Book Bizzo #12 Selling books, writing books

Novel Idea Book Vending Machine
Novel Idea Book Vending Machine

Book vending machines come to Australia

Earlier this week, the Novel Idea Vending launched its first book vending machine at Circular Quay. According to Franchising magazine, Booktopia and Dymocks have expressed interest in the concept. According to the article: “Typical outlets for the purpose built vending machines which offer a range of bestselling paperbacks, packed in presentation boxes, are likely to include airports, colleges, schools, hospitals, hotels and military bases” and selling an average of 8 books a day is enough to make the business viable.

Romance Writers of Australia website revamp

RWA launched its new look website on April 1. Go check it out. It has a much more elegant, more contemporary feel than the old one. I wish they had a media mailing list or RSS feed for press releases. It would make it much easier to find new info.

Booktopia does romance

Online bookseller Booktopia now has a dedicated newsletter for romance readers. You can read the first issue of the Booktopia Romance Buzz here. Subsequent issues will be edited by Kate Cuthbert, who used to write romance reviews for the Brisbane Courier-Mail and who now runs The Australian Romance Reader website.

More ARRC round-ups

Vassiliki, my wonderful librarian who came along to the Australian Romance Readers Convention, has posted summaries for the panels she attended on the Readers’ Advisory Services wiki:

Anna Campbell has also posted links to audio recordings for the launch of Tempt the Devil as well as the session on historical heroes. My understanding is that audio files for all but one of the sessions will be available from the ARRC committee, but I don’t have info on when they’ll be available or for how much.

Click here for our round-up of ARRC09.

Sydney Writers Festival

The programme for the Sydney Writers Festival has been announced, and there’s a huge line-up of author talks and workshops. There’s a variety of free and ticketed events. Not so many romance(ish) authors, though, from what I saw. There are also a couple of sessions on blogging, which may be interesting (to me, anyway). The festival runs from May 18 to May 24.

Byron Bay Writers Festival

Early bird tickets to the Byron Bay Writers Festival is now on sale (but the programme won’t be out until June). The festival will run from August 7 to August 9.


Finalists for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards have been announced, and Matilda has posted a list of titles and authors. Sad to say, I’ve only read one of the books: A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz, and I didn’t even finish it. (Depressing from start to finish and no amount of exceptional prose would be enough to get me through something like that.) I’m pretty sure I saw the All Saints episode on the list, though, since I rarely miss the show.

And other random stuff…

I totally forgot to post this when I first saw it, but check out this BBC article, Trashy book amnesty (which would be a fab theme for a month, now that I think about it). I love this quote from author and Guardian columnist John Sutherland:

“[If] you look at my bedside table right now, there’s Robert Crais’ Demolition Angel, Sleep With Me by Joanna Briscoe, The Long Rain by Peter Gadol and Nicci French’s Killing Me Softly… You’re not going to write that are you? I’m an academic with a reputation to uphold, remember.”

Check out the trailer for the movie adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s classic children’s book Where the Wild Things Are. Bridget McGovern nails it for me when she describes why the book is so well loved:

Where the Wild Things Are always represented the purest and most honest expression of the desire for freedom, adventure, and control felt in response to the relative powerlessness of being a child in an adult world.

And finally, thanks to Decadence, if you missed Lost in Austen, check out the pond scene. Colin Firth or Elliot Cowan? You be the judge!

Save the date

9-13/4 — Swancon 2009 at All Seasons Perth ($160/140)
9/4 — Trudi Caravan at Osborne Park Library, 11.30am
18/4 — Richard Morgan at Scarborough Library, 5pm
8/5 — Richard Morgan at the Melbourne Science Fiction Club, 9pm
18-24/5 — Sydney Writers Festival
21/5 — Richard Morgan at Galaxy Bookshop, 5:30pm
23/5 — Richard Morgan at Gaslight Book, 3-4pm
27/5 — Richard Morgan at Pulp Fiction, 6.30pm
7-9/8 — Byron Bay Writers Festival

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.

Did we miss anything important? Got a book event coming up? Feel free to send tips, press releases, and any other interesting links to


  1. Kat says:

    Marg, I was determined no one can surpass Colin Firth, but I’m seriously reconsidering that now. Honestly, that Amanda is a dunce. If it’d been me, I’d have said, Stuff Jane Austen, this is MY story now. LOL

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