Book Bizzo #13 The long weekend edition

On Thursday, I wrote a post on why I wouldn’t be signing the petition that Dymocks urged its Booklovers subscribers to sign. I never imagined it would get as much attention as it did, so a big welcome to new readers and visitors. If you’re interested, children’s author Sheryl Gwyther is organising a protest against Dymocks on Thursday, April 16, at 10.30am at the Brisbane Dymocks store (cnr Queen and Edward Sts). Click here for details. (Via Christine Bongers)

To clarify: I’m not trying to foist my personal opinion on parallel importation on anyone else, but I’m encouraging people to hear more than just one side of the debate before signing the petition (or not).

Romance book sales are up

You may have already seen this in various blogs, but according to the NY Times: “In a recession, what people want is a happy ending.” Sales of romance books are up, and there are some very good quotes and insights on the buying habits of romance readers: “Romance readers are considered among the most loyal fans, sticking to a series or an author once they have grown attached to one.” We see our books as necessities rather than luxuries. Well, we don’t call it book crack for nothing.

Paranormal Romance Monthly Book Club

Sofia, the paranormal romance guru from Galaxy Bookshop, is trying to organise a monthly after-work get together for paranormal romance readers. She mentioned Tim Tams and afternoon tea and discounts, which all sounds too tempting. There’s a nominal fee to cover the cost of food. If you’re interested in coming along, send an email to Galaxy and mention “Romance Tea Time” in the subject line.

World Book Day and other events

April 23 is World Book and Copyright Day (via Facebook). According to the UNESCO website: “The idea for this celebration originated in Catalonia where on 23 April, Saint George’s Day, a rose is traditionally given as a gift for each book sold.” Books and roses—why have I not heard of this celebration before?!? Not that we need any more excuses to buy books.

Closer to home, the National Young Writers’ Festival will run from October 2 to October 6 in Newcastle, and the Emerging Writers’ Festival will run from May 22 to May 31in Melbourne.

Coming soon

Nalini Singh posted a blurb of Branded by Fire on her blog (and an excerpt here). If, like me, you’re counting the days until Branded by Fire is released (July), Singh has a free short story, A Gift For Kit, to tide us over. I’ll be honest: it’s a bit too sweet for my taste, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers, and I know there are lots of people who can’t wait until Kit grows up enough to get his own book. And speaking of the Pys-Changeling series, Slave to Sensation will be available as an ebook on July 7.

Demon Forged by Meljean Brook will be coming out this October, and here’s a sneak peek (includes an excerpt).

The Courier-Mail has a feature on Queensland writers whose debut novels are coming out this year. One of them is Karen Foxlee, who won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book for The Anatomy of Wings. I’m waiting for my library to buy this book.

An easy way to discover new authors

I found this cool tool for finding new authors—or checking if an author might appeal to you. You enter your favourite author’s name into literature-map and it spits out a map of other authors and how likely they are the appeal to you. Here are some examples: Nalini Singh, JR Ward.

Contests and discounts

  • HelenKay Dimon, Alison Kent and Jill Shalvis are running a contest to promote their new releases. You can find the rules here.
  • Ann Aguirre is running a contest for people who send her a picture of her new release, Blue Diablo, in the wild. The prize is a $50 gift voucher, and you have until Tuesday (her time). You can find more details here.
  • Books on Board is on Twitter, and they tweet Daily Steal discounts for followers.

And other random stuff…

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer won the WHSmith Children’s Book of the Year award at the 2009 Galaxy British Book Awards (via The Book Depository).

A copy of Schindler’s List has been discovered at the  State Library of NSW, in a box of research material  the library acquired from Thomas Keneally, author of Schindler’s Ark (via the SMH).

Kevin Rudd says that if he were eligible to receive the stimulus bonus, he’d buy some books (via Reading Adventures). That’s a great idea except, as Wandergurl pointed out to me, many of us have already spent our bonus money before we’ve even received it.

Finally, a study at the University of Sussex concludes that reading a book for as little as 6 minutes can reduce stress by more than 60% (via The Age). This means that most of us are practically sunbathing on a tropical island. Where’s my cocktail? that’s what I’d like to know.

On that note, I hope you’re all enjoying the long weekend. As for me, tomorrow I’m going Easter egg hunting—a family tradition that’s both violent and fattening. Happy Easter!

Save the date

9-13/4 — Swancon 2009 at All Seasons Perth ($160/140)
18/4 — Richard Morgan at Scarborough Library, 5pm
23/4 — World Book and Copyright Day
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
22-31/5 — Emerging Writers’ Festival in Melbourne
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
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.

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

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