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Sunday, June 20, 2010


THIS WEEK'S GIVEAWAYS are Listening land, The last virgin in year 10 and As the eagle, flies the king. TO BE IN THE DRAW, POST A COMMENT THEN CLICK FOLLOW.
THE CHILDREN’S BOOK COUNCIL CONFERENCE 2010, run by the NSW branch, was an enlightening experience as well as lots of fun. Some of our best known children’s authors and publishers gave their tips. Dee White’s Sandy Fussell’s insights into online marketing was particularly helpful:-

• Dee showed how to schedule a blog tour ( see Sally Murphy’s Aussie Blog Tours for examples) Dee noted the importance of having a different take on your book for different blog hosts., e.g. the author’s journey, the research process, themes, the characters, etc. Doing her online book launch, she said, took around four hours without time for a cup of tea!

• Sandy revealed the secrets of Facebook. The main surprise to me was how a Tweet (from Twitter) and a blog from Blogger can appear automatically on Facebook. Sally also recommended Cassandra Gold’s article online called How Facebook changed my life.

• Sandy Fussell’s website is a benchmark for a great children’s writer’s site. The National Library has declared Sandy Fussell’s site a national treasure by the service. Sally Murphy, who runs Aussie Blog Tours told us about the problems of using rhyme to write verse novels. Thanks, Sally!

A session on Graphic Novels (by Paul MacDonald) showed their growing popularity. Everything from Shakespeare and Pride and prejudice to Maus—winner of the Booker Prize—have taken the graphic novel format to new levels. He recommends The lexicon of comicana. Create your own graphic novel at

A variety of well known icons, from Shaun Tan and his surrealistic picture books to Melina Marchetta’s heart wrenching teen stories about loss and grief were showcased by their authors. Jackie French and Libby Gleeson had launches. Andy Griffiths, Margaret Wild, Julie Vivas--all the big names in Australian children's literature were there and lesser known authors had signings. The heartwarming images of Bob Graham and the stories behind them were inspirational. A pre-release of Jeannie Baker’s Mirror was amazing to see. Look out for it!
There were many more fascinating author talks and publisher displays. If only we could be in three places at once!
Congratulations to Annie, signing her books alongside Margaret and Julie!

Publishers discussing the e-book was an eye opener. Picture books would be more expensive than regular books as e-books because of the technology involved.
Some publishers felt that the lower cost of production meant there would be a greater percentage of royalties for the author. There was no consensus on this point. Stay tuned, as more comes to light on this subject…




  1. Well done again Wendy, I'm so glad you started up Aussie Writers' Blog. Your latest post was very interesting and informative. Thank you, I look forward to more.

  2. Cheers, Lynne.
    It's so important to read the benchmark best in the genre that we write in and the best are certainly on display at these conferences.
    Warm regards,

  3. Thanks for your comment on ACFW's loop, Wendy. I'm glad to see such a healthy output of Aussie children's authors. As a historical romance author, I'd like to try writing an Australian children's book, but think I'd be too clueless as to what youngsters really like today. I guess only by reading what's out there would I discover the secret. Thanks again,
    Rita Stella Galieh

  4. Hi Wendy
    It was a great conference. Many valuable lessons learned and insights gained. I was fascinated (and alarmed) to realise that many publishing houses are now offering royalties after net receipts. It seems that to carve out a niche these days you need to be a spectacularly successful author, nothing less.

  5. Glad to meet you, Rita. We'll be putting up more info on children's writing later. We look forward to seeing something of your work.
    Warm regards,