Twelve leading international publishers are scouting for Australian literary talent as part of the 10th annual Visiting International Publishers (VIP) program.
This year’s VIP program, an Australia Council for the Arts initiative, will see the 12 publishers attend an industry seminar on 30 May and networking events during Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Over the past decade, the VIP program has seen more than 200 Australian titles sold into international markets and more than $3 million in rights sales. Over 100 visiting publishers have taken part to date.
Australia Council chief executive officer Kathy Keele said book rights had been sold to markets as diverse as the UK, Germany, France, Israel, Korea, Japan, the US and Canada through the VIP program.
‘The outstanding success of VIPs is proof that Australian writing, with its distinctive qualities, is in strong demand around the world,’ Kathy Keele said.
‘Last year alone we saw sales including that of Peter Temple’s The Broken Shore and Professor Tim Flannery’s Country to publishers in the US, and Kate Grenville’s The Secret River to Israel.
The flow-on effects of the program are truly extraordinary. The novel Shantaram, for example, was sold to St Martins Press in the US from the 2003 program and a major film adaptation of the novel is expected next year.
We look forward to similar results this year,’ Kathy Keele said.
Participants in the 2007 VIP program include:
- Phillip Gwyn Jones – publisher of Portobello Books, an independent UK publishing house, and former editor of the highly regarded Flamingo list at HarperCollins UK.
- Lynne Drew – publishing director at HarperCollins UK, whose acquisitions have included Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil wears Prada.
- Scott McIntyre – founding partner and CEO of Douglas & McIntyre Publishing Group in Canada, who has published Douglas Coupland and David Suzuki.
- Helen Liu – editor at the People’s Literature Publishing House in China, who has translated and published works by Peter Carey, Geraldine Brooks and Neil Gaiman.