A book is like a garden carried in the pocket.  ~ Chinese Proverb

Newsletter #8

Season's greetings from all at Ford Street Publishing and Creative Net Speakers' Agency!

(And from Harriet, Molly and Jack, threshold guardians!)

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2012 has been generous to three facets of my career: the publishing company, speakers' agency and my writing.


2012 kicked off with the launch of Susanne Gervay and Anna Pignataro's Ships in the Field. What a great success this book has been for Ford Street. Susanne of course is the consummate promoter. She has travelled around the world promoting this title, so much so we're getting requests from both the UK and the US for copies.

Other titles that have gone exceedingly well are Gary Crew and Den Scheer's In the Beech Forest. Gary, of course, is one of Australia's most awarded children's authors. I coupled him with first time illustrator, Den Sheer, whose art I first spotted at the Children's Charity Network award ceremonies. Trust Me Too edited by Paul Collins with a foreword by Judith Ridge has been similarly successful. Judith runs WestWords in Sydney, and also MCed our highly successful PD Reading Beyond 2012 seminar in Sydney. This anthology contains great original illustrations and stories from authors and illustrators such as Shaun Tan, Leigh Hobbs, Marc McBride and Oliver Phommavanh, Michael Gerard Bauer, Pat Flynn and James Roy. I asked Isobelle Carmody for a 1500 word story and she generously wrote a 9000 word novelette 'The Journey' is a prequel to Obernewtyn. What a collection!

Sequels that keep on selling have been the action-packed thrill rides Gamers' Challenge by the effervesent George Ivanoff and Dyson's Drop by Paul Collins.

For the first time ever one of our titles over-subscribed, which means booksellers ordered more copies than we printed. This was Michael Salmon's The Down-under 12 Days of Christmas. We also reprinted the delightful Isobelle Carmody's Greylands. Grant Gittus, designer extraordinaire and all-round nice guy came up with a stunning cover and Isobelle both revised the book and wrote a foreword on why she wrote the book. Ford Street also published first-timer Michelle Heeter's  Riggs Crossing, a gritty book that is receiving its fair share of critical acclaim.

Both Ships in the Field and Trust Me Too sold into book clubs, which means thousands of copies sold before they were even printed.

We also broke into ebooks – right now we have fifteen digital books available on both Kindle and in epub across the web. (See the list further down.)

Here are some samples:

Sean McMullen's Changing Yesterday: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006VXOL3W

Paul Collins's Mole Hunt: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006VXXHB4

Foz Meadows's The Key to Starveldt: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006VXONGC.

Here are some links to reviews:

Candida Baker gives In the Beech Forest a feature review in the SMH: http://tinyurl.com/7rv2hm4

Dyson's Drop: http://tinyurl.com/d7n8zws

Gamers' Challenge: http://narrellemharris.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/review-gamers-challenge-by-george-ivanoff/

Trust Me Too: http://georgeivanoff.com.au/2012/08/05/in-the-news-with-trust-me-too/

Riggs Crossing: http://tazziebookreviews.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/reviwe-by-tracey-of-riggs-crossing-by.html

The Down-under 12 Days of Christmas: http://tazziebookreviews.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/review-by-tracey-of-down-under-12-days.html

Greylands: http://www.kids-bookreview.com/2012/09/review-greylands.html

Ships in the Field: http://tinyurl.com/8j8ggmk

One of the advantages that major publishers have over small presses is that they have strong foreign rights sales. Our own agent, Mary Hare, managed to sell six books of ours during 2012. JE Fison's Hazard River series sold to The People's Oriental Publishing Company.

Our new catalogue can be viewed on the website at www.fordstreetpublishing.com or at: http://tinyurl.com/d34qpbr

2013 will see a huge jump in the number of books we're publishing. To kick off the year we have The Lost Tail by raconteur Patricia Bernard and Tricia Oktober, followed quickly by the ever popular Phil Kettle and Susan Halliday's Toocool/Marcy 10-book boxed set (two book clubs have pre-ordered thousands of copies), Gracie and Josh by our favourite Susanne Gervay and Serena Geddes (Variety is getting behind this title!).

We'll also publish Pirate Gold by the charming Michael Salmon, Chasing Shadows by newcomers to Ford Street, Corinne Fenton and Hannah Sommerville, Far From Gallipoli by another first-time Ford Street author, Pamela Rushby, Il Kedra by Paul Collins, Gamers' Rebellion by George Ivanoff, Riley and the Jumpy Roo by Tania McCartney and Welcome Home by Tasmanian Christina Booth.

There will be one or two others! (As a taster, I think I've discovered another illustrator, who I've again coupled with Gary Crew --  and maybe a YA novel by Archie Fusillo. Stay tuned!)

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The Following titles are now available as epubs or Kindle:

Before the Storm (Sean McMullen)
Changing Yesterday (Sean McMullen)
Equen Queen (Alyssa Brugman)
f2m (Hazel Edwards /Ryan Kennedy)
Gamers' Quest (George Ivanoff)
Gamers' Challenge (George Ivanoff)
Gimlet Eye (James Roy)
My Private Pectus (Shane Thamm)
Shark Frenzy (JE Fison)
Snake Surprise (JE Fison)
Solace and Grief (Foz Meadows)
The Key to Starveldt (Foz Meadows)
Spell of Undoing (Paul Collins)
Trust Me (edited by Paul Collins)
Trust Me Too (edited by Paul Collins)


A special word of thanks to our two publishing assistants, Gemma Dean-Furlong and Gemma Watson. They started as interns for a few weeks and wound up here for a combined two years. Must be the invigorating atmosphere at Ford Street :-).



Download a free Toocool/Marcy app from Phil Kettle's website: www.philkettle.com. Click on the app and download to your iPhone or iPad.


alt Creative Net Speakers' Agency

The speakers' agency has really taken off this year – and why wouldn't it – we don't charge schools/libraries a booking fee. Our service to them is absolutely free. Quite apart from supplying numerous authors and illustrators to the Children's Charity Network organisation, our authors went across Australia into schools, libraries and festivals. Some of the more interesting places our presenters visited were the Bowen Basin in Qld and the Pilbara in WA.

2013 is gearing up to be even busier with groups of ten authors and illustrators travelling to outback Australia and into indigenous communities. We also ran some highly successful personal development programs called Reading Beyond 2012 (http://pmbw.edublogs.org/2012/11/08/todays-seminar-in-pictures/) in Sydney and Keeping Books Alive in Melbourne (http://ozkids.com.au/cssKeepingBooksAlive.php). Notably our one-day festivals are becoming very popular. We were invited to several schools this year, including Ravenswood in Sydney and Scotch in Melbourne. We also provided around 60 authors and illustrators for a nation-wide Carpet Court promotion on children's literacy.

Schools, teacher-librarian organisation, librarians or literacy coordinators interested in our PD or one-day literature events should contact Paul at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We can only physically run half a dozen in a year and we have three already semi-confirmed. So please contact us sooner rather than later.

Here are some pics from a few exciting events we ran during 2012.
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Susanne Gervay, Deb Abela, Paul Collins, Judith Ridge and Sophie Masson mix it at Reading Beyond 2012 at the Penrith Panthers' Club, NSW. We had a fantastic launch at Princes Hill SC for Trust Me Too. Here we have Isobelle Carmody, who both launched and read from the book, Michael Pryor and Corinne Fenton (about 30 authors and illustrators were present -- BIG night!) Richard Harland and his fan club at Ravenswood School for Girls, a festival Creative Net organised.
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Enthusiastic students at Scotch College lining up for autographs from Lucy Sussex, Marc McBride, David Miller and Kirsty Murray. Meredith Costain kept the proceedings well on track as our most excellent MC and keynote speaker at Keeping Books Alive. The next day some of us met up for lunch in Woollahra: Meredith Costain, Paul Collins, Cathie Tasker (who published my first ever book while at HarperCollins, as well as Susanne Gervay's as it so happens!), Louise Park, Susanne Gervay, Mo Johnson and Michelle Heeter.
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A great shot of Isobelle Carmody holding up Greylands at its launch in Readings Carlton (VIC). Proactive delegates at Reading Beyond 2012 participating in my fantasy workshop. Jeni Mawter at our Ravenswood festival.
Contact us if you'd like us to run a PD seminar or one-day festival for your school or library.

Creative Net presenters Frane Lessac, Krista Bell, Hazel Edwards, Leigh Hobbs (with Snowy), Michael Salmon and Phil Kettle. We now represent authors and illustrators in every state and territory. We even represent a couple of comedians!

Check out Creative Net, our new speakers' agency at: www.fordstreetpublishing.com/cnet. We now represent over 100 Australian authors and illustrators, including Isobelle Carmody, Marc McBride, Justin D'Ath and Maureen McCarthy. Unlike other speakers' agencies, we don't charge a fee.

Email Terrie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interesting in booking a presenter for your school, library or festival.

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Keep an eye out for our 2013 releases! Here are some preview covers. Top to bottom: The Lost Tail by Patricia Bernard and Tricia Oktober, Pirate Gold by Michael Salmon, the new Marcy and Toocool series by Phil Kettle and Susan Halliday, Gracie and Josh by Susanne Gervay and Serena Geddes.


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Paul Collins - writing



I was commissioned to write six books for a major publisher's flagship series (all very hush hush so I can't say more). The series will be illustrated by a talented newcomer -- more on this later. Blake will be publishing a new book of mine called The Pranksters' Club. Book two in The Maximus Black Files, Dyson's Drop, received fantastic reviews. My favourite line from Viewpoint being: 'For someone who isn't a sci-fi fan, I found this easy to get into, largely thanks to the quality of the writing. Everything you could want from a gripping sci-fi adventure . . . an astute sense of humour'. The third and final book in the series, Il Kedra, will be published in 2013 – if I get a chance to write it.

My essay, 'Stealing Fire From the Gods' (on Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief) is up at http://www.smartpopbooks.com/stealing-fire-from-the-gods/

The book the essay appeared in, Demigods and Monsters, has become quite a best-seller :-).

Another project I'm working on, albeit very slowly, is a collection of Jelindel stories. There will be very short stories, and at least one novella (roughly 25,000 words). My intention is to link these up with the four books comprising The Jelindel Chronicles: Dragonlinks, Dragonfang, Dragonsight and Wardragon – all still in print at www.fordstreetpublishing.com. Yes, I bought back the rights from Penguin! They're now jacketed as a series, rather than having disparate covers. The series also sold to Galivro in Portugal.

The school circuit has been very busy, what with the festivals, seminars, libraries and school visits.

Overall game plan for me: save up enough money to at least move into an office/warehouse situation rather than work from home. Alas, a rather long-term ambition, but one I will realise sooner than later.



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