Christopher Paolini at Fullers Bookshop Tuesday, June 19 at 5.30pm

Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
01.06.12 1:19 pm



Internationally best selling children’s author Christopher Paolini at Fullers Bookshop
Tuesday, June 19 at 5.30pm

Christopher Paolini, author of the Inheritance Cycle will be at Fullers Bookshop on Tuesday, June 19th at 5.30 as part of his international tour.

Paolini, who is inspired and influenced by old myth and folk tales, has provided welcome relief for many parents by re-awakening their children’s love of reading.

Paolini, who was homeschooled for the duration of his education, had the first book in the series Eragon published when he was just 19.

Inheritance, the fourth and final book in the series achieved the highest first-day sale of a fiction, non fiction, children or adult title published in the USA in 2011.

All four of his titles have been New York Times number one best sellers.

Fullers expects an audience of around 300 people to attend this ticketed event.

Tickets are $5 each and available now at Fullers.

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Arts | Books | What's On

A Momentous Moment for The Mousetrap

Paula Xiberras
01.06.12 1:07 pm


It’s a very special year this year for Agatha Christie’s classic play ‘The Mousetrap’. The play is famous for holding the record for the longest running piece of theatre in history. The Hobart Rep Company are putting the play on in this a very special year and I spoke to director Ingrid Ganley about the longevity of the play and celebrating its 60th anniversary.

So, why is the play so well patronised even after so long?

Ingrid says because the book is not so readily available and the only way for a wider public to experience the mystery it is by going to see the play, and of course there is a certain status acquired in being part of this historical drama and record holding play.

There is a tradition of telling the audience at the end of the performance not to divulge the ending to anyone so as not to spoil the mystique around the play. A spoiler is that Wikipedia much to the chagrin of Ms Christie’s descendants have spilt the beans as to the ending.

There is a story Ingrid told me that once London cabbies who don’t get tips, would threaten their patrons with telling them the ending of the celebrated whodunit!

The play does not boast one of Agatha’s great detectives like Poirot or Miss Marple yet it is full of classic twists that we are so familiar with in Agatha Christie.

This production has many of the usual rep players you know as well as an exciting young new comer in Eleanor Morgan a third year Uni student in Fine Arts. To cap it off Eleanor is from England so the production keeps some of that authentic English feel, as it should be in this year of honouring the British literary classic.

The play may be special but so is Ingrid the director. Ingrid got her start with the Old Nick Company and has worked with John Clarke from NIDA and has acted as an assistant director to Robert Jarman. Last year Ingrid directed ‘Noises off’. Being an Agatha Christie fan and having worked on ’Black coffee’ another Agatha production last year it’s a real treat for Ingrid this year to direct ‘The Mousetrap’. Ingrid is also a talented director of Shakespeare and each year she is involved with producing the Shakespeare in the park productions.

Ingrid is still able to fit in a day job but she calls her foray into theatre, which includes familiarisation with all aspects, including sewing costumes as a ‘serious hobby’ she loves theatre because it gives instant feedback. The play is ready and all we need now, Ingrid says, the missing ingredient… the audience!

With the film version rights to ‘The Mousetrap’ not up for grabs until the West End production has been closed for six months and with only one other production outside the West End to be produced annually as well as all the fanfare of it being in its 6oth year it’s probably a good idea to get along to this production.

The mouse trap will be performed at the Playhouse from the 25th of May to the 9th of June. 

And if you are wondering how The Mousetrap got its name it was named by Anthony Hicks, Agatha Christie’s son in law. Its derivation comes from Hamlet when Hamlet is asked by Claudius the name of the play they have just seen. Hamlet incorrectly tells him it is called ‘The Mousetrap’ because he aims to ‘catch the king’ in its performance.

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Arts | What's On

YOUR CHANCE to VOTE on Tasmania’s ‘Best New Architectural Project’

01.06.12 11:22 am


Tasmanians have the opportunity to nominate the State’s ‘best new building’ from 27 inspiring projects vying for top honours in the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2012 Tasmanian Architecture Awards.

At the launch of the awards exhibition at the IXL Atrium in Hobart last night, Tasmanian President of the Institute, Karen Davis, encouraged all to support their favourite new Tasmanian building. 

‘The People’s Choice voting will be open until 5pm on Wednesday 13 June, with the most popular project announced at an awards ceremony in the Century Room at Blundstone Arena on Saturday 16 June,’ Mrs Davis said. 

Projects competing in the awards range from interesting and unique new houses at Sandy Bay, South and East Launceston, Low Head, Mountain River, Eagle Hawk Neck and Bruny Island to affordable social housing complexes at Moonah and Berriedale and several residential projects involving sensitive alterations and additions.

Major public buildings in contention include the Kingston High School, St Mary’s Cathedral Centre, Ulverstone Sports & Leisure Complex and MONA - the much lauded Museum of Old & New Art. 

Pirates Bay Pavilions by Stuart Tanner Architects. Image by Brett Boardman

Commercial projects range from the Bisdee Tier Optical Astronomy Observatory at Spring Hill, to an Aboriginal Children’s Centre at Risdon Cove and the Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment to interior fit-outs including Tony Hill Dental and Garagistes.  Some of the smaller projects include a tiny basement in Macquarie Street and St Virgil’s Centenary History Centre.

Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment by Jawsarchitects. Image by Brett Boardman

‘Architects operating in Tasmania often have to work on difficult and remote sites or within extremely tight budgets,’ added Mrs Davis.

‘Many of the projects in this year’s awards demonstrate a high level of ingenuity and collaboration with clients and builders to produce great buildings,’ she said.

MONA by Fender Katsalidis. Image by Leigh Carmichael

To vote, log on to or visit the 2012 Tasmanian Architecture Awards Exhibition at the IXL Atrium from Friday June 1.

The Awards exhibition will run until Sunday 1 July in Hobart, before showing at the Makers’ Workshop in Burnie from Monday 23 July to Sunday 5 August and the Design Centre Launceston from Friday 10 to Sunday 19 August.

Projects in the running for this year’s awards are:

Architectural Project Architectural Practice Architectural Category Location
42 Goulburn St Hobart Circa Morris-Nunn Residential – Alterations + Additions Hobart
Aboriginal Children’s Centre Tim Penny Architecture + Interiors Commercial Architecture Risdon Cove
Basement Preston Lane Architects Small Project Architecture Hobart
Bisdee Tier Optical Astronomy Observatory Philp Lighton Architects Commercial Architecture Spring Hill
California Dreaming Bild Architecture Residential – Multiple Housing South Launceston
Devonport Surf Life Saving Club Redevelopment Jawsarchitects Commercial Architecture Devonport
Drift Bar and Café Jawsarchitects/Jaws2 Commercial Architecture Devonport
Grandy & Roberts Interia Design & Architecture Interior Architecture Hobart
Garagistes Paul Johnston Architects Interior Architecture Hobart
Hopkins Street Affordable Housing Xsquared Architects Residential – Multiple Housing Moonah
Integrated Care Service Building Launceston General Hospital Architects Designhaus, Philp Lighton & Health Science Planning Architects in Association Public Architecture Launceston
Kingston High School Hassell in collaboration with Jawsarchitects Public Architecture Kingston
Lagoon Beach House Birrelli Architects Residential – New Houses Low Head
Maroni Close Housing Unit Development Architects Designhaus Residential – Multiple Housing Berriedale
MONA – Museum of Old & New Art Fender Katsalidis Public Architecture Berriedale
Patrick Street Residence Liminal Spaces Residential – Alterations + Additions West Hobart
Pirates Bay Pavilions Stuart Tanner Architects Small Project Architecture Eagle Hawk Neck
Princes Wharf Shed 1 Circa Morris-Nunn Public Architecture Hobart
Somerset Alexander Ashley-Jones Architect Residential – Alterations + Additions East Launceston
St Mary’s Cathedral Upgrade Stage 1: Cathedral Centre Circa Morris-Nunn Public Architecture Hobart
St Virgil’s Centenary History Centre Tim Penny Architecture + Interiors Small Project Architecture Hobart
Swanwick Beach House Philp Lighton Architects Residential – Alterations + Additions Swanwick
‘The house is so easy to live with’ IKA Ian Kirk Architecture Residential – New Houses Sandy Bay
The Shearer’s Quarters John Wardle Architects Residential – New Houses Bruny Island
Tony Hill Dental Liminal Spaces Interior Architecture Hobart
Ulverstone Sports and Leisure Complex Philp Lighton Architects Public Architecture Ulverstone

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Arts | Planning/Heritage

20 writers, THIS weekend, 30 000 words each.

Rachel Edwards Managing Editor Island Magazine
01.06.12 10:05 am

20 writers will gather at the Salamanca Arts Centre this weekend to slam out 30 000 words each as they compete with teams in Brisbane, Melbourne and online as part of the Emerging Writers Festival.

The writers are from a wide range of backgrounds and come with very different writing experience and goals.

This event is a fantastic, free opportunity for enthusiastic writers from all works of life and writing backgrounds to come together and indulge in a weekend of dedicated writing in a supportive environment.

It is an exercise in getting the writing juices flowing and not in the refining or editing process.

Island provides the space (the Meeting Room at the Salamanca Arts Centre), inspirational resources and a friendly and supportive host.

Island is delighted to be working with the Emerging Writers’ Festival and The Queensland Writers’ Centre to bring this event to fruition.

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Arts | What's On

So here’s the deal…..I’m Dis-Oriented….

Dave Groves, A Digital Photographer, May 27, 2012
29.05.12 8:01 am



Saturday night.

I’m at Launceston’s best kept secret, the Tramway Museum at Inveresk.

I’m here to shoot a wicked event, the so-called “Murder on the Dis-Orient Express”.

I describe it as interactive period costume theatre.

Without giving too much away, it is involves tram rides to places of deep imagination, a crime and merry mayhem.

All this a mere stroll from the Launceston CBD!

To gain an insight into what is possible at this awesome venue, take a sneak peek at some selected photos and speak to the coves at the Tramway Museum on 6334 8334 or visit them on the web at Launceston Tramway Museum: here

See all Dave’s pictures, here

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Arts | Personal | Society | What's On

DESPARD GALLERY: 25th Anniversary Directors Choice opening

Steven Joyce Despard Gallery
28.05.12 5:37 pm


Inviting one and all Art Lovers to the Despard Gallery 25th Anniversary Directors Choice opening.

This Saturday night, the 2nd of June from 5.30 pm

This will be a very special event over two levels with music, nibbles and the customary beverage amid the celebration of life through art. The exhibition will feature a large array of lovingly selected and diverse range of works from artists both local and from abroad.

This is one celebration not to be missed!

Despard Gallery
15 Castray Esplanade
Hobart Tasmania Australia 7000
ph +61 3 62238266
fax +61 3 62236496

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Arts | What's On

Federal funding confirmed for Glenorchy’s riverside arts festival, The Works.

Michael McLaughlin Community Cultural Development Officer Glenorchy City Council
25.05.12 1:48 pm


The Works Festival, Glenorchy’s biennial riverside festival of arts and culture is proud to announce it has just been awarded $34,700 in Commonwealth Government, Festival’s Australia funding, for its Flotilla project.

Flotilla is the centrepiece project of the November 2012 Festival, which will be concentrated on parkland around Elwick Bay, one of Tasmania’s most exciting new cultural precincts. 

“The grant will support five talented Tasmanian visual artists, realise five large scale temporary installations in our new Festival site on Elwick Bay” said Works Festival Producer, Michael McLaughlin.

“Festival Patrons will have the opportunity to view the quirky and original works installed on both land and water, via the award winning Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) boardwalk, which is itself such a feature of the site”.

“And like all Works Festival projects”, he explained “Flotilla will be inviting significant involvement by the local community to get hands on with artists in the making of the final artworks.”

Flotilla will be open to the public from November the 8th and will feature a dedicated arts education stream for primary and secondary school students visiting the trail across the Festival period.

“This will be a fantastic opportunity for students to experience how art can relate to a sense of place, through two days of artists talks, mini workshops and other practical activities” said Mr McLaughlin.

The Works Festival is a project of Glenorchy City Council.

For more information or media inquiries regarding Flotilla or the 2012 Works Festival, please contact
The Works Festival
Festival Office: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins Street Moonah
Postal: PO Box 103 Glenorchy TAS 7010
phone 03 6216 6312

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Arts | What's On

FULLERS: John Biggs in conversation with Lindsay Tuffin

Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
24.05.12 1:16 pm


Join author John Biggs in conversation with Tasmanian Times editor Lindsay Tuffin, Thursday 21st June, 5 for 5.30pm

John’s book Tasmania Over Five Generations: Return to Van Diemen’s Land traces the political intricacies of our unique state crystallised through the story of fivegenerations of John Biggs’ own family.

Bookings essential

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please note the Afterword Café ceases trading at 5.30pm

Download invite:

Fullers, 131 Collins Street Hobart TAS 7000
p (03) 6234 3800
http://www.fullersbookshop.H O B A R T

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Arts | Books | What's On

Janine Shepherd at Fullers Bookshop Thursday, May 31st 5.30pm

Rachel Edwards, Events Manager Fullers Bookshop
24.05.12 12:05 pm

Janine Shepherd at Fullers Bookshop
Thursday, May 31st 5.30pm

Janine Shepherd was a champion cross-country skier in training for the Winter Olympics when her life was irrevocably altered when she was hit by a truck on a bike ride.

She will be at Fullers Bookshop in Hobart talking about her experience and her new book The Gift of Acceptance on Thursday, May 31st at 5.30pm.

Today, Janine Shepherd is a best-selling author and internationally renowned speaker who travels extensively in Australia and all over the world sharing her story with others.

Deepak Chopra has described Janine as having “an extraordinary ability to ignite people’s spirits and move them to find the real potential of their lives; her story inspires people around the world.”

This is a free event organised in conjunction with Hank Petrusma.

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Arts | Books | What's On


Michael McLaughlin, Community Cultural Development Officer, Glenorchy City Council
24.05.12 7:22 am


Moonah Arts Centre’s Friday Night Concert Series
Friday June 1

This is a rare chance to hear one of Tasmania’s premier folk bands and one of the most exciting young folk bands in Australia today, live at the Moonah Arts Centre as part of the Friday Concert series.

With a sound that sits somewhere between the Pogues and the Cranberries, the Blue Mosquitoes were lauded on their recent tour of UK and Ireland as a hugely energetic, talented and original young band.

Playing a wide range of music, from original songs to traditional tunes their music is contemporary with a Celtic undercurrent, taking the audience on an emotional journey -  from aching ballads, through soulful reflections, to frenetic foot-stomping jigs. With exquisitely versatile vocals, instrumental alacrity and an infectious passion for music, this is a band not to be missed.

Blue Mosquitoes
Where: Moonah Arts Centre, 65 Hopkins St.  Moonah
When: Friday 1st June  
Times: Doors open from 7pm for a 7:30pm start
Entry by Gold Coin Donation

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Arts | What's On

Bolering back to Big Ted’s Tango!

Paula Xiberras
23.05.12 7:54 am


‘Syncopation’ is the title of the Theatre Royal’s soon to be visiting production of dance and drama. ‘Syncopation’ is defined as ‘a variety of rhythms which are in some way unexpected which make an off-beat tune or piece of music. More simply, syncopation is a general term for a disturbance or interruption of the regular flow of rhythm: a placement of rhythmic stresses or accents where they wouldn’t normally occur.’

Perhaps that also describes the storyline behind the title, the offbeat relationship between a Jewish meat packer and an Italian seamstress that are brought together to partner each other in ballroom dancing. I spoke to one half of the cast, the lovely Emma Palmer last week prior to her visit to Tasmania. Emma says her character, Anna Bianchi is ultimately searching and this partnership in the play may see her find what she is looking for.

Syncopation by Allan Knee is like nothing that has been done before as Emma and her co-star Justin Stewart Cotta who plays Henry Ribolow are the only actors on stage and must be able to deliver dialogue while performing dance moves.

With the surge of interest in ballroom dancing due to television programs like ‘Dancing with the Stars’, ironically the plays choreographer once worked for the program, the play seems timely.

Emma is a NIDA trained double threat of actor and dancer as opposed to the triple threat of singer, dancer and actor. Emma is classically trained in ballet but believes that with training in any discipline of dance it makes it much easier to dip your toe (pardon the pun) into many other dancing styles with ease.

When Emma isn’t acting in a play like this one, or maybe one less strenuous as she agrees this is one of the most challenging things she has done, you can see Emma as a befriender of Big Ted on playschool as well as making appearances in other quality Australian dramas.

With minimal staging the play must evoke images through the magnificent work of the actors who make us believe they are at Coney Island, on a boat, in a rehearsal room or on a street location.

Emma will be touring with Syncopation until the end of July and tells me then it will be back to Big Ted. Emma also tells me she will be show fit and ready to dance when she arrives in Tasmania, a place she has never been before. Emma hopes to do some walks on Cradle Mountain and visit Port Arthur when she is in Tassie.

Syncopation can be seen at the Theatre Royal on 29th and 30th of May.

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Arts | What's On

Book sales have fallen off a cliff: What next for the publishing industry?

Tim Coronel, Island Magazine
23.05.12 6:31 am


The Australian book industry – both publishing and bookselling – has been in a pretty healthy state for most of the past twenty years. The figures might not have been huge – usually only single-digit percentage increases year on year – but growth in both the quantity of books sold and the revenue they generate has remained consistent.

In the past two years, however, the tide has turned. Book sales have fallen off a cliff. From growth of about 5% in 2009, sales dipped into negative territory in 2010 and in 2011 the results were horrendous: down 13% in volume and 18% in value. Early indications for 2012 show that revenue across the trade has dropped by as much as 20%. So what has caused this dramatic change in fortunes, and what does the future look like for the book industry in Australia?

In 1991, the Copyright Act was amended to enshrine parallel import regulations (PIR) and the 30- and 90-day rules were introduced. These rules have been widely discussed and debated ever since – most recently in 2009 when a Productivity Commission report recommended they be dropped, though the government decided against it. In short, the 30-day rule works as follows: if a book is first published overseas, an Australian publisher has 30 days to obtain Australian territorial rights and to publish their own edition. If the Australian edition is made available within 30 days that edition is the only one that booksellers may stock and sell. Even if an overseas edition is cheaper, booksellers cannot import it in ‘commercial quantities’. (As an important aside, it’s always been the case that ‘orders of one’ are exempt from PIR, as are all library orders. An individual has always been able to ask their local bookseller to order in any edition of any book, or to import a copy themselves from an overseas bookseller.)

One of the positive upshots of PIR was that it fostered the growth of Australian publishers using a ‘portfolio’ model that combined local publishing with ‘buy-ins’ of international titles for which they would have exclusive rights. Locally owned independent companies such as Allen & Unwin, Text, Scribe, Hardie Grant, Black Inc. and many others have grown and prospered, and the Australian lists of large international firms such as Penguin, Macmillan, Random House and Hachette have also grown.

This strong local publishing industry employs editors, typesetters, cover designers, sales and marketing teams, and prints locally (at least for black-and-white books: almost all colour printing has gone offshore due to price pressures). A large book distribution infrastructure has also developed, employing warehouse staff, truck drivers, couriers, etc. In all, the book publishing industry in Australia is estimated to generate about $2 billion in revenue each year and to employ – directly or indirectly – many thousands of people. 

Of course, once these books are published they need to be sold, and the retail bookselling industry also grew and prospered for much of the 1990s and 2000s. National chains such as Angus & Robertson, Dymocks and Collins Booksellers expanded, often by adding franchising to a core of company-owned stores. The independent bookselling sector also grew, largely free of the deep discounting experienced in the UK and the encroachment of mass-market retailers such as Walmart in the US. (That’s not to say there weren’t some hiccoughs: the introduction of the GST in 2000 hit all retail sectors hard but the book industry particularly, A&R underwent numerous changes of ownership before ending up as part of RedGroup, and the original family-owned Collins Booksellers business went under in 2005, only to recover under the leadership of a group of franchisees into a 60-store chain concentrating on suburban and regional locations). Home-grown online booksellers including Booktopia, Boomerang Books, The Nile, Fishpond and others all started out within the last ten years as very small endeavours but have grown quickly – for example, Booktopia, originally a part-time project for three men in a garage, is now a multi-million dollar business that is regularly included in ‘fastest growing’ lists in business magazines.

Along with this buoyant domestic market, Australian publishers and literary agents have had increasing success selling rights to Australian-authored books into international territories. Given the comparatively small size of the domestic market, the opportunity for Australian authors to be published not only in English-language territories such as the US and UK but also in translation in many languages and countries is enormous. Marcus Zusak, Shaun Tan, Peter Temple and many others first published in Australia now have large global audiences. Australian publishers and agents also regularly travel to book fairs such as those held annually in Frankfurt, London, Bologna (for children’s books) and increasingly to Beijing, Taipei, Guadalajara, Abu Dhabi and other ‘emerging’ markets in order to promote Australian writing to the world; and international publishers and agents visit Australia each year thanks to the Australia Council-sponsored Visiting International Publisher (VIP) program.

All this sounds very positive, yet all we’ve heard about the book industry in the past few years has been doom and gloom. So what’s changed?

First of all, the internet. Until quite recently (time-consuming and clumsy international mail order aside) local bookshops pretty much had a monopoly on selling books to Australian readers. Then along came the world wide web. Never before have consumers had so much choice of where to buy, or so much access to international price comparison. Amazon moved very quickly to dominate, and since the mid 1990s have grown phenomenally from being a book, CD and DVD retailer based in Seattle to now being one of the world’s largest retailers of just about everything. Apple and Google have now entered the market, meaning that the global internet’s biggest and most recognised names all offer book content. Consumer behaviour for all sorts of consumption is changing rapidly, as more and more transactions of every sort are conducted online, and in-store retail is suffering accordingly.

The way people read is also changing rapidly. Ebooks have been around in one primitive form or another since the 1990s, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that momentum really started to build. Among Australian book retailers, Dymocks moved first, offering ebooks and an e-ink reader device in 2007, but the range of titles was comparatively narrow and the e-reader expensive. Amazon’s Kindle ereader was the first real mass-market device to take off, and Amazon surprised everyone in the Australian book trade by releasing Kindle internationally in October 2009 with much fanfare. As a result there was an immediate association in consumers’ minds between ebooks and Kindle. Other Australian ebook providers were pretty slow to catch up (although the Canadian-founded Kobo partnered with A&R and Borders in 2010 with a good range and well-priced reader devices), and local publishers took some time to get their heads around offering ebook editions of their titles alongside print. When it comes to ebooks, Australian-based players may never retain this lost market share.

The Australian dollar’s current record high exchange rate (the long-term average to the US Dollar is about 75 cents, compared to the current $1.05 or higher) also makes painfully obvious that book prices in Australia are higher than elsewhere in the world. Moreover, it is now easier, cheaper and often quicker for consumers to source books directly from overseas. Exact figures are hard to come by, but estimates are that Australian readers are spending something like $150 million per year offshore buying print books and a completely unmeasured amount on top of that on ebooks.

But there are some positive signs: the independent bookshop sector has long been stronger in Australia than in other markets (independent bookshops are almost unheard of in the UK now, and only survive in small numbers in the US). Recent figures show that ‘the indies’ have actually increased their market share after the demise of RedGroup and now have about 30% of the market (albeit a larger slice of a smaller pie).

While medium-sized independent publishers prospered and grew, it has always been a struggle to be a very small or niche publisher, but since its establishment in 2006 SPUNC (the Small Press Network) has been growing rapidly – to the point where it now has a membership of approximately 100 publishers. SPUNC offers support with distribution, marketing and promotions – long the bugbear of small publishers – and has recently announced an ebook conversion service.

The broader ‘culture of books’ is very strong in Australia. There are now writers festivals in every capital city and many regional ones, attracting audiences in the tens of thousands to see local and international writers. Melbourne is now a UNESCO City of Literature, with the well-funded Wheeler Centre organising close on 1000 book-related events every year. Literary magazines, while they always struggle with funding, seem to be in a period of resurgence, with new entrants (Kill Your Darlings et al) joining the established roster of Meanjin, Overland, ABR, Island et al. While pundits worry about shrinking book review coverage in newspapers, TV coverage of books is doing well with the ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club and the recently announced SBS pay TV show For the Love of Books. On radio ABC Radio National may have lost its dedicated book show, but book coverage continues as part of the arts programs on RN, supplemented by numerous book shows on community radio in many areas. Online, all manner of bookish types – publishers, booksellers, reviewers, bloggers, authors and readers – have new ways to form and grow communities of mutual interest and broader dialogues.

Technical developments assist small publishers and self-published authors to gain a potential international audience with very small outlay (although they may well just get lost in the ‘noise’ of literally millions of new titles entering the space each year). And not only with ebooks: digital printing and print-on-demand publishing are now an affordable reality both locally and internationally.

But at an industry-wide level, there are worrying developments. There aren’t actually that many books that are ‘bestsellers’, but publishers rely on having a few big successes each year to create sufficient cash-flow to support their less-commercial titles; however, the sales volume of most of the top-selling books has been declining for some time. Books from those few authors that used to sell 200,000+ are only selling 100,000-and-something; those that might previously have been expected to sell 50,000 now only sell 30,000 and so on. The last six months have also seen cuts in RRP of print books and there is continuing price pressure on ebooks. This is good news for consumers, but it is hurting retailers (who have to sell more units to make equivalent revenue) and is hitting publishers especially hard. We have already seen a number of ‘restructures’, which have made many employees of local publishers redundant (particularly in sales teams, and in a few cases senior executives), and most publishers are talking about reducing the number of titles they publish each year.

From an authors’ perspective, getting published has always been difficult, but it is getting harder and harder as publishers take an even harder-edged commercial approach to what they take on, and pay smaller advances. Once a book is published, there is little money for promotion and authors are asked to do more and more publicity work themselves. Australia has developed an enviable calendar of writers’ festivals featuring local and international guests, in-store author events, school and library visits, etc, but the scope of all these will almost certainly be challenged if local publishers’ budgets continue to suffer (a US- or UK-based publisher is extremely unlikely to pay for even a bestselling author to do a promotional tour of far-flung Australia).

There is also a desperate need for supply-chain efficiencies to make the largely hidden back-office part of the book business much more responsive to customer needs – but where does the money come from? If there is 20% less money in the local industry, finding investment for faster turnaround of orders, digital distribution, etc, is going to get harder and harder (although the recent long-overdue upgrades to TitlePage – the book industry’s price and availability service – are to be welcomed). The market power of international behemoths such as Amazon, Apple and Google is of concern. And as is almost an annual occurrence, there has been speculation lately that Amazon will open a local site and supporting warehouse, sending shivers throughout the trade (personally, I’m not at all sure they need to do this to continue to gain market share among Australian customers).

So, we’re at that point where we have to look into the chicken gizzards and make some predictions about what will happen to the world of books, publishing and bookselling in the coming years. A few things are certain: authors will continue to write, readers will continue to read. But what has been thrown into disarray, not just in Australia but globally, are the ways writers and readers connect and the role of commercial/transactional players. Will ‘publishers’ still be central to the process of getting authors’ words out there? Will ‘booksellers’, in bricks-and-mortar stores or online, continue to be the main place to buy books?

It’s quite clear there will be continuing pressure on the survival of dedicated bricks-and-mortar bookshops. Bookselling chains in particular are under strong threat. While the demise of RedGroup (A&R/Borders) was largely due to mismanagement, the very idea of large, broadly stocked shops in expensive malls and inner-city shopping strips is getting harder and harder to sustain. Mass-market book buying is moving to discounters (such as Big W and Target) and online; specialist book buying is increasingly becoming an almost entirely online market. Some – hopefully many – independent bookshops, especially those that put extra effort into connecting with their communities and doing more than merely selling books, will continue to prosper, but can the market support them all? I suspect not.

If their revenue continues to contract, local publishers will have to cut staff even further, and local lists will inevitably suffer, as will rights sales and support for mid-list authors. Author advances are falling. The larger publishers will be even more risk-averse and less likely to take on new writers. More than ever, smaller publishers need to be nimble and tech-savvy, going after every opportunity they can, experimenting with new formats and fresh ways to engage audiences.

More authors will opt for self-publishing, but there will continue to be a massive challenge for them to stand out from the ever-growing crowd. Direct engagement with peers and audiences will be key. While there are more opportunities than ever for authors to get their work out there, it will still be just as hard, if not harder, to make it pay.

Distribution infrastructure for both physical and digital books will continue to change: in Australia, many of the large international publishers own their own distribution businesses (Penguin/Pearson, Random, Macmillan, HarperCollins and Hachette all run separate, large distribution arms) and also gain extra warehouse volume and revenue by contracting distribution services to smaller publishers who have come to rely on their large scale. Some consolidation of these multiple distributors will be almost inevitable, and the entry into the Australian market of book wholesalers that carry stock from a wide range of publishers, such as Ingram, Baker & Taylor and Gardners, seems likely.

Local and national barriers have already been smashed and consumers are increasingly likely to research and buy online and be ‘blind’ to the location of the vendor. In book-world, this will mean that the traditional territorial divides for books will come under increasing pressure and a single, globally available edition of a book becomes much more viable.

The power to make (or break) mass-market titles will consolidate even further with very large, global players – and ones not necessarily from the word of ‘publishing’ as we’ve known it; yet at the other end of the spectrum operating from a very small, niche area will become easier (if not necessarily lucrative) and the potential for a ‘left-field’ book to first find a local, then international niche audience, then break out into wider success, is certainly there.

The advent of digital reading is profoundly altering the ways authors, readers, publishers and retailers think about their roles. At their most basic, ebooks are simply a print book converted into an electronic file, which is then read on a dedicated e-reader, tablet computer (i.e iPad), laptop or desktop computer. Australia has been a little slow off the mark in embracing ebooks, but the market is growing steadily to the point where best estimates are that around 5% of books sold here last year were digital. In the US, where ebook sales growth has been enormous over the past few years, this figure is more like 20%, and in genres such as blockbuster fiction, romance, sci-fi and fantasy, the proportion of e-reading is much, much higher. Ebooks don’t have to just replicate the structure and forms of their print counterparts: ‘enhanced’ ebooks can incorporate multimedia elements; collaborative and open-ended narratives are possible, with multiple authors and/or reader participation in steering the direction/s of the story; and forms that may struggle in print – short stories, for example, or long-form journalism – are finding many readers electronically.

For the book industry, though, ebooks throw up a number of challenges: contrary to many readers’ assertions, the physical print and distribution of a book only makes up a small percentage of its cost. Fixed costs around acquiring, editing, producing and promoting a book still need to be recouped, and for now ebooks are an additional format to place into workflows (with associated human and IT costs) still geared primarily to print. Consumer expectations that ebooks will be instantly available at the same time as print editions, and at a lower cost, upset long-held business practices that are geared to selling a book at a high price on its first release in order to recoup its costs, then only releasing a cheaper edition at a later date once it starts to become profitable. Book retailers, too, have had to change their ways of thinking, adding ebook availability and ramping up their online presence.

Ebooks will continue to grow in importance and market share in coming years, but not even the most techno-boosterish of commentators believe that the print book will disappear. So the future of the book is a diverse one, where printed books, physical bookshops, ebooks and online retail will co-exist; as will major commercial players, nimble independents and entrepreneurial self-publishers.

We continue to live in interesting times.

Republished with the permission of Island Magazine

Visit Island Magazine HERE: or get the latest edition from a bookshop or newsagent!

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Arts | Books

A cravin’ for Flavin!

Paula Xiberras
23.05.12 1:16 am


The name Flavin originates in the Irish name ‘Flaith’ meaning ‘prince’ or ‘ruler’ and not a more perfect name could there be for the man they call in Ireland the king of country music, Mick Flavin.

Irish country artist Mick Flavin is making his first visit to Australia, a fact he can’t believe has finally arrived and it seems the word is definitely out about this much admired artist as he enjoyed a standing ovation at his concert in Ipswich last week.

Promoter Terry Gordon is the one who was instrumental in bringing Mick to Australia having been a fan for many years. Popular Irish entertainer Daniel O’Donnell when he was in Australia on tour earlier this year also endorsed Mick, as did Daniel’s singing partner, Mary Duff and encouraged those who love Irish country music to go along and see him.

In spite of the headline to this story ‘Flavin’ is pronounced to rhyme with ‘travellin’ and indeed it seems Australian audiences are taking up the call to travel with Mick as he continues his musical journey across the country. A journey that began on a farm in Longford stretched its way to the Grand old Oprey in Nashville and now to Australia.

Mick hails from Longford the midland or heartland of Ireland and it wouldn’t be a great stretch to say Mick is indeed the heart of country music in Ireland. Mick’s been involved in music for over 25 years and started out with a band of 4 lads, and lass as he would put it. While this band eventually broke up Mick was always going to make a career of music even taking up a trade, in this case carpentry as a day job while he continued in his quest for a full time musical career.

In a story befitting a musician’s movie bio with the attendant fairy-tale elements, Mick remembers working on the farm and his trips to the well to fetch water. He would sometimes place the bucket on his head on his way to the well so he could hear the reverberations of sound as he sang. Mick went on to release his first album ‘I’m going to make it after’ which was discovered by the pirate radio stations of that time and quickly became a favourite. One of the songs out of some 12 albums and 3 videos that mean the most to Mick is ‘The Old School Yard’, a song about the very school he attended and ‘When I lay me down’.

Like so many of the Irish artists Mick has no airs and graces and will be travelling by road from gig to gig over most parts of Australia. Whereas in Ireland it’s usually 4 to 5 hours between gig venues here in Australia that time is extended to 7 or 8 hours travelling.  It’s a gruelling schedule with very few days off in an almost month long tour here. Mick will be making the most of his first visit to Australia and seeing quite a bit of it along the way!

Mick is also the only Irish artist to be nominated for the Country Music Association Global Artist Award, an award which seeks to promote arts among the eight participating countries. Mick didn’t win that award, it went to a Canadian artist but for all those that admire his music and for all those that will get to his concerts during his time in Australia he is already a winner.

Mick will be performing on Wednesday 30 May at the Country Club Show Room Launceston and on Thursday 31 May at Wrest Point Entertainment Centre Hobart.

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Arts | What's On


Rachel Edwards Managing Editor Island Magazine
22.05.12 1:29 pm

Island magazine and the Festival of Voices are calling for submissions for short stories on the theme of angels.

Three stories will be chosen to be performed by professional actors in the Nolan room at Mona as part of the Festival of Voices which runs between 6-15 July this year.

The winning three authors will receive $250 words each and the stories will be published by Island.

Island magazine is one of Australia’s oldest and most respected literary magazines. Island 128: Digitalism was launched in early May and examines what the digital means for today’s readers, writers and publishers.

Festival of Voices has become part of Tasmania’s cultural landscape since its inception seven years ago.

The stories should be submitted as attachments to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and received before COB on Friday, June 22.

Stories should be 2000 words in length and they will be performed on Wednesday, July 11 at 8pm.

Rachel Edwards
Managing Editor
Island Magazine
e: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
t: + 61 (0) 3 6226 2325
a: PO Box 210 Sandy Bay Tasmania 7006 Australia

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The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre news ...

The Tasmanian Writers' Centre
18.05.12 10:10 am


News from the Writers’ Centre ... here

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Arts | Books

HOBART BOOKSHOP: Famous Reporter 43 launch

The Hobart Bookshop
17.05.12 8:18 pm


The Hobart Bookshop and Walleah Press are pleased to invite you to the launch of the latest issue of Famous Reporter, containing works including poetry, essays, launch speeches, and fiction from writers including Geoff Goodfellow, John Kinsella, Sharyn Munro. Rodney Croome, and Mark O’Flynn. For more details of the work contained in the issue, see this page at the Walleah Press website.

What: Launch of Famous Reporter 43
When: 5:30pm Wednesday May 30
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Arts | Books | What's On


The Tasmanian Writers' Centre
16.05.12 6:51 pm

Send your picture books, story books, novels and non-fiction

This is a big, BIG opportunity! Publisher Penguin Books Australia is calling for manuscripts - picture books, story books, novels and non-fiction - for children and young adult readers, from now until 31 July.

If you have a draft, or just the seed of a children’s book in you, you can get it written during the Centre’s course with one of Australia’s most successful children’s authors, Sally Odgers, starting THIS SATURDAY afternoon 19 May;  then Saturday afternoons 2 June and 16 June.

She’s extraordinarily smart and it’s a practical course to develop YOUR next - or first - book for kids. Remember the Centre is not-for-profit so you get the course at cost. Click here to read about Sally’s course, and register with us before 4pm Thursday or just attend on the day.

From the Penguin Books Australia website, 16 May 2012


“The Books for Children and Young Adults (BCYA) division of Penguin Group (Australia) is the leading publisher of books for young people in this country. We produce picture books, story books, novels and some non-fiction works. We publish over 100 titles every year, ranging from books for very young children to publications for adolescents and beyond.

We are currently accepting unsolicited manuscripts from now until the end of July 2012.

We receive many thousands of manuscripts each year and only a very small percentage do get published. With that said, some of the names we know and love started out in the unsolicited pile and we understand that hidden gems can be discovered there…”

Click here to read the full submission information.(please note that you will need to scroll down to the Books for Children Division.)

And go!  Write!  :-)

Read more here

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Arts | Books

2012 Bendigo Bank Material Girl art award winners

16.05.12 8:21 am


MATERIAL GIRL EXHIBITION 2012     “Speak to Me!”

Tasmanian Regional Arts is pleased to announce the winners of the 2012 Bendigo Bank Material Girl art award.

This year’s Material Girl theme of “Speak to Me” gave artists an opportunity to ponder contemporary communication.

Since 2002 Material Girl has been building the profile of women artists in Tasmania and focuses attention on the issues which influence their work.  A regular fixture on the arts calendar it is an instigator of inspirational new work. The amazing talent and diversity of Tasmanian works this award attracts has always been one of its strengths. Although it began as a showcase for textile based works, artworks in any medium are now accepted and demonstrate the range of outstanding creativity of Tasmanian women artists.

The exhibition was opened by the Premier at the Moonah Arts Centre on Friday 11 May.  This was a return to a familiar space for Material Girl.

Gallery visitors have the opportunity to select their favourite work and enter the People’s Choice Award before the end of exhibition period Wednesday 30 May 2012.

Selected works will then tour the state through the Tasmanian Regional Arts touring program hosted by regional communities: St Mary’s in July, Burnie in August, New Norfolk in September, Sidmouth in October, Wynyard in November, and Smithton in December.  In 2013, the show will tour to Deloraine and George Town

The Winners of the following awards were announced on opening night:

Bell Bay Aluminium Award for Overall Excellence       $1,500 -  Burnie Artist Susan McArthur for ‘Engagement’ a digital photograph
Premier’s Award           $750 – Burnie artist Pam Thorne for ‘Just by Reaching Out’ a papier mache sculpture
Zonta Award for Highly Commended       $500 – Launceston Artist Joyce de Ruyter for ‘Silent Communication’ a coloured pencil drawing.
Zonta Award for Young Artist     $500 – South Hobart artist Emily Blom for ‘A Stitch in Time’ a mixed media piece.

Tasmanian Regional Arts acknowledges the generous support by Bendigo Bank, Zonta International, Bell Bay Aluminium, The Department of Premier and Cabinet, Community Development Division and Moonah Arts Centre.

Further information can be found on the Tasmanian Regional Arts website: or by contacting the TRA office on 6426 2344.  The finalists for the show can be seen at

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The Tasmanian Writers’ Centre

The Tasmanian Writers' Centre
16.05.12 7:12 am


Launches and events near you this week

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Arts | Books

Famous Reporter’s new issue offers much: Wed 30 May

15.05.12 4:50 pm

Tasmanian literary magazine Famous Reporter will launch its 43rd issue at Hobart Bookshop at 5:30 pm Wed 30th May.

Walleah Press’ Ralph Wessman said the magazine would conclude with issue 44 later this year, as the publisher transfers its focus to new poetry books.

Forthcoming titles in 2012 include Fairweather’s Raft [Dael Allison], Radar [Kevin Brophy and Nathan Curnow], and Ash is Here, So Are Stars [Jill Jones].

Walleah Press’ most recent publication is Andrew Burke’s Undercover of Lightness: New and Selected Poems.

Famous Reporter #43 features:  POETRY: Susan Austin, Stefanie Bennett, Margaret Bradstock, Margaret Campbell, Sarah Clarkson, Kevin Gillam, Geoff Goodfellow, Cameron Hindrum, John Kinsella, Jeff Klooger, Andrew Lansdown, Bronwen Manger, Shane McCauley, David Mortimer, Steve Milroy, Jan Napier, Judith Rodriguez, Emma Rooksby, Brenda Saunders, Michael Sharkey, Laura Jan Shore, Cherry Smyth, Corey Wakeling, Lucy Williams.  ESSAYS & COMMENT: Anne Layton-Bennett, Planted in Tasmania;  Sharyn Munro, Edging towards Tasmania.  INTERVIEW: with Melanie Barnes.  LAUNCH SPEECHES: Rodney Croome’s launch of Peter McIntosh’s Who Wrote Shakespeare’s Sonnets?  Anne Kellas’ launch of Stuart Solman’s In advance of our broken wings; Karen Knight’s launch of Lyn Reeves’ Designs on the Body; Michael Sharkey’s launch of Peter Lach-Newinsky’s The Post-Man Letters.  FICTION: Mark O’Flynn, Anne Shimmins.

5.30pm Wednesday 30 May, Hobart Bookshop, 22 Salamanca Square, Hobart.  Free event, all welcome.

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Arts | Books

HOBART BOOKSHOP: Rosie Dub launches John Biggs’s short stories

The Hobart Bookshop
15.05.12 7:13 am


Please join us as Rosie Dub launches John Biggs’s new collection of short stories, Towards Forgiveness: Sino-Tasmanian Stories from Two Islands (Ginninderra Press).

When: Thursday May 24th, 5.30pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop

Free event, all welcome.

The Hobart Bookshop
22 Salamanca Square
Hobart Tasmania 7000
P 03 6223 1803 . F 03 6223 1804
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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Books | What's On

HOBART COLLEGE: Le bateau de rêves

Anne Morgan
15.05.12 7:05 am


In association with the Alliance Française de Hobart, Dr Christiane Conésa-Bostock will launch the French and bilingual editions of Le bateau de rêves (The Sky Dreamer):

Thursday 24 May,
A Block, (near cafeteria)
Hobart College,
Olinda Grove,
Mount Nelson.

Written by Tasmanian author, Anne Morgan, this is an achingly beautiful picture book about childhood grief, courage, resilience, imagination and hope. The work has been lavishly illustrated and translated from English by Swiss artist, Céline Eimann.

Anne Morgan
You Tube trailer for The Sky Dreamer

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What's On


The Hobart Bookshop
15.05.12 6:57 am


Nine-year-old Sophie Scott is going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship’s captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. She sees icebergs, penguins, seals and whales. She makes new friends, experiences the southern lights and even becomes stranded in a blizzard!

Children’s Laureate Alison Lester travelled to Antarctica as an Antarctic Arts Fellow. Her alter ego, Sophie Scott, goes on the same adventure in a friendly, informative and beautifully presented book that sees the wonder of Antarctica through a child’s eyes.

We are very pleased to welcome Alison Lester to Hobart for the launch of her newest picture book. 

Please join us as Simon Estella (Aurora Australis captain) launches Sophie Scott Goes South.

What: Launch of Sophie Scott Goes South
When: Sunday May 27th, 3pm
Where: The Hobart Bookshop
Free event, all welcome.

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What's On

An Artful Shed Adds Delight to Collins Street

Jerry de Gryse
15.05.12 6:46 am



Pictures: Gerhard Mausz

If you are one of the 2000 people who walk or cycle through the west end of Collins
Street each day you will have noticed that the small shed abutting 208 is finally
finished. And what a shed it is.

Built to meet the needs of its owners (Jerry de Gryse and Kate Crowley) to house
bins, bikes and paint tins, it has also met their desire to contribute something to the
City of Hobart. To go beyond their utilitarian needs, the owners engaged artist
Gerhard Mausz to make a work of art out of the new street frontage.

Made of patterned steel layers, the front of the shed is an abstraction of the
topography of the Hobart Rivulet. Overtime, the work will evolve as the elements
and oxidisation of the steel have their way.

Gerhard is experienced contributor to the city landscape through public art programs
(see his gate at Kellys Garden, Salamanca and his street furniture in North Hobart and
Moonah), Gerhard said “I applaud private landowners for making such a cultural
investment in their community. A simple corrugated iron gate could have done the
job, but they have gone further and together we have made something that I hope will
endure and evolve, giving joy and maybe even inspiration to Jerry and Kate and to
those who go past each day.”

Jerry said, “Kate and I are thrilled with what Gerhard has achieved in artfully
interpreting our thoughts about our place in the City and in the wider landscape. His
work is evidence of our belief that quality design and fine detailing add to the life of
the street and make cities great. We hope that over time, Council and other property
owners will unite to make Collins Street a vibrant, peopled promenade. Perhaps our
little contribution will spark others to do more”.

Additional information: Island Workshop were the builders for the project with
design input from David Travalia, Architect and Jerry de Gryse. The rear wall of the
shed uses ‘form ply’ within an otherwise all steel frame.

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Test Article 1

Technical Support Guy
29.04.12 4:17 pm

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Nulla vitae elit libero, a pharetra augue. Aenean eu leo quam. Pellentesque ornare sem lacinia quam venenatis vestibulum. Sed posuere consectetur est at lobortis. Praesent commodo cursus magna, vel scelerisque nisl consectetur et. Vivamus sagittis lacus vel augue laoreet rutrum faucibus dolor auctor. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nullam id dolor id nibh ultricies vehicula ut id elit.

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