Recorded at Perth Festival’s Literature and Ideas Weekend, this podcast is a live recording of the seminar ‘A Day in the Life of Bestselling Authors and Booksellers’, hosted by Holden Sheppard, with guests Natasha Lester, Michael Earp, Allyce Cameron and Aisling Lawless.
First, grunge meets high fashion as bestselling City of Fremantle Hungerford alumni Holden Sheppard and Natasha Lester share their insights into the publishing world. Natasha stresses the importance of loving what you write because, as she puts it, ‘Writing a book is like having a child – you can’t just get rid of it. And when you love what you’re writing, the reader can feel that love.’
In the second half, Holden and Natasha are joined by Michael Earp of The Little Bookroom in Melbourne and Allyce Cameron and Aisling Lawless of Dymocks in Morley and Joondalup. The group highlight the value of bookshops in providing community hubs and a personalised experience for readers, and dispel the myth that booksellers just sit around all day reading books. They recommend that authors engage and build relationships with booksellers rather than cold-calling to try to sell their books. Michael Earp cautions, ‘You can’t expect anything from booksellers because there is, financially and physically, not enough space for every new book in the market.’
After the event, Holden Sheppard told Jessica Checkland, ‘Even as a published author chairing one of the panels, I found myself making mental notes as the panellists spoke. I learned so much about navigating different elements of the publishing industry in such a short space of time and the audience members I’ve spoken to have said how incredibly valuable the day was.’
Natasha Lester’s latest book is The Paris Secret.
Michael Earp is the editor of Kindred: 12 Queer #LoveOzYA Stories.
This podcast was recorded at the Business of Being a Writer, a seminar hosted by Fremantle Press. Part of the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program, the event was proudly supported and funded by the WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries.
Music: ‘Letter to a Daughter of St George’, from the Meat Lunch EP: Songs from Floaters. Written by Alan Fyfe. Performed by Trevor Bentley (guitar and vocals – @trevormb) and Chris Parkinson (harmonica). Produced by Blake Carnaby of Nuglife studios with impresario work by Benjamin P. Newton.
Producer: Claire Miller
Mastered and edited by: Aidan d’Adhemar
Sponsor: This show was made possible with a grant from the Copyright Agency's Cultural Fund
Thank you to Jessica Checkland, who volunteered at the event and co-wrote this post. Jessica Checkland is a graduate of Edith Cowan University with a bachelor’s degree in writing. In 2016, she was awarded an ECU Excellence Scholarship. She has volunteered at Peter Cowan Writers Centre and coordinated their 2018 Publication Event. She has written for Junkee Media (2017), worked as a subeditor of literature and film at Dircksey Magazine (2019), and worked for Westerly Magazine (2019) through their internship program. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, and indulging in tsundoku (book hoarding).