Independent Publishing Conference 2020

November 26November 28, 2020

The 2020 Independent Publishing Conference will be held entirely online on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November 2020. This will be the ninth consecutive year for the conference, the only annual industry-wide event for the book publishing sector in Australia.

Ticket sales are now live at

There are deep discounts for all SPN members, students and the unwaged.

Sam Missingham

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Sam Missingham (below), founder of the UK-based marketing agency The Empowered Author. Sam is widely known as ‘The best-connected person in book publishing’. She will speak on the themes of ‘resilience and recovery’ as we begin to contemplate a post-Covid world.

The conference will conclude with a state of the industry discussion featuring the heads of the Australian Publishing Association, Australian Society of Authors, Australian Booksellers Association and Australian Library and Information Association.

Across the two days, the conference will host a wide range of other speakers, who will deliver presentations on topics such as Women of Colour in publishing, publishing opportunities in South East Asia, metadata best-practice, and a roundtable on the university press sector.

Also, the announcement of the shortlist for the inaugural 2020 Book of the Year Award will take place on the evening of Thursday 26 November. This will be a free online event, but please book tickets at


Tickets to the 2020 conference are available now.

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Add to Calendar 2020-11-26 08:00:00 2020-11-28 17:00:00 Australia/Melbourne Independent Publishing Conference 2020

The 2020 Independent Publishing Conference will be held entirely online on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 November 2020. This will be the ninth consecutive year for the conference, the only annual industry-wide event for the book publishing sector in Australia. Ticket sales are now live at There are deep discounts for all SPN members, students […]




Alejandro del Castillo

Alejandro del Castillo is a Mexican writer and publisher. He is an editor at small independent publisher Revarena. Among other recognitions, his book ‘Irineo’ was awarded with the International Novel Prize of Literature Rosario Castellanos 2019. He completed a Master of Executive Arts at the University of Melbourne.

Andrew Farrell

Andrew has been working in publishing and book distribution for 30+ years, previously with Pan Macmillan, Dennis Jones & Associates and now running his own company, eBook Alchemy, concentrating on global digital distribution of eBook and print-on-demand editions for over 50 Australian publishers and self-published authors, with almost 1000 eBooks and 700 POD titles.

Bianca Whiteley

Bianca started her career in publishing at Murdoch Books in 1999 and spent seven years in various roles, including Inventory Management. While her latest role is Territory Manager for Nielsen Book Australia, Bianca joined Nielsen Book in 2006 where for the past 14 years she has helped publishers and retailers make the most of the […]

Blaise van Hecke

Blaise lives and breathes books, writing and ideas. Her latest book, a travelogue, is 50 Days for Fifty Years: Walking the Camino de Santiago. She is a writer, publisher and writing mentor, helping people harness their ideas through workshops, mentorship and publishing through her company, Busybird Publishing.

Cat Colwell

Cat Colwell is the Supply Chain & Export manager at the APA, the national association for book and educational publishers. She manages TitlePage, the industry bibliographic look-up service and coordinates APA’s international book fair programs – including their conversion to a digital presence and launching the Books From Australia website.

Chris Gordon

Christine Gordon is the Programming Manager of Readings, a role she has enjoyed for many wonderful years now. She was a founding member of the Stella Prize, and she sits on the board of the Victorian Women’s Trust, the Emerging Writers Festival and the Readings Foundation. She lives in Melbourne with her bloke and their […]

Claire West

 Claire (she/her) began working in the book world in 2006 at Borders, and has held various roles within the industry since then including Children’s Buyer for Dymocks George St and Book Category Buyer for Berkelouw/BOOKFACE. She joined the Nielsen BookDatateam in January 2020 as Senior Account Executive: Publishers and became an Account Manager in 2022. […]

Debbie Lee

Debbie Lee is Senior Manager, Content Acquisition and Business Development, Ingram Content Group. She works with publishers large and small across all market sectors, to assist with their print on demand, ebook and global distribution requirements. Debbie has experience as a trade sales rep, promoting literary fiction, non-fiction and children’s books, and as a publisher […]

Emmett Stinson

Emmett Stinson is a Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University and was a co-founder and past President of the Small Press Network. He is the author of Known Unknowns (2010) and Satirizing Modernism (2017).

Gary Pengelly

Gary has worked in the industry for 37 years having held roles with Harper Collins, McGraw-Hill and Thorpe-Bowker. He started the industry e-commerce service PacStream and is currently co-owner of Books+Publishing along with responsibility for the Australian ISBN Agency and Bowker Data Products.

Gene Smith

Gene Smith is a writer and literary programmer, and Associate Director at Melbourne Writers Festival. Before joining the festival in 2018 he managed Sydney Writers’ Festival’s live stream program. He has been an assessor for Creative Victoria’s literature grants and is currently undertaking a Master of Writing and Publishing at RMIT.

George Dunford

George Dunford is Content Director at ArtsHub and screenhub. He has written for Meanjin, The Big Issue, Lonely Planet and others. He has undertaken digital leadership roles in the cultural sector for more than 10 years, including at the National Library of Australia, National Museum of Australia and the Wheeler Centre.

Jodie Martire

Jodie Lea Martire is a writer and editor who lives in Brisbane. She is currently studying a Master of Communication for Social Change, and is researching the strategies that Australian small presses use to publish and promote neglected and silenced voices. Her website is

Léa Antigny

Léa is a publicist with wide-ranging experience in the publishing industry. She has worked on media campaigns for local and international authors across an array of genres including literary and commercial fiction, non-fiction, essays, poetry, illustrated and lifestyle. She is currently Head of Publicity and Communications at Pantera Press.

Martin Shaw

Martin Shaw has 25 years experience in Australian books and publishing. For many years he was the head book buyer for Readings bookshops. In 2020 he launched his own boutique literary agency, Shaw Literary, devoted to the very best Antipodean fiction and non-fiction.

Michael Webster

Michael Webster has chaired Copyright Agency Limited, the Small Press Network (SPN) and the Melbourne Writers Festival. He established Bookscan in Australia, has published for large and small publishers, and has been on the board and committees of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, the Australian Publishers Association (APA), Australian Booksellers Association (ABA) and the […]

Nathan Hollier

Dr Nathan Hollier is CEO and Publisher of Melbourne University Press and a member of the Scholarly and Journals Committee of the Australian Publishers Association. He is a past Director of Monash University Press, past Editor of Overland magazine and was founding Chair of the Small Press Network.

Nicola Evans

Nicola Evans is the Head of the Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund and Reading Australia. She has worked in the literature sector for over twenty-five years, as an editor, as Program Manager for the Literature Board of the Australia Council, and as Program and Communications Manager for the Australian Publishers Association.

Olivia Lanchester

Olivia Lanchester is the CEO of the Australian Society of Authors (ASA). Previously, Olivia worked as an intellectual property lawyer in private practice and – for a short time – as a freelance editor. Olivia advises authors and illustrators on all aspects of the publishing process, and is highly experienced in the negotiation of publishing, […]

Rachel Bin Salleh

Rachel Bin Salleh is descended from the Nimunburr and Yawuru peoples of the Kimberley region of WA. Rachel is passionate about Indigenous people telling their stories and started her career in publishing at Magabala Books in the 1990s.

Renée Otmar

Renée Otmar has been a professional editor since 1989 and has worked extensively as an editor, public health researcher and ethicist. She is a consultant and practising editor in academic, creative nonfiction and fiction genres – in contemporary fiction, historical fiction, crime fiction and romance. She is a writer, ghostwriter and producer of life stories. […]

Robbie Egan

Robbie Egan is CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association. Over 25 years in bookselling have fuelled his passion for books and bookshops. He believes that collaboration between publishers, authors and booksellers can improve our industry, generate meaningful jobs, and change lives through the transformative powers of literature.

Sam Missingham

Sam Missingham is an award-winning book marketer and publishing commentator. She runs The Empowered Author, (, a book marketing membership service for authors. And, she works as a consultant for publishers and authors. She worked at HarperCollins UK for four years as head of audience development, where she ran large-scale marketing campaigns that connected books […]

Simon Groth

Simon Groth is a writer and long-time observer of publishing and technology. His award-winning experimental works include the 24-Hour Book, live writing events around the world, and stories published to billboards. His latest novel, Ex Libris, contains twelve randomised chapters, each copy one of half a billion possible variations.

Sue McKerracher

Sue McKerracher has been a media, marketing and advocacy professional for over 30 years, both in the UK and Australia. Currently she is the CEO of Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and pursues a broad range of interests: supporting humanities research, championing Australian writing and ensuring quality education through higher education and VET course […]

Sue Wright

Sue Wright is the Director of Tiny Owl Workshop, a Brisbane-based micropress. She is an editor, author, Print Industry Craftsmanship Award Gold Medallist, executive producer of a Shorty Award winning multi-media project, Queensland Literary Awards judge, and past Chair of the Children’s Book Council Australia (Queensland).

Wenona Byrne

Wenona Byrne is the Arts Practice Director, Literature, at the Australia Council for the Arts. As an advocate for writers and literary organisations to develop projects that benefit the sector, Wenona’s experience working in publishing dates back 11 years, with nine years as a Rights Manager for Allen & Unwin.



This event will take place online, via Zoom.

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