Hello and welcome to Affirm Press # 2. Or maybe it’s #3 or #4. I’m not sure, but we’re evolving. Nearly three years ago, we restructured and committed ourselves wholeheartedly to publishing and we’ve been expanding ever since. We’re officially the fastest growing publisher in Australia, but we pride ourselves more on being the most positive publisher in Australia (through a combination of dynamism, idealism and, frankly, naivety).

April 2016 is another significant lift-off for us. The first of new publisher Fiona Henderson’s Affirm Press titles hit the shelves and we’re really excited about the new breadth she brings to our list. As well as finding great local stories, Fiona has a special knack for acquiring international titles that fit our philosophy of ‘influencing by delight’ and will appeal to Australian audiences. Special mention here to LOVE WINS, the remarkable story of the lovers and lawyers that brought marriage equality to the US, coming in June on the first anniversary of that historic milestone and just in time to put a little pressure on you-know-who). Fiona brings new expertise and focus to Affirm Press ­­– we didn’t know how much we didn’t know until Fiona came on board – as well as making it more fun. Speaking of which…

I’m delighted to announce that Clair Hume joins Affirm Press this month, and will help shape our new kids’ list. Keiran and I, as parents of young girls, have been reading a LOT of kids books in recent years and have been green-lighting book ideas more out of passion than pragmatism (which could be our motto, really). Clair earned her stripes at Penguin, is a cracking kids’ editor, and a perfect cultural fit with us. We won’t have a separate imprint for our new kids’ list as we’re keen for all our books to come under the Affirm Press banner. And although we’ve got some brilliant projects underway, we won’t make a song-and-dance about them until we’ve got materials and publication dates to share.

And rounding out a massive April for us, we are delighted to formally hitch our wagon to Simon and Schuster for all the sales that we cannot reach directly ourselves (all the booksellers we can see at head office level, we sell to ourselves – and we love being able to convey the passion behind our publishing direct to the market). Dan Rufino and his growing team at Simon & Schuster have made us feel very welcome and we feel the two companies complement one another perfectly and we’re looking forward to growing together over coming years.

So, with all this going on, we thought it was a good time to refresh our website so it better conveys who we are and how we’re different. We like to focus on great Australian stories that celebrate the best aspects of our national character – resilience, humour, warmth, positivity, creativity and charisma. We’re confident because we’re focused, and we’re optimistic because we’re having fun. Hope we’ll have you along for the read!

– Martin Hughes, Publishing Director