3rd October, 2018

2018 Independent Publishing Conference: program announced

The program for the seventh annual Independent Publishing Conference, to be held at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne from Thursday 22 to Saturday 24 November, is now live.

As in previous years, the conference will feature a Research Day on Thursday 22 November, at which presenters will share their research in various aspects of publishing; a Trade Day for publishing professionals on Friday 23 November; and a Fundamentals Day for beginners and those interested in entering publishing on Saturday 24 November.

The keynote speakers at this year’s event will be Danika Isdahl of US independent publisher Sarabande Books, appearing at the conference with the support of the Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature office; Rebecca Giblin; and Small Press Network founding member Zoe Dattner.

Other presenters at the conference include Yvette Holt (FNAWN), Bianca Whiteley (Nielsen BookScan), Robert Watkins (Hachette), Rebecca Lim (Voices from the Intersection), Michael Gordon-Smith (Australian Publishers Association), Glen Jones (Amazon), Jonathan Seifman (Booktopia), Belinda Bolliger (Scholastic), Sophie Black (The Wheeler Centre), Chris Gordon (Readings), Caitlin Yates (Black Inc.), Shalini Kunahlin (Text Publishing), Michael Mohammed Ahmad (Sweatshop) and Chiara Priorelli (Wavesound).


Most Underrated Book Award 2018

The conference will also include the announcement of the 2018 Most Underrated Book Award on the evening of Thursday 23 November. This year’s award event, hosted by the Wheeler Centre and sponsored by the Australian Booksellers Association (ABA), will be presented by Louise Swinn. The shortlist for the annual award is due to be announced on Thursday 18 October 2018.

‘Publishing in the Age of Trump’ discussion

This panel on the evening of Friday 23 November will feature keynote Danika Isdahl of Kentucky-based independent publisher Sarabande Books in conversation with Per Henningsaard, a Perth-based publishing researcher with experience in US publishing. Chaired by Emmett Stinson, the discussion will explore the role of US publishers based outside the hub of New York City, and their survival in the current US political environment.

PublishAbilty publisher professional development

In a special training session to be held at the State Library of Victoria on Thursday 22 November, Writers Victoria, with the support of Arts Access Victoria, will hold its disability awareness training tailored specifically to the publishing industry. The training will cover best-practice language; the Social Model of Disability; barriers to participation; the case for inclusion, beyond compliance; and guidance for participants in knowing their organisation’s legal obligations. This professional development workshop is open to anyone working in publishing at the subsidised rate of $25. Places are limited and bookings can be made online here.


Attendees at the Trade Day on Friday 23 November will have the chance to meet a number of podcasters that cover books and writing on their programs: Astrid Edwards (The Garret), Joel Martin (the Morning Bell), Meaghan Dew (Kill Your Darlings) and Elizabeth Flux (Pratchat). The panel will also include audio book expert Chiara Priorelli of Wavesound.

  • Childcare: The Independent Publishing Conference will again offer childcare to attendees. Bookings for childcare must be made when booking tickets, and may not be possible for bookings made less than a fortnight before the conference begins.
  • Tickets: Book tickets here.
  • Key sponsor: the Independent Publishing Conference is supported by Copyright Agency

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