2012 ARR Awards, Library digital download event, Romance sends readers to therapy, National Year of Reading, ACCC informal review of REDgroup acquisition and other industry news

2012 ARR Awards, Library digital download event, Romance sends readers to therapy, National Year of Reading, ACCC informal review of REDgroup acquisition and other industry news

Tidbits -- news, links and interesting things2012 ARR Awards

The 2012 Australian Romance Readers Awards will be held on Saturday, February 11, 2012 at Cello’s Resturant in Sydney (same venue as last year). Book it in and start saving!

Am I the only one who wants to rename this to the Pirate Awards? I wonder if we can have a pirate-themed bling off?

Shannon Curtis at Burwood Library

Shannon Curtis will be at Burwood Library on July 30 to launch her debut release from Carina Press, The Viper’s Kiss. Readers are invited to bring their ebook readers, laptops and USB gizmos to the ‘digital download event’. I love this idea! You can buy a copy of the book using the library’s free WiFi and have a chat about the library’s ebook community and digital lending program. (Source: ARRA newsletter — Worth the price of membership, just for the events notices, but it has excellent articles, too!)

Going digital with Angela James

Carina Press executive editor, Angela James, will be speaking at the Australia Council for the Arts on Tuesday, August 16 as part of an if:book Australia initiative. The cost is $49.50 and you need to RSVP by Friday, August 12. The seminar is aimed at people interested in the publishing side of the business, rather than readers. Click here for booking details. (Source: @VaVeros)

Romance fiction in the media

There’s been a bit of a kerfuffle in romancelandia over an article in the British Journal of Family Planning and Reproductive Health Care, which criticises romance fiction for women’s unrealistic expectations of love and men, and for not emphasising condom use enough. This article by Judith Ireland, Romance fiction no bed of roses, in The Canberra Times, is more balanced that a lot of the other coverage I’ve read, with quotes from the paper’s author, psychologist Susan Quilliam, as well as Relationships Australia CEO, Mary Pekin, author Anna Campbell, and reader/reviewer Kate Cuthbert. (Source: ARRA loop)

If you’ve seen the media articles around the paper, I’d encourage you to read Quilliam’s essay in full (available online here). I think her conclusion is a little misguided—or at least requires too much generalisation and relies on questionable assumptions—but she makes some very positive comments about modern romance fiction as well.

2012 will be the National Year of Reading

The federal government will be contributing $1.3 million towards the National Year of Reading in 2012, an initiative by Australian state and public libraries and library associations to encourage reading and literacy. Check out the website here. The additional funding was announced at the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards last week. (Source: BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER — includes PM Award winners)

ACCC to conduct informal review of REDgroup acquisition

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) will be conducting an informal review of the Pearson acquisition of REDgroup online. Submissions close on July 29 and findings should be released August 11. Click here for details. (Source: BOOKSELLER+PUBLISHER)

Interestingly, in the UK publishers have asked the Office of Fair Trading to investigate Amazon’s acquisition of The Book Depository. Concerns revolve around reduced competition, market power and fairness of competition between internet retailers and physical bookshops. (Sources: @Tim_Coronel, FutureBook, The Bookseller)

Amazon Australia?

The Australian reports that Amazon web services plans to open a data centre in Sydney by early next year for its cloud computing arm. The Australian also speculates that Amazon may be looking to formally enter the Australian book market. Amazon’s comment is pretty much a ‘no comment’, but I reckon given Amazon’s preference for avoiding legal restrictions and local taxes, PIR and the GST may make an Australian shop less attractive. (Source: @PublishersWkly)

Ebook reader integrated with Google eBooks platform

Google and iRiver have launched the first ebook reader that integrates with the Google ebooks platform. The iRiver Story HD will be on sale in the US from next week. It features WiFi, 6” eInk screen and a keyboard. (Source: The Bookseller)

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