We are delighted to be part of the many wonderful small publishers to be featured in the 2019 Small Press Network Christmas catalogue. Our five 2019 titles are listed in the children’s books section in this fabulous catalogue, which goes out to thousands of booksellers and libraries around Australia. But anyone interested in the wonderful range of small-press books being published around Australia can consult the catalogue online, here. Have a look!
Six years ago this month we launched our very first title, Two Trickster Tales from Russia, by Sophie Masson and David Allan. It was very exciting and nerve-wracking too, we were on a steep learning curve and though we had high hopes of course for our fledgling little Press, we also knew big challenges lay ahead in an industry which is a lovely one to be in, but not easy either!
Six years later, we have published 29 books across our three imprints: Christmas Press, Eagle Books and Second Look–we have sold all over Australia, acquired an international rights agent, been shortlisted for literary awards, won a business award, worked with dozens of wonderful authors and illustrators, and achieved a high reputation amongst creators, readers, booksellers, agents, and reviewers. It’s been and continues to be an amazing adventure!
Christmas Press will be going to Sydney next week–first to be part of the SCBWI Conference, and then to cheer on our author John Heffernan as he presents his beautiful book with us, Two Tales of Brothers from Ancient Mesopotamia, in two special events.
On the Monday of the conference we’ll be viewing the Illustrator Showcase, and looking forward to seeing the work of new and established illustrators! We’ll also be conducting a manuscript critique and appearing on a fabulous panel at 2pm about building a brand while maintaining your passion. Our books will also be featured in the conference bookshop and we’re looking forward to meeting authors, illustrators, readers and publishers!
On Tuesday 6th, John Heffernan will be giving a talk at 1 pm Leichhardt Town Library; and will also present at a SCBWI event at 4.30 pm on Wednesday 7th, at the Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft when John will be part of a stellar panel of authors and illustrators from Australia and New Zealand. Both are free events, all welcome. Two Tales of Brothers will be available for sale at both these events, and John will be happy to sign them for you!
Over at the fabulous site Creative Kids Tales, there’s a great new series of interviews, Publishers in Focus, which aims at giving authors and illustrators an insight into publishing houses around the country and how manuscripts get selected for publication. And we’re honoured to be featured on it this week, as one of our directors, Sophie Masson, talks to CKT.
You can read the interview here.
We are very excited here at Christmas Press, because not only have we got some fabulous new titles coming up in our core Christmas Press Picture Books list–watch this space!–but we are also debuting two wonderful new imprints this year–Second Look Publishing and Eagle Books.
Second Look Publishing: New editions, in e-book and print on demand format, of classic out of print Australian children’s literature, featuring plays, poetry and fiction. Our launch title(March 2016) is a completely revised edition, with a new play added, of a hilarious collection of plays for children by Duncan Ball, illustrated by Craig Smith, which we’ve retitled This School is Driving Me Nuts and Other Funny Plays for Kids (originally published in 1988 as Comedies for Kids). It will be followed in July/August 2016 by a new illustrated edition of Libby Gleeson’s powerful first novel, Eleanor, Elizabeth. We plan to publish two-three Second Look titles a year.
Eagle Books: A new list also debuting in 2016, this will focus on adventure novels for older readers, by both classic and contemporary authors. The launch title (April 2016) is a magnificent limited edition of the first new English translation in over a hundred years of a great classic adventure novel by the legendary French author Jules Verne. Translated by distinguished translator Stephanie Smee, with illustrations by David Allan, Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff is a major publishing milestone!
Eagle Books will publish 1-2 titles a year.
More details on the Eagle Books and Second Look websites soon!
We are delighted that our hometown of Armidale now boasts another children’s books publisher besides Christmas Press!
Little Pink Dog Books, which opened for business on December 30 2015, will be specialising in picture books for young children, by new and unpublished authors and illustrators only, and will publish between one and three books a year initially. They are open to submissions at the moment.
Little Pink Dog Books is owned and operated Kathy and Peter Creamer, who are fairly new to Armidale but have previously run a children’s books publishing company overseas. Kathy is an author-illustrator with a long publishing career, and has worked on over sixty books, while her husband Peter looks after the business and production side of things.
We caught up with them this week, and asked them a couple of curly questions!
What’s the reaction been to Little Pink Dog Books so far from authors and illustrators?
The reaction has been remarkably good, with our first manuscript submission arriving just a day after the launch of our new website and Facebook page. Since then, we’ve had submissions arriving at the rate of two or three a week, but unfortunately, not a single submission from illustrators. I think we may need to adjust the information on our website to make illustration portfolio submission a little more prominent.
Other reactions have been that it’s good to see a new publisher that specializes in Children’s picture books.
It’s been viewed as a very enterprising initiative that could help a significant number of locally based talented authors and illustrators.
What are the advantages of running a publishing company from a regional town like Armidale? and the disadvantages?
Armidale is full of creative people who know each other and are keen to work together.
Being a small community, everyone knows about you and what you do, so you don’t have to advertise too much.
Artists and illustrators in Armidale are keen to experiment and we have been impressed with the range of different techniques, skills and media people use as part of their creative expression.
Armidale is on the NBN, which is a fabulous advantage in terms of moving information around.
We are also very conscious that quality is vitally important and hence your reputation stands for a lot!
The book services for printing, distribution and marketing do not appear to be readily available within the Armidale area.
The number of traditional retail outlets for the product is very small in number.
Access to events and shows where one can promote picture books is difficult, but not impossible, with most such events being held in the various state capital cities.
Costs for services, equipment and consumables are also inevitably a little higher than in the larger cities.
Getting your products and the authors and illustrators who created them a public profile will be more expensive here, as they would need to travel to key events usually held in major cities.
Congratulations on the launch of Little Pink Dog Books, Kathy and Peter!
As 2015 draws to a close, we celebrate a great year, with some wonderful achievements for Christmas Press, our gorgeous books, and our fantastic authors and illustrators! Thank you to everyone–creators, readers, booksellers, reviewers; our wonderful production manager Karen Small, our hardworking distributors Dennis Jones and Associates, Australian Standing Orders for ordering our Christmas book again, and all our friends and supporters!
Here’s to a lovely Christmas and an even better year to come!
We are going to be at Book Expo in Sydney this weekend, showcasing our beautiful books, merchandise and exciting things to come. And our fabulous author Duncan Ball will be there on both days doing events. Come and see us there and say hi! By the way, we still have a few free tickets available… email us for details on firstname.lastname@example.org
And check out our Facebook page for Book Expo updates.
This year, as readers know, we moved to hardcover for our beautiful picture books. Doing so introduced a whole new level of complexity, especially as this also meant offshore printing, but our passage to hardcover was eased considerably by working with an absolutely excellent book production manager, Karen Small, of Small but Mighty Productions. Today we want to feature Karen’s fantastic work, both with our books--she has now handled three of them–but also a range of book projects, emanating from both small-press publishers like ourselves and self-publishers, as well as companies. Read what we and others have to say here. We highly recommend her services!