Catch up on all the latest news from Penguin Random House Australia including award winning authors, illustrators, designers, publishers and other publishing industry and book related news.
More than 40 aspiring writers attended the inaugural Penguin School of Popular Writing held at Penguin’s new head office in Melbourne last weekend to learn what it takes to make a bestseller – and how to write one themselves.
With a focus on commercial women’s fiction, the full-day seminar featured inspiring presentations by Penguin Publisher Ali Watts and Penguin Editor Carol George, as well as practical workshops by international bestselling Australian authors Anne Gracie and Fiona McIntosh which had the students laughing aloud, taking copious notes, and asking plenty of questions.
'Our inaugural Penguin School of Popular Writing was a terrific day. A great group of people made our first event of this kind informative, inspiring and fun. Our guest authors were truly sensational.' – Ali Watts, Penguin Publisher
The overwhelming response from students has exceeded expectations with comments including:
“It’s the type of information that’s often hard to get and yet so helpful and insightful.”
“It was great to have the focus on more commercial aspects of fiction.”
“The practical information on plot, character and detail was most inspiring.”
“Excellent to hear from Australian published authors. Encouraging but realistic advice.”
'We’ve been thrilled with the enthusiastic response to our first Penguin Writing School. We love the way it brings us into direct conversation with aspiring writers and voracious readers, and we’d like to see whether there’s interest in other cities, and of course other genres in which we have expertise, so we’ll be offering further writing days throughout the year, presented by a mix of our editors and authors.' – Ben Ball, Penguin Publishing Director
Details for the next Penguin School of Writing will be announced on www.penguin.com.au
The following books are finalists in the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Association Awards.
Favourite Paranormal Romance
Archangel of Mercy by Christina Ashcroft
Favourite Sci Fi, Fantasy or Futuristic Romance
Alliance Forged by Kylie Griffin
Blood Kin by MJ Scott
Favourite Historical Romance
A Duchess to Remember by Christina Brooke
Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie
Mad About the Earl by Christina Brooke
Favourite Contemporary Romance
Heart of the Valley by Cathryn Hein
Rules Are For Breaking by Imelda Evans
Zoe's Muster by Barbara Hannay
Favourite Erotic Romance
Bared to You by Sylvia Day
Favourite Romantic Suspense
Burning Lies by Helene Young
Favourite Continuing Romance Series
Heiress In Love: A Ministry of Marriage Novel by Christina Brooke
Favourite Australian Romance Authors 2012
Members' Choice Categories
Best First Meeting Between Couple in a Romance Published in 2012
Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston
Best Love Scene from a Romance Published in 2012
Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie
Favourite Cover from a Romance Published in 2012
Blood Kin by MJ Scott
Voting will close on February 13 2013
It’s been a record year online for Penguin Australia, with traffic to penguin.com.au up 20% according to the latest Hitwise figures, and new sites launched for the Penguin Teacher’s Academy, Destiny Romance and Lantern Books.
Penguin Australia’s marketing director Sally Bateman said ‘we’re delighted by the number of visitors coming to the Penguin website. We really want the site to be a destination for readers, where they can discover new books and authors, dip into the latest new releases or simply have all the latest news, videos and interviews from their favourite books and authors at their fingertips. Our UX and online design and development teams are working hard to make sure the Penguin online experience is always changing and most importantly engaging – so whether it be the Classics you’re after, or Penguin’s latest digital offerings, the site is easy to navigate and information is always close to hand. We hope it really is a backstage pass into Penguin’s world of reading.’
A dedicated video channel will be launched on penguin.com.au in early January to compliment Penguin’s growing social media presence which now includes over 85,000 fans on Facebook, as well as market leading accounts on Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Vimeo and Google+.
You can check out the latest offering from Penguin online – an interactive Christmas Gift here which is part of Penguin’s consumer marketing campaign for Christmas.
Penguin Books Australia is proud to launch the Penguin School of Popular Writing, an exclusive one-day seminar for aspiring writers of commercial fiction. Learn from industry-leading insiders Ali Watts (Associate Publisher at Penguin), Carol George (from Penguin’s new digital imprint, Destiny Romance) and award-winning Australian authors Fiona McIntosh and Anne Gracie just what it takes to make a bestseller – and how you can write one yourself.
With a particular focus on Commercial Women’s Fiction, this will be an inspiring and informative day-long seminar for anyone interested in what goes on behind the scenes in the book world.
This exclusive one-day seminar is on Saturday 19 January 2013 at Penguin Books Australia, 707 Collins Street, Melbourne.
For registration, booking information and fees visit Penguin School of Popular Writing.
For further information contact General Publishing at Penguin.
Issued by Penguin Group (Australia) on behalf of Christine Courtenay
It is with sadness Penguin Group (Australia) wish to advise that Bryce Courtenay AM passed away peacefully at 11:30pm on Thursday 22 November in Canberra with his wife Christine, son Adam and his beloved pets Tim, the dog, and Cardamon, the Burmese cat by his side. He was 79.
Christine Courtenay said this morning, “We’d like to thank all of Bryce’s family and friends and all of his fans around the world for their love and support for me and his family as he wrote the final chapter of his extraordinary life. And may we make a request for privacy as we cherish his memory.”
Gabrielle Coyne, Chief Executive Officer, Penguin Group (Australia) said, “It has been our great privilege to be Bryce’s publisher for the past 15 years. We, as well as his many fans will forever miss Bryce’s indomitable spirit, his energy and his commitment to storytelling.”
Bob Sessions, Bryce Courtenay’s long standing Publisher at Penguin said, “Bryce took up writing in his fifties, after a successful career in advertising. His output and his professionalism made him a pleasure to work with, and I’m happy to say he became a good friend, referring to me as ‘Uncle Bob’, even when we were robustly negotiating the next book contract. He was a born storyteller, and I would tell him he was a ‘latter-day Charles Dickens’, with his strong and complex plots, larger-than-life characters, and his ability to appeal to a large number of readers.
“Virtually each year for the last 15 years, I have worked with Bryce on a new novel. He would write a 600 page book in around six months, year in, year out. To achieve that feat he used what he called ‘bum glue’, sometimes writing for more than 12 hours a day. He brought to writing his books the same determination and dedication he showed in the more than 40 marathons he ran, most of them when he was well over 50. Not to have a new Bryce Courtenay novel to work on will leave a hole in my publishing life. Not to have Bryce Courtenay in my life, will be to miss the presence of a very special friend.”
The last word belongs to Bryce himself. In a moving epilogue in his final book, Bryce said to readers “It’s been a privilege to write for you and to have you accept me as a storyteller in your lives. Now, as my story draws to an end, may I say only, ‘Thank you. You have been simply wonderful.’
Please direct media enquiries to either:
Anyez Lindop, Phone 03 9811 2512 or Mobile 0419 008 556
Sally Bateman, Phone 03 9811 2496 or Mobile 0419 515 879
29 October 2012
Penguin and Random House to Combine Creating the World’s Leading Trade Publisher; Penguin Random House
London and New York – Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce an agreement to create the world’s leading consumer publishing organisation by combining Penguin and Random House.
The combination brings together two of the world’s leading English language publishers, with highly complementary skills and strengths. Random House is the leading English language publisher in the US and the UK, while Penguin is the world’s most famous publishing brand and has a strong presence in fast-growing developing markets. Both companies have a long history of publishing excellence, and both have been pioneers in the dramatic industry transformation towards digital publishing and bookselling.
Under the terms of the agreement, Penguin and Random House will combine their businesses in a newly-created joint venture named Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann will own 53% of the joint venture and Pearson will own 47%. The joint venture will exclude Bertelsmann’s trade publishing business in Germany and Pearson will retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets worldwide.
Bertelsmann will nominate five directors to the Board of Penguin Random House and Pearson will nominate four. John Makinson, currently chairman and chief executive of Penguin, will be chairman of Penguin Random House and Markus Dohle, currently chief executive of Random House, will be its chief executive.
In reviewing the long-term trends and considerable change affecting the consumer publishing industry, Pearson and Bertelsmann both concluded that the publishing and commercial success of Penguin and Random House can best be sustained and enhanced through a partnership with another major international publishing house. They believe that the combined organisation will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets. The organisation will generate synergies from shared resources such as warehousing, distribution, printing and central functions. Pearson and Bertelsmann intend that the combined organisation’s level of organic investment in authors and new product models will exceed the total investment of Penguin and Random House as independent publishing houses.
The two companies believe that the combination will create a highly successful new organisation, both creatively and commercially, with the breadth and investment capacity to deliver significant benefits. Readers will have access to a wider and more diverse range of frontlist and backlist content in multiple print and digital formats. Authors will gain a greater depth and breadth of service, from traditional frontlist publishing to innovative self-publishing, on a global basis. Employees of the new organisation will be part of the world’s first truly global consumer publishing company, committed to sustained editorial excellence and long-term investment in a rich diversity of content. And shareholders will benefit from participating in the consolidation of the consumer publishing industry without having to deploy additional capital.
The combination is subject to customary regulatory and other approvals, including merger control clearances, and is expected to complete in the second half of 2013.
In 2011, Random House reported revenues of €1.7bn (£1.48bn) and operating profit of €185m (£161m). Penguin reported revenues of £1.0bn and operating profit of £111m with total assets of £1.0bn. After completion, Pearson will report its 47% share of profit after tax from the joint venture as an associate in its consolidated income statement.
Under the terms of the agreement, neither Pearson nor Bertelsmann may sell any part of their shareholding in Penguin Random House for three years. To protect Pearson’s interests as a minority shareholder, if Bertelsmann declines a Pearson offer to sell its entire shareholding, Pearson may require a recapitalisation by which Penguin Random House raises debt of up to 3.5x EBITDA, with a dividend distributed to shareholders in line with their ownership. In addition, from five years after completion, either partner may require an IPO of Penguin Random House.
Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said: “Penguin is a successful, highly-respected and much-loved part of Pearson. This combination with Random House – a company with an almost perfect match of Penguin’s culture, standards and commitment to publishing excellence – will greatly enhance its fortunes and its opportunities. Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.“
Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann, said: “With this planned combination, Bertelsmann and Pearson create the best course for new growth for our world-renowned trade-book publishers, to enable them to publish even more effectively across traditional and emerging formats and distribution channels. It will build on our publishing tradition, offering an extraordinary diversity of publishing opportunities for authors, agents, booksellers, and readers, together with unequalled support and resources.”
John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin, said: “All of us who work in book publishing experience every day the breathtaking pace of change in our industry. The partnership that we are announcing today will position Penguin Random House at the forefront of that change. Our access to investment resources will allow us to take risks with new authors, to defend our creative and editorial independence, to publish the broadest range of books on the planet, and to do it all with the attention to quality that has always characterised both our great companies.”
Markus Dohle, Chairman & CEO of Random House, adds: “Our new company will bring together the publishing expertise, experience, and skill sets of two of the world's most successful, enduring trade book publishers. In doing so, we will create a publishing home that gives employees, authors, agents, and booksellers access to unprecedented resources. I deeply believe that the support and services that we will be able to offer, coupled with the creative and editorial independence that we will continue to maintain, will benefit everyone in the book publishing environment, especially our passionate readers from today's generation to the next.”
For more information please contact:
+44 (0) 78 0890 5288
+44 (0) 20 7010 3345
Jamie Oliver returns to Network Ten with Jamie's 15 Minute Meals: a new cooking series that pushes the concept of fast, nutritious, everyday food to the next level. The series coincides with the release of his new cookbook Jamie's 15 Minute Meals.
Building on the phenomenal success of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals, in this series each half hour episode will offer two fifteen minute meals back to back to inspire viewers and show them just what they can achieve in a short space of time, every single day of the week.
Jamie's 15 Minute Meals, starts Thursday 25 October on Network Ten at 7:30pm. Jamie cooks Chilli Con Carne Meatballs, plus Sticky Kicking Chicken, Watermelon Radish Salad and Crunchy Noodles.
Destiny Romance, Penguin Australia’s digital romance imprint is offering romance lovers a free digital short story by popular romance author Anne Gracie this month. Anyone who registers at destinyromance.com, will have the opportunity to read The Laird’s Vow, a charming historical romance by this three time shortlisted RITA award author.
Launched in August in Australia, Destiny Romance is quickly gathering momentum. The imprint which publishes eBooks across the romance genres of contemporary, historical, suspense, paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi and erotica, has a strong emphasis on discovering new Australian voices in the world of romantic writing.
The Destiny Romance website also allows readers internationally to purchase eBooks from the site, so they can enjoy their Destiny Romance eBooks anywhere – from the coffee shops of New York, to the tube stations of London and the beaches of Queensland.
The Penguin team behind Destiny Romance, Sarah Fairhall and Carol George, said “We are proud to be delivering Australian stories in a genre we both love, in a format that reflects changing tastes and times, and to a worldwide audience.”
Current titles available include:
For more information please contact:
Alysha Farry, Marketing & Publicity Manager, Penguin Australia
email@example.com or 0419 220 108