2013 WP Book Fair
What a weekend it was!
Don Pyatt Hall looked incredible, thanks to Liz, who spent hours sewing bunting (so cool, right?) and finding the perfect decorations.
Then, the books themselves, all marked down and arranged neatly due to the enormous efforts of Trevor, our sales rep extraordinaire, and Jonny, warehouse manager and backbone of all WP’s operations.
But the best part of the whole weekend was the authors! We kicked the weekend off with Rodney Fox’s launch, and that guy can tell a yarn. The hall was in stitches for his speech, then they queued up for ages to get their books signed by the man himself.
Other highlights included Lisa Fabry’s talk on the guilt-free benefits of vegan desserts, which had us all drooling, and Derek Pedley’s explanation of the process behind Dead by Friday — an amazing book and an amazing author. Valerie Volk’s fascinating writing processes were explained, and Jude Aquilina treated us to a couple of readings. Bruce Munday explained all things stone walls and Margaret Merrilees gave an excellent overview of her work, The First Week, while Sharon Kernot explained the processes behind the creation of the world in Underground Road.
And, of course, we left Don Pyatt Hall on Sunday night with a lot less books than we’d arrived with on Friday, already talking about how we’ll do it all next year.
Thanks all for coming, enjoying, giving talks or just sipping wine. It’s lovely to have such a great bunch of people reading and interested in Wakefield titles, and it warms the cockles of our Wakefieldian hearts to know that more than a few of you will be reading our books over the break!
The very last of our profiles for the upcoming Wakefield Press Book Fair is not an author, but our very own publisher, Michael Bollen.
Michael is publisher and director at Wakefield Press, where he has worked for 20-odd years. This version of the company was started in 1989 (the fifth incarnation of Wakefield Press, if you can believe it) which means Wakefield has a 25th birthday coming up in 2014. Michael works across all areas of Wakefield, from editing to finance to marketing, and knows the business inside and out.
As Wakefield releases around 40 new titles each year across fiction, true stories, history, food and art, Michael has a large backlist to keep track of – as well as a formidable range of general knowledge!
There is no one in South Australia who knows more about the publishing business than Michael does, and he is an invaluable member of the SA creative community. He’s also a great source of information about the publishing industry, which is why he has been roped in to give a couple of talks during the Wakefield Press Book Fair. You can catch Michael at the fair at 11.00 am on Saturday 14 December or at 1.00 pm on Sunday 15 December.
Come armed with your questions! This is your opportunity to get the inside scoop on what’s happening in the industry, and to find out about the process of publishing your book.
Things are ripping along over here at Wakefield Press HQ. We all know that the lead up to Christmas is the busiest time of the year, but this year we decided to challenge ourselves by bringing out a bunch of new books at the same time. Johnny in the warehouse is getting a workout!
First things first: you’ve all had a peek at Janis Sheldrick’s superb Nature’s Line: George Goyder, Surveyor, Environmentalist, Visionary by now, and bought a few copies for Christmas presents (not yet? Don’t worry, let us help you out with that). This one has been flying off the shelves since it arrived late last month.
Then, of course, you’ve all seen Rodney Fox’s joy at the final version of Sharks, the Sea and Me, an extraordinary autobiography about his extraordinary life. This one will be launched at our book fair extravaganza, which is only three sleeps from now.
In the last few days, we’ve also welcomed in stock of Liz Harfull’s Almost an Island: The Story of Robe, which details the history of the Limestone Coast town alongside beautiful images (see the gorgeous cover to the left). There have been a lot of people eagerly awaiting the arrival of this title, with Harfull’s Blue Ribbon Cookbook one of Wakefield’s most popular titles from the last few years, and Australian winner of the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, in the Best Easy Recipes category.
Last but certainly not least, there’s also Don Loffler’s Holden Days, the hardback reprint of the latest Holden title from Loffler’s extremely popular series. Something to flick through and think about while the productivity commission rolls on.
One of the best things about working for a publishing house is getting to see an author’s face when they see the first boxful of books:
… So much joy, right? And this is a guy who survived a shark attack! It’s a fascinating story, and you can read all about it in his book, available here, or see the man himself at the book launch:
Lisa Fabry‘s two great passions in life – food and yoga – led her to the ‘divine vegan’ concept, a way of combining practical food choices with ethical, moral and spiritual awareness. Born in London, Lisa now lives in Adelaide. She has worked as a film and television producer, writer, editor, barista, chef, and yoga teacher. In between times, she home educated her two daughters, and ran a vegan, organic cafe. You can visit Lisa Fabry at www.divinevegan.com to drool over her desserts, and then you can head to our website to drool over the book, Divine Vegan Desserts!
The passage below is an excerpt on De Bolhoed, a vegetarian restaurant in Amsterdam:
It had been a struggle to find vegan food when travelling for three weeks in France and Italy. My two daughters and I had been living, on the whole, on crusty bread and ripe, knobbly tomatoes. The bread and tomatoes in France and Italy are undoubtedly among the best in the world, but one can overdo it. We were desperate to get to Amsterdam and the myriad vegan eats to be had there. De Bolhoed was our destination for brunch on our first morning. De Bolhoed means ‘The Bowler Hat’ in Dutch. Contrary to internet rumour it was not built on the site of an old hat shop but started about 25 years ago as a health food store and is now a well-known vegetarian restaurant. The owner just thought the name sounded nice! De Bolhoed sits on the edge of one of Amsterdam’s grandest and most beautiful canals, the Prinsengracht, about five minutes walk from the Anne Frank House. You can sit outside by the canal and watch the bikes whizz past, or choose one of the tables inside the cafe where the walls are decorated with painted pumpkin vines and eclectic artworks. It was busy when we arrived and all the outdoor and window tables were occupied, so we sat at a cosy corner table on bench seats below shelves covered with ornaments. We wondered why a big, fat ginger and white cat was looking at us strangely, but when he leaped up and installed himself in the corner of the bench seat we noticed the indentation in the cushion and the cat hairs that told us this was his place. He deigned to share it with us for the morning. The food at De Bolhoed is organic, all vegetarian and mostly vegan, with generous portions at a fair price for expensive Amsterdam. The menu is a mix of world cuisines – Mexican, Asian, African, Mediterranean – with an amazing array of salads which are prepared fresh daily. Each day there is a mixed vegan plate on offer, which contains seven or eight different dishes, both hot and cold. And joy of joys, after three weeks of dessert fasting, there was a tall fridge stuffed full of pies, cheesecakes and cakes, many of them vegan. We had a delicious meal, and although we looked at the other restaurants on my list, we came back to De Bolhoed every day for the rest of our stay in Amsterdam.
Decorations for the 2013 Christmas Book Fair are looking mighty fine, if we do say so ourselves.
We’ve got pretty pinwheels for the kids:
Some amazing quote boards (wise words, JW Eagan, wise words indeed):
And these bad boys have been working on their fierce faces:
Aren’t they adorable?
All thanks to the creative genius of Liz Nicholson! Only two and half weeks to go!