Monday, September 29, 2008

The 'Empire' Strikes back!

A special Summit on the eve of this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair will examine three sometimes overlooked—yet growing and dynamic—English-language book markets.

A century ago, Canada, Australia and New Zealand were part of the British Empire. While that Empire is long gone, these three countries are still considered by some—wrongly—as merely extensions of the dominant British or American book markets.

Nothing could be further from the truth. While they contain predominantly English-language populations, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are now free of their colonial past and are vibrant book markets in their own right, with their own unique publishing cultures.

To encourage greater interaction and cooperation between these three book markets, a special Summit is being hosted by the Association for the Export of Canadian Books (AECB), the Australian Publishers Association and the Book Publishers Association of New Zealand to discuss the many opportunities that exist, and also to explore the common issues and challenges faced by Canadian, Australian and New Zealand publishers.

Participants have been invited from some of the leading publishing companies in each country, including:

• Rob Sanders—Publisher, Greystone Books (Canada)
• Craig Riggs—Partner, Turner-Riggs Consulting and author of the Canadian Book Retail Study done on behalf of the Department of Canadian Heritage
• Juliet Rogers—Global Managing Director, Murdoch Books (Australia)
• Erica Wagner—Children’s Publisher, Allen & Unwin (Australia)
• Margie Wolfe—Owner and Publisher, Second Story Press(Canada)
• Scott McIntyre—Chair, Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group (Canada)
• Teresa Garnett—Manager, Export, Pearson Education (New Zealand)
• Kevin Chapman—Managing Director & Publisher, Hachette Livre (New Zealand)

I'm told the event will also be attended by the Ambassadors of the three countries, in a show of solidarity.

The Summit will be held in Room Esprit, Hall 9.1 on Tuesday 14 October from 8.30am. You'll need to pre-book if you're interested with the AECB.

It promises to be an interesting morning. With more and more agents and publishers separating Canadian and ANZ rights from UK and US rights, there's never been a better time to learn about these markets, and find out what you're missing.

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