Book Bizzo #2 Sherrilyn Kenyon to visit Sydney, the Sunshine Coast talks romance, and books popular with the five finger discount crowd

Book Bizzo is a fortnightly 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.

A quick bit of navel gazing first. Book Thingo now has a Facebook page. If you “become a fan”, you’ll receive (ir)regular updates and news, plus we’ll post monthly summaries of blog posts for those of you who prefer monthly digests rather than feeds. Feel free to post on our Wall and introduce yourself, give us book recommendations, or tell us what you’d like to see more of on the blog.

We’re also on Twitter. I’m playing around with different ways we can liveblog the Australian Romance Readers Convention in February, given that I don’t have Internet on my phone and I’m not sure I want to lug around a laptop the entire day.

27 sleeps ’til ARRC09

Speaking of the convention, the deadline to sign-up at normal rates (i.e. no late fee) has been extended to Australia Day (Jan 26). Click here for details. The conference will run from Feb 20-22.

Will Sydney see the infamous swan hat?

Sherrilyn Kenyon will be doing a book signing in Sydney, and I can’t be there. Despair! I shall have to beg friends to bring my copy of Acheron to the signing. Or I might take it to Melbourne so I have something to sit on while waiting in queues. Heh. Kenyon will be at at Galaxy Bookshop on Tue, Feb 24 at 5:30pm. E-mail or phone (02) 9267 7222 to register your attendance.

High Tea with Anna Campbell

Wednesday, 11th February, 2pm
Lynn’s Place, 66 Jessica Place, Minyama (supported by the Weekender)
Cost: $25.00 (includes sweet and savoury refreshments) | Bookings: 07 5475 8900

The Weekender features an article by Michelle McLochlan on the appeal of romance literature, with a great interview of Anna Campbell. I particularly love this:

With the romances I write, love scenes tend to increase problems, rather than solve problems.

Having read Claiming the Courtesan, I’d say this is an understatement.

Sunshine Coast author workshops

Is it me or is the Sunshine Coast a preferred location for Aussie romance authors? The local libraries are running a series of workshops featuring romance authors–just in time for Valentine’s Day.

Tue, Feb 10 — Panel discussion on romance writing at Caloundra Library
Featuring Harlequin authors Amy Andrews, Rachel Bailey and Robyn Grady

Thu, Feb 12 — Romance Writers Workshop with Anna Campbell at Maroochydore Library
9.30am – 12.30pm, $25.00 (includes light refreshments) | Bookings: 07 5475 8900

Sat, Feb 14 — Workshop/talk with Amarinda Jones at Beerwah Library, 10.00am

Sat, Feb 14 — Workshop/talk with Amarinda Jones at Coolum Beach Library, 1.30pm

If you can’t get enough of Nalini Singh’s books…

There’s a new (unofficial) Nalini Singh fan forum at As far as I can tell, anyone can read the threads, but you have to register (free) to post.

Books on sale

Free books


A list of book-related competitions and discounts can be found in the sidebar (just under the big square ad).

And other random stuff

I just read the transcript of The Book Show’s (ABC Radio National) interview of Paul Constant, book editor of Seattle newspaper The Stranger. It turns out there’s a best-seller list of stolen books, and graphic novels are quite popular due to their high resale value. Books on Satanism and witchcraft also tend to disappear–from libraries as well as bookstores. Two things stood out for me. First was Constant’s comment on Oprah’s Book Club, which had me chuckling:

The Secret is all about surrounding yourself with beautiful things and thinking only positive thoughts, and then she shoves a post-apocalyptic novel (The Road by Cormac McCarthy) with all sorts of cannibalism and stuff down people’s throats, which makes you wonder whether Oprah maybe is looking to bring about the end times or something if she believes in the positive thinking of The Secret.

More interesting to me (in light of my tediously verbose comments on Dear Author last week) was his comment on Cory Doctorow, a writer and blogger known for making his books available under a Creative Commons license:

a lot of his books are available for free download, and he believes that this helps the sales of his books. I think to a certain respect that probably is true because I don’t know if I would have heard of him if he hadn’t unleashed his first couple of novels for free on the internet. So I think it’s a different fight than music, I don’t think that publishers should be as averse to releasing things for free because books…a lot of what you’re paying for is the paper and the product, and if you can get somebody hooked on an author by having a really slight download, I think that you should do that.

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. Allison says:

    I cannot rave enough about Sherri. I met her at a signing in New Orleans (I’d wanted to see the city for years, but the signing was the catalyst) about four years ago. She’d heard that I was coming from Australia and had extra goodies for me because I’d travelled so far. Then when she met me, she started talking about differences she’d noted between the Kiwi and Aussie accents. I was stunned and totally impressed that she knew so much about how people outside the US talk.

    I met her again on Friday and she said she was sure she’d seen me before. Given that I’d only met her once, years ago and the sheer THOUSANDS of faces she must have seen since then, I was amazed yet again.

    Throughout ARRC, it was clear that she values each fan and she has the skill of treating each one as an individual even without knowing anything about that person other than that they like her work.

    And I also have to give Dianna Love her due. I’m sure it would be pretty daunting to be a relative newcomer to the romance writing industry and set down at a conference table next to (even though she’s your writing partner) by far the most popular and sought after author (if the queue to get your books signed is any indication), but Dianna handles it so well. She doesn’t fade into the background and engages fans in conversation with ease, without trying to compensate and steal the limelight. She is a born people person, never at a loss for words, upbeat and humourous.

    So I’m seeing them both again on Tuesday at Galaxy and they have been duly warned ;)

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