Romance Book of the Year finalists
The Romance Writers of Australia has announced the finalists for this year’s R*BY Awards:
Miranda Lee — The Millionaire’s Inexperienced Love Slave
Carol Marinelli — Expecting His Love Child
Trish Morey — The Italian Boss’s Mistress of Revenge
Paula Roe — Boardrooms and a Billionaire Heir
I have a few of these books in my shelf, and I’ll be promoting them up the TBR list. The awards will be presented at the RWA National Conference in August.
In defence of Australian copyright
Richard Flanagan’s closing address (PDF) at the Sydney Writers Festival makes a compelling argument against the removal of parallel import restrictions. As I’ve said before, I’m on the fence about this issue, and I think PIR needs to change but not disappear, but when people like Flanagan make passionate, reasoned arguments against PIR, I can’t help but be moved.
I’d like to share with you one of Australian publishing’s odd secrets, something no publisher, I suspect, would say publicly. I’ve been published in my time by three major Australian publishers—Penguin, Pan Macmillan, and Random House—all subsidiaries of international companies, yet each fiercely proud and supportive of their Australian writers.
In every company every year there were Australian books that were published that everyone knew would not make money. And they were published because those publishers believed that this Australian book mattered….
The Australian book industry is for the most part a series of collaborations and partnerships. I am not pretending that there aren’t differences or battles, that it isn’t competitive, that tough business isn’t done. But my experience is that the industry is most successful when writer works with publisher and publishers with booksellers in all their forms to sell books. My experience is that there are many good people at every level and in every size and aspect of the book business who believe in books as something more than mere product.
One might think that if the Federal Government were serious about creating free trade, if they really wanted a level playing field, that they would either take the GST off books sold in Australia, or oblige Amazon to charge it at source, as Amazon does for other countries and several US states to which it ships.
I think he makes compelling arguments against claims made by the Coalition for Cheaper Books. It’s a shame that Flanagan’s speech will probably reach a far smaller audience than Dymocks’s Booklovers email did.
Remix My Lit has announced that Sydney University Press will be publishing its short fiction anthology, Through the Clock’s Workings, and the book was launched last Wednesday in Canberra. To see what RML is all about, check out these remixed stories. It’s very cool.
Discounts, contests and freebies
- Win a Winter Romance Pack from Avon Romance – Ends 12/6
- Win a Winter Warmer Package from HarperCollins – Ends 12/6
- Reviewing Competition by the Australian Book Review – Closes 31/7
- Free samplers from Aussie sf/f romance author KS Augustin
- Free ebooks from Total-E-Bound
Online book buzz
Laura Vivanco has an excellent post up at Teach Me Tonight, discussing the words “I love you” and what they mean to readers. Go check it out. I wish I could be an academic studying romance books. Seriously.
Jessica at Racy Romance Reviews posted a beautifully written essay called Romance at the End of Life. She makes this observation about people in hospice care, who literally are waiting out the last bit of time they have left:
I’ve had patients who haven’t been blessed in romantic love — some have been long divorced and never remarried — and, surprisingly, they often want to talk about love as well. Whether a patient has been lucky in love or not, they often seem to focus on that specific kind of close personal relationship at the end of life, on how love has mattered to them, or not, and why.
Sarah Wendell of Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, reads from her book, Beyond Heaving Bosoms: The Smart Bitches’ Guide to Romance Novels. (Via In The Flesh Erotic Reading Series) Hilarious, and oh, so NOT SAFE FOR WORK.
Galaxy’s paranormal romance book club is on this Thursday (June 6). Contact Sofia at Galaxy for more details. There’s a small cost for Tim Tams and tea, but you get a discount on any paranormal romance purchases on the night.
The digital future
If Australians are to enjoy e-books to the fullest, I would heartily recommend that local policymakers try to discourage territorial agreements, which restrict competition. I would also argue for a vigorous push for local use of the ePub standard to drive down costs for local publishers. But in the end? The real action on the e-book front will be global—through piracy, if need be, should policymakers keep supporting territorial agreements and other malarkey.
And other random stuff…
If you live in Sydney, check out the Vivid Sydney, a celebration of the creative arts and the events are right across Sydney, not just in the CBD. The festival is on until June 14.
Check out the winner of the Cannes online short film competition, Sebastian’s Voodoo directed by Joaquin Baldwin. It’s about a voodoo doll who “must find the courage to save his friends from being pinned to death.” (via Articulate)
Save the date
6/6 — Paranormal romance book club at Galaxy Bookshop
8/7-12/7 — ASAL Common Readers and Cultural Critics at ANU/NLA
7-9/8 — Byron Bay Writers Festival
13-14/8 — Popular Romance Studies: An International Conference in Brisbane
14-16/8 — RWA National Conference at Sebel and Citigate Hotel in Brisbane
2-6/10 — National Young Writers’ Festival in Newcastle
Book Bizzo is a weekly omnibus of news items, events, and other interesting tidbits related to books, and especially the Australian romance book industry. You can find past Book Bizzo posts here.
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