VIPs 2018 Full Program Details

WEDNESDAY 2 MAY

Industry Forum – Rover Thomas Auditorium, Australia Council for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills

9.00am – 9.30am   Registration

9.30am – 9.45am   Welcome and Introduction

9.50am – 10.25am  Industry Forum Session 1 – Market Update: US

The US book market is the largest in the world, with trade publishing revenue from 2015 valued at $15.84 billion USD according to the Association of American Publishers. For this reason, breaking into the US market is seen as the ‘holy grail’ for Australian authors. What then are the barriers and opportunities for Australian publishers and agents, in trying to make this a reality for their authors? How can we engage more fully with publishers, agents, and readers in the US?

Louise Cornegé, Head of Publicity at Allen & Unwin and recipient of a 2016 Copyright Agency Publisher Fellowship to investigate the way US publishers market and promote books, will join our VIPs for this important discussion.

Panel: Linda Kaplan (US), Daniella Wexler (US), Louise Cornegé – Allen & Unwin (Australia)

Facilitator: Wenona Byrne (Australia Council)

10.30am – 11.05am  Industry Forum Session 2 – Speaking Volumes: Audiobooks & Alternative Formats

The Audio Publishers Association in the US estimates that audiobook sales in 2016 totalled more than USD $2.1 billion, up by almost 20 percent for the third consecutive year, with 67 million listeners in the US alone. While audiobook sales in Australia aren’t currently tracked in a reliable way, the two biggest audiobook providers, Bolinda and Audible, have reported triple and quadruple jumps in revenue respectively over the past several years.

What’s behind this increase in demand? Is the diversification of digital media driving our interest in new ways of accessing stories? Could this explain the recent unexpected sales success of traditionally ‘risky’ genres; such as Rupi Kaur’s bestselling poetry collections; and Nick Earls’ ‘Wisdom Tree’ novella series, released simultaneously in print, as ebooks, and as audiobooks? What are the opportunities and challenges in publishing alternative formats?

Panel: Valeria Bergalli Cozzi (Spain), Kirsty Melville (US), Arpita Das (India)

Facilitator: Pippa Masson – Curtis Brown Australia

11.05am – 11.25am  Morning tea

11.25am – 12.00pm  Industry Forum Session 3 – Do Not Go Gentle: Literary Fiction & Diversity

In December 2017, a report commissioned by Arts Council England (ACE), found that print sales of literary fiction in the UK have significantly fallen since the advent of the internet. ACE’s literature director Sarah Crown noted ‘It’s a much more unforgiving ecosystem for authors of literary fiction today. We inevitably end up with a situation where the people best positioned to write literary fiction are those for whom making a living isn’t an imperative. That has an effect on the diversity of who is writing...’

Is the situation the same for literary fiction around the world? Is part of the problem that literary fiction is hard to define? And what are we doing to ensure that writers from diverse backgrounds are supported and encouraged?

Panel: Linda Vogt (Germany), Janie Yoon (Canada), Sylvie Zannier-Betts (UK)

Facilitator: Fiona Henderson (VIPs Committee)

12.05pm – 12.40pm  Industry Forum Session 4 – Heart of Darkness: Crime & Thriller

According to the 2017 Australia Council and Macquarie University research report, Reading the reader: A survey of Australian reading habits, crime/mystery/thriller is the most popular genre across all categories including non-fiction. The global success of Stieg Larsson and ‘Scandi-Noir’, and of Australian writers of crime and thriller including Candace Fox, Jane Harper, and Michael Robotham, indicates that it’s not just Australians who can’t get enough of literary murder and mayhem.

So what’s the secret to international success? How are Australian authors reinventing the genre? And does the popularity of crime/mystery/thriller show any signs of abating?

Panel: Martin Breitfeld (Germany), Bénédicte Lombardo (France), Julie Paludan-Müller (Denmark), Sabrina Verbeek (Netherlands)

Facilitator: Gaby Naher (VIPs Committee)

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VIPs Networking Lunch – Nomad – 16 Foster St, Surry Hills – $80 per person incl GST

1.00pm – 3.00pm 

Get to know the VIPs in a relaxed setting, over a shared banquet lunch with drinks.

Registrations for the VIPs Networking Lunch have now closed.

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VIPs Networking Drinks – Cake Wines Cellar Door, 16 Eveleigh St, Redfern

5.00pm – 7.00pm 

Join the VIPs for some casual networking drinks and nibbles at the Cake Wines Cellar Door.

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THURSDAY 3 MAY

Business Meetings – Rover Thomas Auditorium, Australia Council for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills

9.30am – 5.00pm  1:1 half hour meetings with the VIPs

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FRIDAY 4 MAY

Business Meetings – Rover Thomas Auditorium, Australia Council for the Arts, 372 Elizabeth St, Surry Hills

9.30am – 5.00pm  1:1 half hour meetings with the VIPs

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