The latest news from the Fremantle Press Sales, Rights and Distribution Manager, Clive Newman
Australian publishing industry icon, Myra Lee, is set to make the move across the ditch to New Zealand at the start of September. Myra was the hugely influential buyer for the Scholastic Australia books in schools program at the time Fremantle Press initiated its picture books for children list in 1991. Our first title was A Sausage Went for a Walk, which has become a perennial bestseller, not least because of Myra’s opening order of 10,000 copies! Some years later when we were chatting at the Bologna Book Fair, Myra confided that she placed that order against the advice of her colleagues (she was allowed to do that) – but that every last copy had sold! A Sausage Went for a Walk has never been out of print since. Myra remained a strong supporter of our developing list of picture books and our fiction titles for younger readers until her retirement. We wish her well in her new life in the Land of the Long White Cloud.
In other news, we’re pleased to be working with our colleagues in the Eastern States. Scribe Publishing purchased the rights to Susan Swingler’s memoir, The House of Fiction: Leonard, Susan and Elizabeth Jolley, for its UK program. The book, which shed never-before-seen light on the private world of one of Australia’s most revered writers, Elizabeth Jolley, was an Australian bestseller in 2012. The UK publication will coincide with a BBC Radio program based on The House of Fiction which will be broadcast in May 2014.
Finally, we’ve got more news from China this month. The children’s picture book, Crocodile Cake, written by Palo Morgan and illustrated by Chris Nixon, was a popular title in our 2009 program. Simplified Chinese language rights were sold to the Chinese publisher, Dolphin Media, through our sub-agents, Andrew Nurnberg and Associates, and Crocodile Cake is now in Chinese bookshops.
See you in the corner next month!