We love books

  • Love your Bookshop Day

    ‘What I say is, a town isn’t a town without a bookstore. It may call itself a town, but unless it’s got a bookstore, it knows it’s not foolin’ a soul.’

    ― Neil Gaiman

    In an age of Internet sales a humble bookshop could seem archaic. In a march to digitise and automate, something so small as a bookshop could be considered an afterthought. Yet, those of us who frequent shelves and bookstalls, who know of other lives and worlds and realms within pages, we know a bookshop is more. It is the soul of a place, wherever that place may be, and the heart of a community.

    This Saturday 12 August marks Love your Bookshop Day, an occasion that invites anyone to celebrate his or her local bookshop, with events and programs throughout Australia. Drop into your local this Saturday to support and celebrate what makes your bookshop special.

    A taste of the events happening around Adelaide:

    • Booked at North Adelaide has a giant book raffle (drawn at 4 pm)
    • Dillons Norwood Bookshop has book readings (2 pm), face-painting and giveaways
    • Imprints Booksellers on Hindley Street has countless of activities and prizes
    • Matilda Bookshop in Stirling has book-buying advice from authors, an illustrator in residence and a competition for a stack of books
    • Mostly Books in Mitcham will be championing a young writers group along with raffles and more

    And of course we are open with our Mile End store, 1 – 5 pm. All books are 3 for 2 (cheapest book free) with a free cat or dog book bag if you spend over $75. We have an I Love My Dog and My Dog Loves Me book giveaway as well.

  • Fifty – Australian Dance Theatre

    It’s difficult to know how to begin talking about a book as beautiful as this. Tracing Australian Dance Theatre’s often tumultuous and always interesting fifty-year history, Fifty contains interviews, archival research, and stunning photography.


    Did you think I was exaggerating? 

    Read an excerpt below, or find out more about the book here

    The beginnings of Australian Dance Theatre were radical, daring and new. The company was created in Adelaide, South Australia in 1965 with a vision to support Australian dancers, choreographers, composers, and musicians, as well as visual and other associated artists. We planned to pioneer contemporary dance throughout Australia and across the world. Through our dance we wanted to inspire people everywhere with the philosophies of the modern art movement that encouraged an awakening in consciousness and an honouring of our shared humanity.

    By 1970 ADT had become a visible force in the theatrical landscape of Australia and was considered to be the national contemporary dance company. How did we do this? In the beginning ADT accepted every opportunity to perform – in theatres, outdoor venues, fashion parades, social functions, school halls and on television talent shows. I constantly sought performance opportunities locally, nationally and internationally, and during the first 10 years we presented regular seasons in Adelaide, toured regionally throughout South Australia, and made regular tours to Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Hobart, Brisbane and regional Queensland and Tasmania. Additionally, the company presented dance workshops, lecture demonstrations, forums and some of the first dance-ineducation programs in Australia, quickly building up audiences for modern dance. Company records for 1971–1973, for example, show that the number of performance attendees was over 58,000. Records show that the number of performances varied each year, ranging between 68 and 173 in the years 1965 to 1975.

    It was a struggle all the way, but I believed passionately in the validity of dance as a powerful art form and an essential part of our humanity. I saw the modern art movement as a vehicle for the expression of contemporary ideas and hoped that it would help lift Australia out of its colonial stagnation. I also believed that modern dance was an excellent way for Australian dancers and choreographers to express themselves as artists, particularly as Australian artists. Through all of its work ADT contributed greatly to the exciting revolutionary social changes that were happening during the 1960s and 1970s both in Australia and internationally. The fruits of the seeds sown by the company in those years are still visible today in both professional dance and educational arenas.

    Founder of ADT, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman

    (Photos top to bottom: Creation. 1969. Dancers: Bert Terborgh, Jennifer Barry, Roc Ta-peng Lei. Choreographer: Elizabeth Cameron Dalman. Photo: Jan Dalman. This Train, 1966, photo taken 1970. Dancers, left to right: Cheryl Stock, Bert Terborgh, Delwyn Rouse, Elizabeth Cameron Dalman, Jennifer Barry, Neville Burns. Choreographer: Elizabeth Cameron Dalman. Photo: Jan Dalman. Be Your Self. Dancer: Troy Honeysett. Photo: Chris Herzfeld, Camlight Productions.)

  • 7 steps of publishing

    One of the things that constantly surprises in this industry, is how little most people actually know about the publishing process. While we’d all like to pretend that the book is written, a wand is waved and then it’s ready to hit the shops, the process is actually a little more laborious than that.

    So here, in the time-honoured tradition of digestible seven-point guides, is Wakefield Press’s seven steps of publishing:

    1. Write the book

    Step one is, of course, deceptively simple. Harness your inner genius, find that moment of divine inspiration, dust off those shoeboxes of notes in the attic, sit impotent in front of a blank screen for days in a row – do whatever it is you’ve got to do! But by the time you come to us, there should be a complete manuscript in your hot little hands. We can’t write it for you (also, surely that would take the fun out of the thing?).

    <em>Throes of Creation</em> by Leonid Pasternak

    Wait, did we say fun? We meant existential torture.

    2. Find the right publisher

    Again, a deceptively simple step. It can be hard to know what publisher would be right for you, so a good rule of thumb is to check who published any of the books that are similar to yours – or any of your favourites of the genre you’re writing in. Most publishers have a website (like this little guy here) where you can check out what they’ve been producing. Judging from Wakefield Press’s website (and a little insider knowledge) I’d say that submitting to WP for SA history, cookbooks or art books would be a good idea. Children’s books, on the other hand, aren’t generally our bag. Spend a bit of time researching for this step!

    3. Get signed

    Perhaps the hardest of the lot. Was it Fitzgerald who had a wall full of rejection slips? And we all know that Harry Potter didn’t get picked up first go. It’s tough out there! Some people go through a literary agent, others slog it out alone. Either way it’s important to remember to remain polite and well organised. Try your best to follow the guideline submissions, and where something hasn’t been specified, just use your common sense. Turnaround times are typically along the lines of weeks or months, rather than days, so give it a good space of time before you consider calling to follow up. Once the publishers have expressed interest, you’ll have a few discussions to negotiate contracts, for which the Australian Society of Authors have a very nifty contract guide to help you out.

    4. Editing

    This is where the fun is at! Your work will most probably be structurally and copy edited, meaning that it will be shaped to bring out the best in the structure as well as being checked for typos etc. It’s common to feel protective at this point, but anyone who’s had a good edit will tell you it’s entirely pleasurable. A good editor will bring out the best in your work and make it look like no big deal at all.


    Entirely pleasurable …

    5. Typesetting

    Everyone’s hung up on the design of a book, and tends to forget about the critical step that takes place before designing: typesetting. The term typesetting is a hangover from the time when every line of type had to literally be set in a press before publication. These days, the term refers to the process of laying out and styling a document so that the text will flow correctly once it has been designed. This means making sure your paragraphs are placed correctly and differentiated from your headings, subheadings, dot points, inset quotes …

    Metal movable type

    Ah, the good old days, when everything was painfully time-consuming.

    6. Design

    Have you seen the Chip Kidd TED talk?? He designed the Jurassic Park book! So cool! And book design is a damn cool area. We’ve all heard not to judge books by their covers – but we totally do, and the designers are totally aware of it. At WP, we consult with our authors over cover design, to make sure we come up with a cover that everyone’s happy with. This is how everyone will picture your book for years to come – you wanna get that stuff right!

    7. Printing

    And now the fun part. So far, it’s just been an idea. But at a certain point, all the word files, all the look-and-feel docs, all the tracked changes and all of the blood, sweat and tears need to become something concrete. The files get sent off and, a few weeks later, a truck backs up to our warehouse with pallets of glorious books. (The smell. The freshness of them. The purity. There’s nothing like a pallet of brand new books.)

    At this point, we send the books out to the bookshops and then the punters come rolling in!


  • The Heaven I Swallowed launches

    I know, I know, we’ve been bad and have neglected this little blog for some time. But we have a good excuse, promise! Recently we launched our new title, The Heaven I Swallowed by Rachel Hennessy. Read all about the launch below, then head over here to purchase a copy yourself!

    Neighbourhood Warch News June 2013 PAGE 7-med[1]

  • Behind the Veil – the Deutsch version!


    Hinter Dem Schleier_Lydia LaubeBehind the Veil cover.1a.indd

    A mysterious box arrived in our office this morning, post-stamped Leverkusen, Deutschland. We soon discovered its contents were none other than five beautifully wrapped books – German editions of the best-seller Behind the Veil by Lydia Laube, published as Hinter Dem Schleier by Drachemond Verlag.

    The Germans have certainly out-done themselves with their version (left) – a stark contrast to ours (right). Let us know which you like best!

    Not only do our German counterparts make lovely books like ours, they also explain the quality of their work in the same way that we do: ‘Machen Bücher glücklich? Wir sagen ja! Daher sind unsere Verlagstitel mit Herzblut erdacht und mit Liebe gemacht.’ (Translation: ‘Books make you happy? We say yes! Therefore our published titles are passionately conceived and made ​​with love. Enjoy your reading!’)


     Lydia Laube

    Above: a very excited Lydia Laube holding her copy of Hinter Dem Schleiner at the Wakefield HQ this morning.

    Click here for more information about Behind the Veil (and if you’re really keen, you can get a bundle of Laube’s armchair travel books for a very special price here.)


  • So, you want to build a dry-stone wall?

    Those Dry-stone Walls 01

    Beautiful stone was nature’s gift to South Australia, and an irresistible building material for early settlers. Many stone walls, without mortar or with no more than mud as glue, have defied gravity and the elements all these years. Or did gravity combine with deft balance to sustain them?

    In Those Dry-stone Walls: Stories from South Australia’s stone age, author Bruce Munday takes us on a journey across the state, exploring the history of SA’s dry-stone walls, and giving an insight into rural life. Hot off the press, this book is not just for history and nature buffs – it contains a comprehensive chapter (‘So, you want to build a wall!’) on DIY dry-stone walling, for those who are keen to have a crack.

    Click here for further information, and to order your own copy!

    Those Dry-stone Walls

    Below, author Bruce is hard at work on his own dry-stone wall (picture by Kristin Munday).

    Bruce Munday_Those Dry-stone Walls

  • Welcome!

                                            Screen shot 2013-01-08 at 1.58.12 PM

    Wow, this year certainly has a lot to live up to after the delicious line up of books created in 2012 … and what better way to kickstart this January than by firing up a brand spanking new blog!

    Keep your eyes peeled and watching this space for regular updates, news, competitions, reviews and more. We always love to hear from you, so keep the feedback coming!