Saturday, June 28, 2008


"Storyliners are the true heroes of any soap" quote from a Facebook group, quoted in the Green Guide.

state of Australian TV writng

When cleaning up my office I came across an old "Green Guide" article about television writers - along the unsung-heroes line. I was interested in it enough to tear it out and save it for later, and later is now. First some interesting facts and figures: of the 600 full members of the Australian Writers Guild 190 are in Melbourne but only 25-30 would consider themselves in full-time employment as writers. [conclusion: the full-time writer in any industry is a lucky bird] "If you've written 6 hours of television in a year you've had a good year," according to Jacqueline Woodman, the Guild's director. She goes on to say:
"You have to be prepared to be what's called a jobbing writer. If you want to be an artiste then you won't get work all the tim. If you only want to work on your own ideas then there's no way you can make a full-time living as a writer. You have to be prepared to write other people's ideas as well to pay the bills. That's also how you learn and hone your craft.
That's one of the big mistakes amateurs make, only wanting to work on their script or their life story or their one big idea. The ones who make a living have done all sorts."
And apparently the local industry here is healthier than it has been for sometime and Peter Gawler, Underbelly writer, is seeing a shift towards scripts with an Australian voice.  He says, "We do have our own style of telling stories in this country.  I don't think we are terribly good at high concepts. We're much better at a form of social realism the refects the Australian no-bullshit no-fuss approach." I wonder whether that is reflected in our literature, especially our children's literature. 


But Woodside is also the nation’s largest single-location polluter: it emits at least 12,000 tonnes of nitric oxides and 15 million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year, among many other pollutants.

Australian Rock Art Research Association

Sunday, June 22, 2008

remit is the business buzz word of the moment?

… and with a definition somewhat more and somewhat less than its previous meaning. Here's but one example I came across recently: "comprises four divisions with different publishing remits" It's come to mean something like a brief or scope or terms of reference, though it is vague and self-important while sounding very technical and precise. Maybe its a word favoured by remittance "men"?

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Age-ranging on the back of children's books

There's been much discussion about age-ranging on the backs of children's book, both here and in the UK, where the suggestion has originated.

Here's a link and here.
and the lovely Emma of Snowbooks has this to say.

I heard that one bookseller was circulating a petition against it at the ABA conference on the weekend. We (black dog) aren't thrilled about it - short-term gain for long-term loss is our feeling. It may (and there doesn't seem to be that much proof of even this) sell more books now; but at the cost of selling more books later. Also I can't see that research done in the UK has relevance to our quite different market here. Maybe colonialism isn't as dead as it should be.

But Variety had a view on film ratings that's interesting in this context:
"a new twist on the PG-13 rating -- one that strongly cautions not only those under 13 but anyone much above it, too.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

more on Fishpond

I've been looking at the website, and I've been feeling a little put out.

My reading of what I am seeing is that while fishpond says it is an Australasian bookseller "to be proud of" it is not all that enthusiastic about supporting Australian publishers.

When I looked up Possum Magic today I was first offered on screen the US edition and the other editions mentioned are from the UK but I couldn't find a reference to any of the Scholastic Australia editions. Boo to a Goose has the US edition listed first at a discount and then if you click through you are offered the Australian edition under "Other Editions"at full price. You can buy the UK and US editions of Dragonkeeper and Garden of the Purple Dragon but not the Australasian edition. They're now listing our Red Haze but I think that is because I emailed them that it has been shortlisted in the NZ Post Awards - though I've yet to have a response to that email (and they don't list a phone number and the number I was given by Booksellers NZ gave a "no service" response). There may be some issue with data but as they seem pretty uncontactable, living behind an email "wall", I can't find that out.

Under the "AU Bestsellers" on the site today (which I'm assuming is meant to be equivalent to "NZ Bestsellers" on the site) none of the authors are Australian and all of the editions are from the US or UK. On the the top pick of "Fishpond Picks 2008" is the US edition of New Zealand author Lloyd Jones's Mister Pip. The Penguin NZ title is listed elsewhere on the site though.

I'm heading over to New Zealand on Monday and I'm hoping to meet someone from fishpond but I've yet to hear back. I like their passionate claim to be an Australasian bookseller but I'd like to discuss how they are seeing they are fulfilling that, and plans for the future.

This is a cute promotion

better world books

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Booktopia and Fishpond

I searched our best-selling Dragonkeeper on both sites and this is what I got.

Booktopia is offering the local edition while Fishpond offers the UK and US editions only (which have to be shipped or flown in). A further search on Booktopia showed that the editions that Fishpond are offering of the Garden of the Purple Dragon and Dragon Moon are more expensive than the editions being offered by Booktopia.