563,000. That’s a big number! 563,000 what, you say? Well, books. 563,000 different ones, in fact. Big books, skinny books, hardbacks, paperbacks. Crime fiction, romance, cats doing funny things, how to grow vegetables on your balcony. In 2016 there were 563,000 different titles that sold at least one copy in Australia. If you were in a giant warehouse with 563,000 titles, how on earth would you choose one? You wouldn’t – because your local bookshop has done this for you. Seriously. They’ve weeded through these 563,000 and carefully selected for you their best 10,000, or 20,000, or however many they [...]
Two novels and a memoir have been selected as the winning manuscripts of the 2017 Affirm Press Mentorship Award. The authors of the winning manuscripts will receive a week’s residency and manuscript development at Varuna, the National Writers’ House in the Blue Mountains. Two members of the Affirm Press editorial team, senior editor Ruby Ashby-Orr and editor Cosima McGrath, will provide in-depth manuscript development and feedback as part of the award. Three very different stories, all with female protagonists, make up this year’s winners. Inheritance by Kathryn O’Connor Eileen and Anita have never met, yet they are connected in the [...]
Imagine having a life-threatening illness only for doctors to think you’re faking it. For fifteen long years this was Sue Currie’s reality. Determined to share her story, Sue enrolled in a writing course and learned how to turn her experience of medical negligence into a powerful memoir. Now, after years of hard work, her book Difficult Patient has been released. We asked Sue about the writing process and the challenge of compressing decades of pain into a book that others could read and benefit from. In the late 90s when I contacted journalists to tell my story, they didn’t believe [...]
Affirm Press’ bestselling 2016 novel The Birdman’s Wife by Melissa Ashley has won the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) Booksellers’ Choice Award.
I read Melbourne author Christian White’s DECAY THEORY in a day, a night and a morning. I was absolutely enthralled; my family didn’t get a look-in. Christian writes with a kind of magic, and I was under his spell from the very first page.
It sounds ridiculous, but I didn’t realise until pretty late in life that books were made by people or that you could work as part of that world. But one of my earliest memories is reading The Pokey Little Puppy on my mum’s lap, squished into her brown 70s rocking chair, which we used to do a lot.
If one in five Australian families are blended, then there must have been plenty of people like Kelly Chandler who fell in love and then ended up with an instant family.
The Birdman’s Wife shortlisted for the General Fiction Book of the Year – Australian Book Industry Awards
We’re incredibly proud that Melissa Ashley’s The Birdman’s Wife has made the Australian Book Industry Award’s shortlist for General Fiction Book of the Year. We did something a bit bold this year when we did our award entries for the ABIAs and decided not to enter the ‘Small Publisher’ award categories. We have always maintained that book-by-book we can compete with anyone, and it’s a mindset we encourage all our stakeholders to adapt. We also think that considering ourselves as a small publisher is a self-fulfilling prophecy, whereas we want to be a big publisher but still retain the spirit [...]
It’s especially satisfying because one of my girls was a reluctant and not-very-confident reader this time last year. Last night, and here’s the reason for my indulgent post, we had ‘a moment’.
The aim of the Mentorship is to help writers get their manuscript to a publishable standard and, if the process is successful, for Affirm to publish the work.
Repose. Tendrils of longing, right to the ends of my fingertips, straight to the depths of my heart. I had been craving it for years, and there it was, in a farmhouse in Italy.
I would have forgotten all about The Little House were it not for Helen Garner’s short essay reflecting on her visceral and enduring memory of a childhood storybook, The Journey of the Stamp Animals.
A couple of years ago Affirm Press publically made a stand in favour of Australia’s strong independent bookshop culture by not supplying paper versions of our titles to Amazon or the Book Depository.
I didn’t set out to write a larrikin. In fact I thought I was writing a serious book. But then Lachie Munro, the hero, or anti-hero of Something For Nothing emerged.
The plan was always to become an editor with a trade publisher (if you check my Grade 12 notebook it has ‘Book editor’ listed as #1 dream job, followed, for reasons I can no longer explain, by ‘Town Planner’).
Growing up, I never appreciated my privilege or paid it any mind to be honest. I was too busy enjoying the fruits of a patriarchal society to really give a stuff about who might be missing out. It wasn’t until my wife and I had twin girls that I really started taking sexism personally.
Affirm Press Sales & Marketing Director Keiran Rogers reflects back on Christmas 2016 and gives us the ten things he hates about Christmas: Booksellers and publishers around the country work their butts off all year and yet it seems there are really only three weeks that matter. You think to yourself 'I’m not sure Harper Collins have done the right thing with Jimmy Barnes as a two book autobiography. Don’t we only care about his music life?' And then you see him speak at the Dymocks conference and watch the book sell 16,266 copies in its first week on BookScan. [...]
What a year 2016 has been! And yet I’ve learned so little. Perhaps the lessons of the recent past will reveal themselves when I’m not panicking about the hundred things undone, the Christmas shopping unshopped, and the promised blog piece for Grace heretofore unwritten. It’s been a bumper year for Affirm Press and we’ve continued the huge expansion of recent years. Blahdy blah. But like every other publisher, we’re weighing up the what ifs – what if we’d recognised what the least successful ten books would be, and focused all our energy on the top ten instead? Why does it [...]
On 7 January I will face my fear of water and swim the world's largest open water event: the Lorne Pier to Pub. I agreed to take on the challenge nearly 12 months ago as a way of raising funds for domestic violence.
Dylan’s lyrics have had a meaningful and lasting effect on countless people. Why shouldn’t song lyrics be considered a valid form of poetry?
The recipients will undertake a one-week residency at Varuna, situated in the inspiring Blue Mountains, and receive one-on-one editorial workshop with editors Ruby Ashby-Orr and Kate Goldsworthy.
Letter to My Teenage Self is the passion project of teenager Grace Halphen who, after having a tough time transitioning between schools, set out to create a book that would help other teenagers feel reassured and less isolated when they went through tough times. The book features letters from 55 prominent Australians offering the advice they wish they’d heard when they were growing up.
Congratulations to Alecia Simmonds on winning the Davitt Award for Non-fiction at the Sisters in Crime gala dinner on Saturday 27 August for her debut book, Wild Man.
Greg French believes that fly fishers have discovered how to develop physical and spiritual connections with nature that are completely sustainable. ‘Trout are found in some of the most wild, romantic and scenically diverse habitats on Earth, and fly fishers the world over share a unique camaraderie, something universally profound and sincere.
I first pitched the idea having seen an article about Dock Street Brewery’s ‘Ain’t Nothing to Funk With’ – a golden saison barrel-aged with the music of Wu Tang Clan. Being a beer and a hip-hop lover I had to investigate, and I realised there are heaps of weird and wacky beers out there but no books dedicated to them. So the idea was born, and Martin and Keiran were foolish cool enough to give me a go at it!
Sometimes it's actually liberating to know that you aren't the best. It might help us concentrate on achieving things that we are more capable of. I'm not saying people should give up, however sometimes I think some people just shouldn't begin in the first place.
We’ve all heard the safety warning on planes before takeoff to always apply your own oxygen mask before attending to your loved ones - the idea being that without your own air, you can’t help anyone else. Well, it’s the same for parenting.
Affirm Press signs one of the inaugural winners of our Varuna Mentorship Award: 2016 applications open
Affirm Press is pleased to announce that we have acquired the rights to publish Paula Keogh’s memoir The Green Bell. In October 2015 Paula received manuscript development from our editors, Ruby Ashby-Orr and Kate Goldsworthy, as part of the Affirm Press Mentorship Award at Varuna House.
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).
‘I used to wake in the morning and put my pants on one leg at a time with hope and belief. Now I lay around pantless with belief only in home deliveries and twist top bottles. Damn you Leunig. My hope has drained away.’ – Tim Rogers (You Am I)