 February 2011

Book gifts that keep on taking’, by Holly Ife, Herald Sun, 19 February 2011

Bookstores beef up security in face of fury’, by Isaac Davison, NZ Herald, 19 February 2011

Union to meet administrator over bookshop chains’, by NZPA, Stuff.co.nz, 19 February 2011

Site rationalisation’ may be on cards for REDgroup’, by Claire Rogers, The Dominion Post, Stuff.co.nz, 19 February 2011

Little stores find safety in niches’, by John Mangan, The Age, 20 February 2011

Book business is its own worst enemy’, by Darren Osborne, Technology and Games, ABC Online, 21 February 2011

Malls to get in on the online shopping act’, by Bridget Carter, The Australian, 21 February 2011

TALKING POINT Books policy too contradictory to be true’, by The Australian, 21 February 2011

Staff sure Borders is not closing down here’, by Jing Yng, TODAYonline, Singapore, 21 February 2011

Administrator to honour cancelled vouchers’, by Chris Zappone, SMH‎, 21 February 2011

Whitcoulls staff advised to stay put’, by NZPA, NZ Herald, 21 February 2011

Struggling book industry only has itself to blame’, by Darren Osborne, The Drum, ABC, 21 February 2011

$830 hr to save bookshops’, by Isaac Davison, NZ Herald, 22 February 2011

Business as usual at Borders Singapore’, by AsiaOne, 22 February 2011

REDgroup executives resigned after loss’, by Tamsyn Parker & John Drinnan, NZ Herald, 22 February 2011

New chapter for book store’, by Sally Foy, Batemans Bay Post, 23 February 2011

Business as usual for local book store’, by Great Lakes Advocate, 23 February 2011

A&R voucher fight gets aggressive’, by Mark Bode, Sunshine Coast Daily, 23 February 2011

Angus & Robertson still trading’, by Jaime Newborn, Daily Mercury, 23 February 2011

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Bestsellers this week

The Plantation (Di Morrissey, Macmillan), the fictional story of an Australian woman who ventures to Malaysia on a quest to unlock her family’s past, is top of both the Nielsen BookScan bestsellers chart and highest new entries chart this week. Second on the bestsellers chart is Maeve Binchy’s Minding Frankie (Hachette), followed by ex-PM John Howard’s memoir Lazarus Rising (HarperCollins) in third place. The ex-PM’s memoir also made it to second place on the highest new entries chart. Top of the fastest movers chart is the adventure thriller Crescent Dawn (Clive Cussler & Dirk Cussler, Michael Joseph) followed by The Distant Hours (Kate Morton, A&U)Weekly Book Newsletter

‘The Finkler Question’ by Howard Jacobson wins the 2010 Man Booker Prize

The book world was, it has to be said, taken a little by surprise by the announcement on Tuesday night, London time, that Howard Jacobson has won the £50,000 (A$80,000) 2010 Man Booker Prize for his novel The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury).

The Finkler Question beat a shortlist that included Parrot and Olivier in America by two-time Booker winner Peter Carey (Penguin) and the bookies’ favourite C by Tom McCarthy (Jonathan Cape).

London author Jacobson has been longlisted twice for the prize, in 2006 for Kalooki Nights (Vintage) and in 2002 for Who’s Sorry Now (Vintage), but has never before been shortlisted.

The prize organisers described The Finkler Question as ‘a novel about love, loss and male friendship, and explores what it means to be Jewish today’.

Andrew Motion, chair of the judges, said The Finkler Question was ‘a marvellous book: very funny, of course, but also very clever, very sad and very subtle. It is all that it seems to be and much more than it seems to be. A completely worthy winner of this great prize’.

Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2500 (A$4000) and a designer-bound edition of their book.

The prize organisers said sales of the books longlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize have been stronger than ever before, with sales over 45% higher than last year.

The Slap, by Australian author Christos Tsiolkas (A&U), was among the titles longlisted for the prize.

Bestsellers: more dieting

Australia’s obsession with weight loss still translates into sales at the register, as seen by the latest diet book to hit the shelves is The Dukan Diet (Pierre Dukan, Hachette), which is number one on the Nielson fastest mover chart. French medical doctor Dr Pierre Dukan looks at the French paradox to devise a four-step diet that begins with eating as much high-protein food as you like. On the bestseller chart The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (Stephenie Meyer, Hachette) is number one, followed by The Dukan Diet, then Private (James Patterson, Century) is still selling strong at number three. Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’ slowly climbs back up the charts and if followed closely by Dead in the Family: A True Blood Novel (Charlaine Harris, Hachette). Nine Lives (Adam Ramanauskas & Emma Quayle, Viking) is this week’s highest new entryWeekly Book Newsletter.

Temple wins the 2010 Miles Franklin for ‘Truth’ (Text Publishing)

Well, as we reported in a special bulletin to our Weekly Book Newsletter subscribers last night, Peter Temple’s Truth (Text) is the winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award. (You can read our original review here.)

Not surprisingly, Text publisher Michael Heyward told us he was ‘over the moon’, following Temple’s win. He said Truth had ‘changed the possibility of the crime novel’. ‘Truth is a crime novel but also a novel about crime. It’s a contemporary tragedy,’ he said.

But, as Temple told Matthia Dempsey, in this interview from our September 2009 issue of the magazine, there was a time during the writing process for Truth when Heyward wasn’t quite so happy…

(Oh, and by the way, did you know the Miles Franklin was hitting the road? The ceremony comes to Melbourne in 2011 and other capital cities after that.)

INTERVIEW: Peter Temple on ‘Truth’ (Text Publishing)

You’ve referred to Truth as ‘the so-called sequel’ to The Broken Shore because, although that’s how it’s likely to be pitched, it’s not really a sequel. Why did you choose to focus on Villani, rather than write a second book on Cashin? Were you trying to avoid another series?

I love the Jack Irish series in a parental way. It’s part of me. And, to my great surprise and joy, many people want another Jack Irish book in the same way I once wanted another James Bond novel (well, perhaps not quite as much). But the idea of another series fills me with terror. When it came to think about what to write after The Broken Shore, I found myself thinking about Stephen Villani (a minor player in The Broken Shore). I’d enjoyed his character and I thought I’d try to capture him and his world in a way that treated cops as ordinary people who, as the poet said, have to save the sum of things for pay.

The Broken Shore won the Duncan Lawrie Dagger among many other awards. How did the success of that book affect the writing of this one?

It’s not the success or otherwise of the last book that matters. It’s that every book drains the well and it takes an ever-greater effort to begin each new one. I also have a horror of repeating myself, something that doesn’t help matters.

Truth follows two homicide investigations but also takes in the world of media and politics. Do you draw on your experience as a court reporter in creating your plots? Do you do a lot of research to get these worlds right?

Writing draws on everything that’s ever happened to you. My aim is always to get the feel of the book right. But it’s fiction. I make stuff up. That’s the fun of it.

As with The Broken Shore, one of the very appealing aspects of Truth is that the pared-back nature of the book makes the reader work a bit harder to keep everything in their headto make connections, remember characters. Is this your intention?

I like reading books that make you work, make you join the bits, reach your own conclusions, and so I try to write books like this.

Truth is set in the city but visits the country and The Broken Shore included descriptions of the natural world; what appeals to you about writing about nature?

Part of being a writer is being an observer. I like looking closely at things. I like staring at things, waiting for them to reveal themselves. To capture these impressions in ways that speak to the reader is the great challenge of writing. It’s also its greatest pleasure.

You’ve said that when you’re writing a book you don’t know where it’s going. Can you tell us at what point in the writing process you worked it all out? Was your publisher at all worried?

I generally begin to understand the story about three-quarters of the way through the writing. I don’t know how the process works but I now know that there is a process at work. I think worried is too mild a word for my publisher’s state of mind while he waited for the book. I think he had secretly given up on it. But he understands what miserable, lying creatures writers are and he never lets them off the hook, never gives them the excuse they are looking for to chuck the whole thing in.

Can you tell us what you’re working on next?

I’m fiddling around with the fifth Jack Irish novel and thinking about returning to the territory of In the Evil Day.

Bestsellers this week

Richelle Mead’s fifth novel in her ‘Vampire Academy’ series, Spirit Bound (Razorbill), has appeared at number one in this week’s Nielsen BookScan Top 10 bestsellers chart, also claiming the number one position on the Highest New Entries chart. Lee Child’s novel 61 Hours (Bantam) has dropped out of the Top 10 charts altogether and Our Family Table (Ebury) has dropped from the top of the charts to sixth place, behind Stieg Larson’s ‘Millenium’ series. The remaining titles in the Top 10 have stayed more-or-less the same, with Jodi Picoult’s House Rules (Allen & Unwin) holding fifth position. In the Fastest Movers charts this week, Mead’s first book in the ‘Vampire Academy’ series, Vampire Academy, has taken out pole position, indicating the series is gaining popularity—with readers buying the first book two years after it was published.

Bestsellers this week

Four books in Charlaine Harris’ Sookie Stackhouse series, Club Dead, Definitely Dead, All Together Dead and From Dead to Worse (Hachette), have appeared in the fastest movers chart, behind The Way We Were (Elizabeth Noble, Michael Joseph). Charlaine Harris has been writing the mystery-romance-vampire series since 2001, but these books have only recently become so popular after their adaptation to television as True Blood. In June Hachette releases the 10th book in the series, Dead in the Family. There’s not much change in top 10 bestsellers again this week. Our Family Table (Julie Goodwin, Ebury) remains on top, followed by Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium Trilogy’ (Quercus), then House Rules (Jodi Picoult, A&U). In sixth place is This Body of Death (Elizabeth George, Hachette) and Burned:House of Night (P C Cast & Kristin Cast, Hachette) in seventh. The highest new entry for this week is Belle the Birthday Fairy: Rainbow Magic (Daisy Meadows, Hachette)–Weekly Book Newsletter.

Bestsellers this week

There was little movement on the Nielsen BookScan bestseller charts, for Our Family Table (Julie Goodwin, Ebury) and House Rules (Jodi Picoult, A&U) stayed at the top. They also took the top places of the fastest movers chart. After The Girl Who Played with Fire (Stieg Larsson, Quercus), came a new fourth–This Body of Death (Elizabeth George, Hachette). The Way We Were (Elizabeth Noble, Michael Joseph) was the highest new entry, then came D-Day: The Battle for Normandy (Antony Beevor, Viking). After the flurry of publicity surrounding Beautiful Malice (Rebecca James, A&U), it has appeared at number five on the fastest movers.

Bestsellers this week: it’s all about MasterChef

The return of the television series Masterchef seems to be helping Our Family Table (Random House), the cookbook by series one-winner Julie Goodwin; Goodwin’s book comes in at number one in the bestseller charts for its fourth week in the top 10, while MasterChef Australia: The Cookbook (Ebury) is number one on the fastest movers chart. On the top of the highest new entries chart is Radiant Shadows (Melissa Marr, HarperCollins)—Weekly Book Newsletter.