I’m just back from a busy two days in Melbourne attending the APA’s ‘Indies Forum’ and catching up with our Penguin Random House distributors. As a member of the APA’s Independent Publishers Committee I participated in the forum, which drew an audience of around 100, evenly split between independent booksellers and publishers. It was a great day, and we had some robust discussion around a number of issues that affect us equally.
Particular focus was on the all-important supply chain and how we can improve access to up-to-date information about titles and stock, and ensure accurate and timely supply of books while reducing returns and damaged stock. There were also stimulating conversations about the future of bookselling and the need to innovate to attract, keep and grow a new generation of readers.
On Tuesday I took a tour of the enormous UBD warehouse in Scoresby where our books are despatched to retailers all over Australia and New Zealand. The state-of-the-art logistics in receiving, selecting and packing thousands of books every day is incredible to see. We were proud as always to see, among hundreds of titles, our own Fremantle Press books represented. It’s from these shelves that our books make their way out to booksellers, who play a vital role in getting Western Australian stories to national and international readers.