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The official journal of the australian booksellers association

VOLUME 13 • ISSUE 1 • MARCH 2013 ISSN 1445-0437


89th ABA Annual Conference Keynote Speaker- Jane Caro appears frequently on ABC 702, The Jane Caro will open this year’s Drum, Q&A and, of course, the top-rating conference with her overview of the Gruen Planet. She is a sought after bookselling industry, a forecast of public speaker, workshop facilitator and where it might be in 5-10 years time consultant. and gives insight from an advertiser’s perspective on how we might keep up She is currently developing a radio or even ahead of the game in a project on long lasting relationships to rapidly changing industry. celebrate Life Matters 21st year on RN. Jane is an award winning advertising writer of 33 years standing (Cannes, One Show, Mobius, London International, Kinsale, AWARD, Caxton, Asia Pacific, ATV). She is also a frequent media commentator on marketing, advertising, communication, feminism, parenting and education. She is a regular weekly commentator on Channel 7’s Weekend Sunrise and Channel 9’s Mornings. She

Inside this issue 02 CEO’s report 03 President’s report 04 Marketing ideas 06 Digital report 08 Employment matters 10

ACBA report


ILF report


Retail leasing


ABA news


Bookshop profile

For God’s Sake! An atheist, Christian, Jew and Muslim battle it out (she is the atheist) was written with Antony Loewenstein, Simon Smart and Rachel Woodluck. She is also editing an anthology Destroying the Joint; Why women have to change the world for UQP to be released in May, 2013. She has just finished a three month stint filling in for Annabel Crabb writing a weekly column on the back page of the Sun Herald and the Sunday Age. She has a monthly column “Scene from Below” in Mt Magazine. She is frequently published in newspapers and online publications all around Australia. In December, 2012 she was voted the third most influential female voice in Australia by the readers of Women’s Agenda, after PM Julia Gillard and Anne Summers. She is on the boards of Bell Shakespeare and the NSW Public Education Foundation.

Jane has been the Chair of Judges for She has published 3 nonfiction books. AWARD, Brisbane Art Directors and Two with Chris Bonnor on education The Adelaide Art Directors. She also chairs Stupid Country; How Australia is the Bell Shakespeare Artistic Advisory dismantling public education and What Panel. She is a graduate of The Makes a Good School? (New South, 2007 Benevolent Society’s Sydney Leadershop and 2012), and one with Catherine Fox on program (2000). She is a part-time women and work The F Word; How we lecturer (Advertising Creative) in The learned to swear by feminism. (New School of Humanities and South, 2008). She has also published her Communication Arts at UWS, and a beef first novel Just a Girl (UQP, 2011) and is producer, a timber grower, a wife and working on a sequel Just a Queen to be mother. published in 2014. Her next book, to be released in June 2013 by Pan Macmillan, continued on page 04 News on Bookselling March 2013


CEO’s report Welcome to 2013! Conference

I can’t be more delighted with how planning is proceeding for the ABA’s 89th Conference and Trade Exhibition in Adelaide. The theme of the Conference, ‘A Good Vintage’ not only reflects Adelaide’s place on the world stage as a centre for fine wine and food, but the central ongoing role that bookshops have, not only in preserving the qualities of the past (ageing well), but in reflecting modern techniques and adjusting to the demands of the markets. We have joined forces with Leading Edge to deliver a joint Trade Exhibition. We will be holding our Conference on Sunday and Monday, 16-17 June, with Leading Edge holding their Conference on Saturday, 15 June. The joint exhibition with be on Sunday afternoon. Jane Caro provides a very important start to the Conference as she applies her special set of skills to the vexed question of how bookshops survive and thrive during these volatile times for the industry. Former adviser to Al Gore, Daniel Pink (To Sell is Human and Drive) will deliver a video address with a focus on how selling has changed in the 21st century, and how bookshops can capitalise on that change. For the last three years, the representatives of key English speaking bookselling associations (ELBA) have met to share information that may be useful to our memberships. This year Adelaide is the venue. I will be joining Oren Teicher (American Booksellers


Association CEO), Tim Godfray (Booksellers UK and Ireland) and Lincoln Gould (Booksellers NZ) to discuss what is happening in these countries, and find constructive ideas that might be put to use in Australia. The global director of Nielsen Bookscan, Jonathan Nowell, will discuss global trends in bookselling, with Shaun Symonds bringing it back to the local. This only begins to scratch the surface of the panels, discussions and seminars about ways to improve sales in your bookshops. The Australian Campus Booksellers Association will also be holding a meeting during the Conference. You may see a common thread running through all this – bookshops are part of a wider community, and it is crucial that booksellers of all shapes, sizes and orientations work out what they have in common, and how they can work with local businesses, libraries and even other booksellers to ensure survival and growth.

Staff changes and additions in the ABA office.

At the end of January, we farewelled Member Services Officer Michelle Bansen who has decided to rejoin the hurly burly life of the ‘rep-on-the-road’ (some of you might recall that rapidly endangered species – people who come into bookshops – sometimes carrying actual books). We wish Michelle well, and thank her for her efforts on behalf of our members

may remember Tamara Seldon Truss who will be (re)joining us as Member Services Officer. Tamara had the role when Robyn Huppert was on maternity leave in 2006-07, and has worked for several bookshops in the Melbourne area over the years. We are also delighted to welcome Steve Jones in the newly created position of Marketing/Project Officer for the ABA. Steve is the ex-Manager of Kinokuniya in Sydney. Steve will be responsible for promoting and developing bookshop initiatives including IndieBound and National Bookshop Day, as well as expanding the ABA’s book voucher services and assisting with seminar and information-based programs during the year.

Advocacy In case anyone has noticed, this is an election year (even if the Federal campaign will not begin until mid-August). Over the next few months we will be discussing key issues affecting the bookselling industry, and giving you advice on how you can be delivering the message to your local members.

I hope to see you all in Adelaide.

Joel Becker

With any change, it can present an opportunity to look at our strengths and weaknesses, and to ensure our members get the best value out of being part of the ABA. Some of you

News on Bookselling November 2012

President’s report A new year is upon us, one I’m sure that will be full of even more change. We will see the merger of Penguin and Random House in September, which I’m sure will be the first of many. Who else will we see merge? Scharper )S&S and Macmillan)? Machette? (Macmillan and Hachette)? Only time will tell. Christmas was again a challenge, not just for booksellers but all retailers. More people are spending their money online and predominantly with overseas retailers. We are beginning to get more traction with both the Government and the Opposition on the issue of GST on imports but things are moving very slowly. Book prices continue to fall, but not across the board unfortunately, which presents it own challenges in maintaining the bottom line. And digital sales continue to grow in books with eReaders and tablets reported to be the big sellers over Christmas. Amazon is the still the dominant eBook retailer in the Australian market with an estimated 60-70% market share. Apple is second with 15-20%. Kobo comes in third with 10-15%. Google have around 5%. The rest is shared between ReadCloud,, Booku and others. 90% of eBook sales are going to offshore retailers. In Australia, eBooks are estimated to represent 10% of books sold. In the US it is almost 30% and still rising in both markets. In some genres eBooks sales are over 50%. The majority of this is at the expense of print book sales. However, Australian bookshops still account for the majority of book sales in the Australian market but as eBook sales continue to grow, and print book sales contract, fewer books will be sold in Australian bookshops and there will consequently be less bookshops in

Australia. If the number of bookshops contract in Australia the number of print books sold in Australia will fall even further. Amazon, Apple and Kobo are winning the battle for eBook market share through their devices. It is estimated that the Kindle accounts for 75% of eReaders in Australia. The iPad and iPhone are still the dominant tablet and smartphone device despite the growth of Android devices. Kobo eReaders are making in roads with multiple retailer partners and a strong marketing push in this market. While any eBook retailer can sell onto tablets and smartphones, as well as Kobo eReaders, the majority of users purchase from the default eBook provider on their device (iBooks, Kobo, Amazon). The Kindle App is also widely used, as Kindle has become the default eReader in consumer’s minds. Non-Amazon retailers cannot sell onto the Kindle device, although it is technically possible to transfer non-DRM ePubs to Kindle devices. The eBook market is essentially a device war: Kindle vs. iPad vs. Kobo. Investing in devices is extremely expensive and devices are being superseded every 12 months which means any investment in a device must be repeated every year. However a bookshop does have its own device: the physical book, available in a variety of different models: hardback, trade Paperback, mass-market paperback. I believe bookshops should use this device to compete against eBook retailers and the way to do this is to bundle print books with eBooks. Being able to bundle an eBook with a print book would ensure that print books remain a relevant format and if the bundled eBook could be in the format of the customer’s choosing (Kindle, iBooks or

ePub) or DRM-free it would combat format and device restrictions both for consumers and retailers. I also read a fascinating book on selling over summer called To Sell is Human by Daniel Pink. Pink argues that every job is fundamentally about sales. He also looks at how sales itself has changed. In a world where consumers are armed with smartphones that not only gives them mobile Internet but also instant social media the relationship between a consumer and a vendor has fundamentally changed. A vendor no longer has the upper hand and must adapt to this new relationship. I found the book invaluable. As booksellers we need to listen to what customers are telling us and I don’t mean verbally, I mean by their actions which are pretty clear at the moment. We also need to stay positive about our businesses and the products we sell and we need to be more proactive. At the moment we are reacting to eBooks and the growth of online shopping and there is a negative perception about the future of bookshops and printed books. We need to find ways of getting ahead of the curve, like National Bookshop Day, rather than chasing the curve. None of this will be easy and there are no guarantees but if you fight the wrong battles you invariably lose the war. It is fantastic that we have been able to partner with the Leading Edge Books Conference. This will mean that not only will there be a bigger bookseller presence but also a bigger publisher presence. I hope to see as many of you as possible in Adelaide in June.

Jon Page

News on Bookselling March 2013


Conference con’t Andrea Hanke, editor-in-chief at Books+Publishing, spoke to Jane Caro in aniticipation of her keynote address. You’re delivering the keynote address at the Australian Booksellers Association conference to a room full of booksellers. Can you give us a taste of what you’ll be talking about? I will wear my marketing and advertising hat to make some comments about the changes in retailing and what I think will remain (people will still buy books in bookshops) and what will change. I believe the announcement of the death of the p-book has been very premature.

I will also talk about my own love of books – both as a lifelong reader and a writer – and why their physical existence continues to matter to me.

If you were hired to run an advertising campaign for your local bookstore, what would it look like? Sorry, you have to pay me for that kind of professional advice, but I would emphasise the customer experience – not just about buying anymore, about relaxing, browsing, discovering and exploring. Your expertise and ability to recommend and broaden the customer’s repertoire – recognition is important too – try to turn as many customers into regulars as you can. People are seeking what they can’t get on the internet

From your experience as a successful woman in business who has also raised a family through some of your busiest years, what would you say is the key to juggling various projects and maintaining a work-life balance. Be selfish, never feel guilty and expect your partner to do as much as you do. Trust that your children will cope and learn to be independent. if my experience is any guide, it pays off in spades in the long run. Couldn’t be prouder of the two independent , sensible and responsible young women my daughters have become. To read this article in full make sure you get issue 2 of Books + Publishing available early April.

2013 ABA & LEB CONFERENCE PROGRAM SUMMARY The Australian Booksellers Association and Leading Edge Books are proud to present their annual Conferences at the Hilton Adelaide on 14-15th June (LEB) and 16-17th June (ABA). A joint Trade Exhibition will be held on Sunday June 16.







NEW Information on ABA Conference speakers & session topics will be updated regularly on the NEW conference website:







CELEBRATING BOOKSELLING GALA DINNER & AWARDS NIGHT News Bookselling May 2010 News on on Bookselling March 2013


News on Bookselling November 2012


Why attend Conference? Networking It is important to me as a small independent bookseller in an isolated area to attend conference. To hear industry news, catch up with other booksellers and meet publishing house representatives face to face. Being eight hours from Sydney and five from Brisbane, I never get to see a rep so this opportunity is priceless. I also managed to get better terms with several publishers which is of great benefit to my business. Gina, Wise Words Bookshop, NSW ... to mix with people who love books more than anything else in the world. Clayton, Boomerang Books,, SA To get to know (publisher) account managers that rarely have the opportunity to visit our shop and from this we have even been able to organise author visits. Catherine, Fullers Bookshop, TAS

Knowledge Booksellers are in general very generous with their knowledge and I so enjoy discussing different aspects of my business with more experienced colleagues. This often happens at the more informal gatherings at Conference. Gina I attend Conference first and foremost to learn about the book industry. It’s a great place to learn about how booksellers and publishers work; to listen and understand the challenges that the industry faces. It’s a great place to listen to some of the eminent people in the industry - to speak and rub shoulders with them and to listen to internationally acclaimed speakers from markets that are typically ahead of our own Clayton We learn a lot ofbetter ways of doing things, industry tips and contacts that we had missed out on, new systems that can help us in the day to day running of a business.

Inspiration I have attended in excess of 15 ABA Conferences and I always come away with a fresh perspective on what it is that we do. Catherine It does us the world of good to remember we are part of a vibrant and interesting industry. I like the fact that just about everyone in the booktrade, especially the ones you meet at Conference, is passionate about it. This inspires and reinvigorates and reaffirms why we do what we do. Sue and Kerry

Recharging the batteries Conference gives us a chance to have a break from the shop - a kind of holiday really (the nature of being owner/ managers in small business!). We enjoy catching up with other booksellers and talking over issues we have in common. Sue and Kerry ... a great excuse to stay in a nice hotel, have a few drinks and attend some great dinners (don’t tell my wife, but it’s a great opportunity to have a short break from my two toddlers!). Clayton

Conference means we get to sit down for a few days and someone else cooks for us! Sue and Kerry

We enjoy meeting with authors. It’s so beneficial for us to chat to customers about having heard an author speak. It puts a book into context, makes it more personal and I’m sure it improves sales! Sue and Kerry, Mary Who? Bookshop, QLD 06

News on Bookselling March 2013

Registration packages Registration Options


ABA Member

Non Member

ABA-LEB Full Package

Friday - Welcome Dinner (LEB)



(Friday night 14 June to Monday afternoon 17 June)

Saturday - breakfast, Full Day Conference LEB,

Early Bird

Early Bird

Delegate satchel,

(up to 4 April)

(up to 4 April)

LEB Awards Dinner



Trade Exhibition pass, ABA Gala Dinner



Monday - access to all ABA sessions

(from 5 April)

(from 5 April)



Sunday - access to all ABA sessions

LEB Full Package

Friday - Welcome Dinner LEB


(Friday night 14 June to Saturday night 15 June)

Saturday - breakfast, Full Day Conference LEB

Early Bird

Delegate satchel

(up to 4 April)

LEB Awards Dinner

$550 Standard (from 5 April) $590

LEB Day Only

Saturday - breakfast, Full Day Conference LEB


(Saturday 15 June)

Delegate Satchel


ABA Full Package

Sunday - access to all ABA sessions

Early Bird

Early Bird

(Sunday 16 June to Monday 17 June)

Delegate satchel

(up to 5 April)

(up to 5 April)

Trade Exhibition pass





(from 4 April)

(from 4 April)




$35o $350

ABA Gala Dinner Monday - access to all ABA sessions

ABA-LEB Day Only

Sunday - access to all ABA sessions

(Sunday 16 June)

Trade Exhibition pass

ABA Day Only

Monday - access to all ABA sessions


Friday - dinner only


(Monday 17 June) LEB Dinner Only (Friday 14 June) LEB Awards Dinner Only

$120 Saturday - LEB Awards Dinnner

(Saturday 15 June) ABA Gala Dinner


Sunday - Celebrating Bookselling Gala Dinner $140


Sunday - access to Trade Exhibition only


(Sunday 16 June) Trade Exhibition Only Pass


(Sunday 16 June) * Please note - all Full registration and Day Only registration packages include morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea.

News on Bookselling March 2013


Digital report Ebooks 2.0

The triple-digit growth of ebook sales has fallen away sharply. In the leading US market it’s now in low double digits, and in Australia the story is similar. As 2012 ended, a quarter of online Australians had bought an ebook, the same percentage as in January last year according to Bowker’s Global eBook Monitoring Survey. This dramatic slowdown has prompted some relieved cries. “Lovers of ink and paper, take heart. Reports of the death of the printed book may be exaggerated,” said the Wall Street Journal in response to this. One reason, of course, is that it’s mathematically impossible to keep growing at these high rates. But with just a quarter of the population reached, ebooks are tapering off sooner than other consumer technology, such as mobile phones or the internet. And it’s happening as sales of tablets and smartphones are surging. The reality of the ebook revolution is that it’s still mostly about fiction. Random House digital head Jeff Weber recently talked about his “70-20-10” rule for RH’s ebook sales: 70 percent is adult fiction, 20 percent adult nonfiction, and 10 percent children’s & teen. With major fiction titles now selling half or more in digital formats, the market is indeed maturing. Non-fiction works and textbooks, which make up most of the book market, are yet to make a digital splash.

EPUB3 and the struggle to save the (e)book The industry’s answer to this is EPUB3. The next version of today’s EPUB ebook format promises to bring us ‘enhanced ebooks’ – digital editions of textbooks, illustrated titles and other categories that missed the first ebook wave. It should be a shoo-in after the stellar performance of the current version. But there’s a problem. Almost two years after it was signed off, pretty much 08

no-one is using it. No major devices can yet read EPUB3 files, and even e-reading apps offer little or no support.

Some insiders, and digital-savvy outsiders eying the industry, are now openly asking the question: would it be better if book publishing fully embraces the web, rather than the web bending to accommodate ‘books’ as a special category?

This slow uptake is a wake-up call to publishers on two fronts. First, it shows again how little the book industry controls its own destiny: EPUB3 is a tiny part of a much bigger ecosystem. The second problem is potentially much bigger. It’s the web itself.

New competition for ebooks and talent Don’t expect the ebook to fade away anytime soon. For many uses it will be perfectly fine for a while yet. And Amazon, of course, is pushing its own version of EPUB3 called KF8, though it suffers from many of the same challenges.

As we move to smart mobile devices with always-on internet access, and massive cloud services to store all our data and media, the web starts to look like a better option to do many of the things that used to be done offline. Yet the major benefit of EPUB3 and today’s ebooks is that they basically wrap a website into a single file so that it can be downloaded to ‘own’ and use offline. To achieve this, the industry needs a new ecosystem, from developers and tools, to devices and distribution.

Moves are also afoot to bring the ebook itself closer to the web. One of these developments, called Readium, is backed by the same industry group that developed EPUB3. It lets web browsers read the new EPUB3 ebook files. And a Silicon Valley start-up called Inkling has developed a system that gives publishers a bob each way on this tug-of-war battle, treating books as software that can live on the web or in various book formats. Its early users are a Who’s Who of the textbook and non-fiction trade book markets.

When ebooks were simple, and aimed at simple devices like black and white Kindles (whose sales are also sliding), this was not a problem. But EPUB3 is much more complex which creates a host of problems. For non-fiction and textbooks, there are big usability issues compared to the web. For instance, to use multimedia content, readers must download massive files full of video they might never use, instead of just streaming what they need, as they need it. Adding interactive features opens the door to bugs, viruses and device incompatibility. And ebooks are closed when they need to be open. Users now expect to follow and share live links, not dead footnotes, to keep and share annotations, and to discover what they want from a Google search. Self-contained, offline ebooks make these things tough to achieve. Finally, there are production problems. Files need to be tested and tuned for dozens of devices and apps instead of just two or three major web browsers. Tools are poor, and talent is hard to attract and retain compared to better-paid web development.

But in the move from simple, ‘linear’ novels – Ebooks 1.0 if you like – to enhanced ebooks for information and learning, ebooks as we know them may be a short-lived interlude. Good alternatives to ebooks are emerging which fully embrace the web and can solve the same reader needs. In many cases, they offer authors the prospect of a better living than today’s publisher deals. Two examples are e-learning and so-called membership sites. As non-fiction ebooks migrate to the web, many of them are likely to look more like these than traditional ebooks. E-learning is undergoing its own transformation, similar to the ebook explosion five years ago. For the past decade and more, it has been the province of dull corporate training and niche academic courses. That’s changing dramatically as e-learning gets a consumer makeover.

News on Bookselling March 2013

publishers need booksellers to thrive and there’s plenty they can do to ensure it happens A new wave of companies like and pioneer offer inexpensive online courses that fill many of the same needs as non-fiction books once did, often with authors among the course developers. The courses present text, audio, video, and interactive elements like quizzes – the same things EPUB3 promises – often with social connections to other students which ebooks don’t do well, or ‘all you can eat’ access to courses. In public education, MOOCs (massive open online courses) are now bringing the world’s best teachers free into homes as well as schools and universities. Sites like Coursera, EdX and Udacity are driving this, many of them backed by top-tier universities. Apple’s iTunesU, innovative start-ups like Kahn Academy, and the swelling open content movement, are opening up a mass of high-quality, free course material to schools and consumers. Membership sites. Forget complaints from traditional media like newspapers and magazines: people are already paying for a lot of content online. So-called membership sites are leading the way. These sites often have their genesis in blogs and enthusiast sites. They offer paid access to premium content and services, continuous updates, applications like menuplanning and fitness-tracking, and access to communities of like-minded people. For authors and niche publishers, they offer the prospect of building a following and continuing income from fans, not just a one-off sale.

What publishers can do to help booksellers – and themselves The turbulence of the past few years may be just beginning anew, as the ebook itself faces challenges. This might sound grim, but ‘traditional’ publishers need booksellers to thrive and there’s plenty they can do to ensure it happens and to reduce the ‘leakage’ of great content from the book world. Here are two suggestions.

First, they can do more to win and retain talented authors so they actually want to do books when their choices are expanding. This certainly means giving them a bigger slice of the pie, but it has to go well beyond this. Publishers have to actively seek more ways than just book royalties to help authors earn a living from their work. In some cases it will mean publishers offer digital options beyond ebooks. But increasingly, we’ll see publishers taking just print if they can’t adequately exploit digital rights, instead of demanding today’s all-or-nothing deals. Late last year, Simon and Schuster did just this with author Hugh Howey, an early sign that this shift is beginning. A focus back on print will help realign the interests of publishers and booksellers to the benefit of both. And removing digital demands and conflicts will help publishers pitch book ideas to the new digital-first publishers and digital-savvy authors. That’s a win for publishers, booksellers and creators. Secondly, publishers should encourage a robust print-on-demand marketplace, one that moves beyond today’s just-intime restocking of their own warehouses and gives booksellers more direct control. This has the potential to open the vibrant bookseller channel to both niche books from mainstream publishers, and to the new breed of digital publishers without print forerunner of this type of service. EspressNet acquires POD files and rights, then distributes them through its network of independent print shops. It’s beginning to win some large publishers and build a more commercially-valuable catalogue than the self-published and public domain works that dominated its early efforts.

Distribution and sales operations. A bookseller should be able to quickly stock a print edition of a hot digital-first title, or compete with Book Depository to offer most traditionally-published titles, with better service. Digital printing is now good enough for all but the fussiest coffee table books and printed book design will itself evolve to fit into this digital-driven world. Achieving this needs a willingness from publishers to license POD rights for most titles, even those still in print, on a royalty basis directly to booksellers or specialist intermediaries. The Espresso Book Machine’s EspressNet might be a forerunner of this type of service. EspressNet acquires POD files and rights, then distributes them through its network of independent print shops. It’s beginning to win some large publishers and build a more commercially-valuable catalogue than the self-published and public domain works that dominated its early efforts. None of this will bring printed books back to their mass-merchandising heyday. But initiatives like these can help navigate turbulent times, feeding a vibrant retail channel with interesting books chosen by knowledgeable booksellers.

Martin Taylor

blog: twitter: @nztaylor

None of this will bring printed books back to their mass-merchandising heyday. But initiatives like these can help navigate turbulent times, feeding a vibrant retail channel with interesting books chosen by knowledgeable booksellers.

News on Bookselling March 2013


Marketing ideas For those who I have not met over the last 17 years please let me introduce myself – My name is Steve, and I have just joined the ABA as the Marketing Officer. Previously, I managed the enormous Kinokuniya Bookstore, in Sydney’s CBD for just over five years. The success of the store involved its focus on both niche markets, and targeting the local community with marketing initiatives. After leaving the store I spent time as a consultant for various publishers and retailers, focusing on local and intuitive marketing strategies - with new digital and traditional marketing tools. My success in business and marketing has roots in my belief that bookstores are a natural part of any good community. I am extremely excited about my new position within the ABA because of my faith in both bookstores, and the unifying relationships booksellers have with each other. No other industry communicates so well with each other – whether it is over a glass of wine or at an author dinner – we have always been keen to share both negative and positive experiences at the coal face of bookselling. My new role is in its infancy and will move with the needs of the members of the ABA, and the Committee of Management. Any input will be welcomed through your usual channels, or contact me directly. At this stage I will be responsible for increasing awareness and sales of ABA Book Vouchers, National Bookshop Day, and IndieBound. There are a few other projects that I will be working on, and I 010

am sure Joel or the Committee will be giving me a few more! ABA Book Vouchers benefit all members by offering a centralised organisation selling vouchers to corporate, school, and plain private customers nationally - without being limited to a chain, or shopping centre - promoting our members equally. The ABA sells tens of thousands of vouchers, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars per year. If you are not already accepting ABA vouchers you can bet a competitor does. Book Vouchers are a fantastic way of gaining new business to your shop. The ABA’s hopes to increase sales and thus promote bookstores to traditional and non-traditional customers. I will also be co-ordinating the already fantastic National Bookshop Day. While most bookstores have been promoting - through their own media outlets - their own bookshop, I will be organising things from a national perspective. If you need some help with new ideas and templates to enhance your offer I will be there to support you. I already have some ideas but am naturally keen to have input from the ABA members.

marketing initiatives. National Bookshop Day and IndieBound need to have a presence via social media continuously, and as such I will need information from bookstores highlighting your events and local activity – although I will continue monitoring your own marketing online. While the new, and sometimes free, new digital mediums can be successful, you cannot forget about the traditional print and face-to-face medium of marketing. The combination of the two can mean the success of an event or campaign. Marketing is not one dimensional, but then again neither is bookselling.

Steve Jones

My goal for Indiebound is to have a twelve month marketing calendar that highlighting the ‘why shopping local’ is important to your community. And also help booksellers get the most out the scheme – while expanding on the fantastic work our partners overseas have done. All these initiatives need to be communicated to your customers through new and traditional News on Bookselling March 2013

ILF report “This is a fantastic initiative and allows us to have books to give away to vulnerable families, as well as reading that is culturally informative and sensitive, to develop the literacy skills of kids in care (all of whom are Aboriginal) & those we provide family support to. Thank you ILF!” Mel Kean, Early Childhood Coordinator, Tangentyere Council, NT.

Thank you for your generous support in 2012 – especially in light of the extremely challenging market and changes that took place over the past 12 months. We are delighted to announce our year-end fundraising results: $768,000, an extraordinary result that was only made possible by an enormous donation from the Victorian Independent Booksellers Network (IBN) at the end of the year. Ian Horton of Farrell’s Bookshop rang our office late December to say that IBN’s donation of $48,000 (surplus funds when IBN disbanded), was made possible through the collective efforts of many dedicated independent Victorian booksellers. He said that IBN members wanted to “ give back to the community and promote literacy and reading”. In addition to this generous donation, many bookshops ran independent fundraisers throughout the year, took our Donation boxes for their counters and launch events, and donated the proceeds from their participation in Indigenous Literacy Day. In 2012 we delivered just over 18,000 books to more than 180 remote communities and service organisations across Australia. We were able to consolidate our delivery of books so that our literacy packs were sent through a very effective centralised buying and supply system at Woodslane Publishing. Through our partnerships we published a new version of Reading With Children; two books published in Paakjantji and English with sponsorship from CAL for Wilcannia/Menindee communities called No Tharlta on the Bus and Lenny & the Big Red Malka; and sponsored the publication of 18 new books in six languages for Central Australia Aboriginal communities in the Honey Ant Readers series. This was achieved with sponsorship of the Mary Mackillop Foundation.

2013: Looking forward

This year there are many exciting changes and challenges ahead. Firstly, we are pleased to announce Nick Bowditch, Head of Marketing & Sales at Google, joins our Board. Nick brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to assist the future development of our programs and fundraising.

Over 80 new books have been selected for the 2013 literacy kits that will be gifted to our remote communities and service organisations across Australia. Again, this has been made possible by a committee headed up by Debra Dank our Cultural Ambassador and Tina Raye together with Robyn Huppert (ABA) and Lynndy Bennett (Gleebooks) who reviewed hundreds and hundreds of books. This year we are enormously lucky to have the support of UBD and a new centralised distribution system. National INDIGENOUS LITERACY DAY is on Wednesday 4 September this year. This is our major fundraising event for the year. We invite all our supporters individuals, schools and businesses, big and small alike, to register with us Ambassador Andy Griffiths says: “Teaching a child to enjoy books is educating a generation ahead.” With your help, we’re looking ahead to future generations and the doors that books and reading will open for them!

Tina Raye, our new Program Manager, has moved from Darwin to work at head office in Sydney. In a short space of time, Tina has developed the I DREAM project with Education QLD, is working on a new early literacy kit for Book Buzz and has written Teacher’s resources (in line with the new National Curriculum) for the 2013 School Kit. Tina will travel out to Broken Hill and Warburton in WA over the next 6 weeks and will be giving regular updates on what’s happening in communities and with book supply.

Karen Williams Executive Director

News on Bookselling March 2013


Retail Leasing The biggest mistake that is made when entering into a retail lease is that people don’t know the right questions to ask or know what they are getting into. This article is designed to assist with general questions to help you avoid expensive misunderstandings that cost you and your business money. Lease agreements are not a case of “one size fits all”. They are negotiable and before you sign anything you should be aware of all conditions relevant to your agreement. Seek professional advice before you sign anything, accept keys or pay bond money and don’t make any promises. Pre Lease Before you even get to the lease stage there are a number of things to consider 1.

Do your market research – what is the average market rent for retail space in the area I am looking at?


What types of rent are being charged – simple annual rent or a combination of annual plus a component of your turnover?


What is currently happening with rent reviews – are landlords using CPI, market review, a fixed percentage or a combination?

4. What kind rent review would be best for my business – knowing the amount or do I have the financial flexibility to be variable? 5.


Do some landlords offer incentives such as a rent-free period so that you can fit out the premises, or perhaps they are even contributing to the fit out?

6. What is the current vacancy rate in the area and does this landlord have a particularly high or low vacancy rate? 7.

before this time such as when you take possession of the premises before the lease is signed, or when the landlord offers to rent you space in writing and you accept the terms and start paying rent. It is so important to do your homework as this is considered a legally binding agreement. Cancelling or trying to get out of that lease will incur considerable costs.

Look at your business plan – what does it tell you about the right location, do the premises meet your requirements re parking, foot traffic and growth?

8. What can I afford? Rent is only one aspect of the costs under a lease. Don’t forget telephone, electricity if separately metered, cleaning costs and so on? 9. Do I need licenses or permits? 10. Does the space suit my business and can I use it for my intended purpose? Is it fit to work in for you and future employees? 11. Are there any zoning requirements? 12. Do I need to alter the layout of the space in terms of wiring, plumbing?

What is a lease? A lease is a legally binding contract between you and the landlord which holds both parties to its terms and conditions. It allows you to occupy shop/premises and should tell you about: •

The space - by describing it (obtain a plan showing the space)

Your rights, obligation and liabilities

Your landlord’s rights, obligation and liabilities

Conditions that apply to your use of the space (rent, other costs, in what condition you must leave the space when you vacate)

In most instances a lease starts when both the landlord and tenant sign the document. However, legislation recognises that a lease may start

In most instances your lease will be subject to legislation which applies specifically to retail leases. This legislation varies from state to state, but in all instances provides that before signing the lease, the landlord must provide a disclosure statement which details important aspects of the lease. This document ensures transparency and proper disclosure of all the facts. A prospective tenant should ensure that its main features are acceptable. It is imperative that all details, promises, representations are included. These include but are not limited to: •

The term of the lease and options to renew

Rent and the basis of rental reviews, and how it is to be determined

The dates of exercise of any option to renew and associated rent increases

Outgoings or shared operating expenses (ensure you know exactly what these are –council rates, water, air-conditioning, repairs and maintenance. Find out what you are responsible for beforehand and what the landlord will cover)

The permitted use of the space and whether you have to seek permission from the landlord to make changes.

News on Bookselling March 2013

The remedies available if the landlord fails to supply a disclosure statement or if any of the representations contained in a disclosure statement are misleading will vary from state to state. However, a tenant may be entitled to terminate a lease or recover damages. It is in your best interest that as much as detail as possible is included as this is what you will refer back to when it comes to disagreements and renewing your lease. Then at least 7 days before a lease is entered into the landlord must provide a prospective tenant with a completed proposed lease in writing and you should always get a solicitor to review it and make sure it is balanced and fair, as once it is signed by you and your landlord it is usually binding on both of you. A lease is the beginning of a relationship so if it is difficult to deal with the landlord at the beginning, listen to your warning bells as it may be an indicator of how future dealing will progress during the term of the lease. Talk to other tenants and see how they get along with the landlord. If you are concerned at this stage then talk to your solicitor, small business association or fair trading office. Only when you are comfortable with the lease do you sign it. In order to ensure that your rights as a tenant are protected, a landlord should also be asked to provide written confirmation that any mortgagee of the premises has given its consent to your lease. Issues can arise when it comes time to renew or renegotiate your lease. If you have an option to renew your lease for a further term, you must follow the procedures and timeframes as set out in your lease carefully or you will lose

the rights given to you by the lease. If you have not complied with your lease obligations – paying rent on time and such you may not be able to renew it. Check the wording of your option clause and check with your solicitor if you have any doubts.

If you want to stay where you are and you don’t have an option to renew it is never too early to start renewal negotiations. Leaving it to the last minute may mean you find yourself with less bargaining power. If your landlord is willing to grant you a new lease, remember that it is just that – a new lease. You do not need to agree on the same terms and conditions that applied previously.

Now is your chance to fix any issues or complications that you have experienced during the original lease. What did or didn’t work for you? Has your business changed and does this require a change to the document. Remember to have done some research of current market rates, terms for other shops in the area and so on to be in a better negotiating position.

If there are problems that cannot be resolved, there are services that are intended to save you the expense of going to court and to help you resolve a dispute reasonably quickly. These vary from state to state and in some instances they may also include mediation as a first step. Mediation is started by lodging a special form. Your local retail tenancy office, retail business association or fair trading office can tell you about the process and if there are any fees involved. A mediator will invite the parties to outline their problems. This person is not a judge, their role is to help you and your landlord better understand the situation and consider if you want to come to an agreement. If you both reach an agreement you both have to sign a mediation agreement or a form of contract which is binding on both parties. If mediation does not work, depending on where you live you might be able to take it to a tribunal or court depending on the size and issues under dispute. The tribunals were created as specialist bodies designed to give a quicker and cheaper outcome than the courts. Contact the Small Business Commissioner in your state for more information and guidelines on how to proceed with dispute resolution.

Please see page 14 for a list of leasing and mediation resources by state and territory

Information in this article has been provided by Jennifer Huppert, a solicitor with Herbert Geer Lawyers

News on Bookselling March 2013


Retail Leasing resources Australian Capital Territory

South Australia



The Leases (Commercial and Retail) Act 2001 is available online from the ACT Legislation Register at au. Information is available at the Office of Regulatory services at or (02) 6207 3000

Dispute Resolution

The Magistrates Court has jurisdiction to decide applications made under the Act at magistrates/ or (02) 6207 1709

Copies of the Retail and Commercial Leases Act 1995 are available online at Information is available from Consumer and Business Affairs at www.ocba. or 131 882 or the Office of the South Australian Small Business Commissioner at or (08) 8303 2026.

Mediation Service

The South Australian Small Business Commissioner at www. or (08) 8303 2026.

New South Wales




Retail Leases Act 1994 is available online from the NSW Legislation website a The Act is also available from the Retail Tenancy Unit website at www. Information is available from the Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner at www. or 1300 795 534.

The Fair Trading (Cod of Practice for Retail Tenancies) Regulations 1998 is available from the Tasmanian Legislation Database website at Information is available from Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading at www. or 1300 65 4499.

Mediation services

Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading at au or 1300 65 4499.

Office of the NSW Small Business Commissioner at www. or 1300 795 534. The Retail Tenancy Unit Dispute Resolution Kit This kit has information about preventing and resolving disputes. Email

Northern Territory Legislation

The Business Tenancies (Fair Dealings) Act 2009 is available online from the Northern Territory Legislation Database at Information is available from the Office of Consumer Affairs website at au/justice/consaffairs or 1800 019 319

Mediation services

Victoria Legislation

The Retail Leases Act 2003 is available from the Victorian Legislation Database website at Information is available from the Office of Victorian Small Business Commissioner at or (03) 9651 9316. Mediation services Office of the Victorian Small Business Commissioner Ph: (03) 9651 9316

Mediation services

The Office of Consumer Affairs website at justice/consaffairs or 1800 019 319

Queensland Legislation

The Retail Shop Leases Act 1994 is available online at www. legislation/ Information is available from the Retail Shop Leases Registry at or 1800 807 051.

Mediation services

Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal or 1300 753 228 014

News on Bookselling March 2013

ABA news ABA Membership renewals due 1 April Membership of the Australian Booksellers Association gives you access to many different products and services that will save you money, help to keep you informed, and ensure you can run your bookselling business more effectively. Business discounts

Money saving schemes with Australia Post, Oamps Business Insurance, CBA EFTPOS and BSI International Freight Consolidation.


The ABA represents an industry voice in dealing with Government and other institutions on issues which affect you.


The ABA Annual Conference & Trade Exhibition seminars and state-based groups provide an opportunity to expand your professional knowledge and meet with peers from across the book industry.

New ABA Members We welcome the following new members Bookshop Members Army of Nerds, Enmore NSW Aussie Books, Emerald Beach NSW Book Bonding, Gisborne VICP Crickhollow Books, Dingley VIC Pages Plus, Keilor Downs Stranger Than Fiction Books, Brookvale NSW

Associate Supplier Members Ask Alice Stationer, Kensington VIC Boolarong Press, Salisbury QLD Puncher & Wattman, Glebe Smudge Publishing, Prahran VIC


Weekly e-newsonbookselling and the quarterly News on Bookselling are jam-packed with industry news and practical business advice.


Marketing opportunities and support to help drive sales with National Bookshop Day, IndieBound and the Kids’ Reading Guide

For information on any of the ABA member benefit schemes or general information regarding membership please email Tamara at

Key dates for 2013 ABIAs: 24 May ABA Conference & Trade Exhibition: 16 - 17 June National Bookshop Day: 10 August Children’s Book Week: 17- 23 August Indigenous Literacy Day: 4 September

Member Services Officer We welcome back Tamara Seldon Truss to the position of ABA Member Services Officer. Tamara held this position at the ABA from 2006-2007 while Robyn Huppert took maternity leave (oh my, are those twins really 6 already!) and is looking forward to getting to know the many new members who have joined the ABA over the last few years as well as reacquainting herself with many familiar names.

News on Bookselling March 2013


Bookshop profile Dymocks 234 Collins Street What makes Dymocks 234 Collins Street tick? What are our strengths and how we are able to ‘move with the times’? These are the questions the ABA asked me to answer and I duly delegated the task of answering them to our wonderful Children’s Specialist, Career Bookseller, Emma Leslie who has worked for three Dymocks stores over the last twenty years and certainly knows a thing or two about bookselling. Her answer has certainly made me realise that what really makes us tick is our people and our good old fashioned approach to selling real books… Dymocks 234 Collins Street is a familyowned franchise in this basement location since 2001. A vast and impressive 1200 sqm, especially when viewed from the top of the escalator! Over the past couple of years with the demise of the REDgroup, we have welcomed 1000s of new customers lamenting the decline of book stores. I like to think they have found new sanctuary in which to browse, explore and TOUCH an incredible range of books and other gorgeous products.

genre. Our staff are passionate about reading and recommending titles and love to take the time to try and find the perfect title to suit every reader. Often the first approach is to match the customer with the bookseller best equipped to assist and many firm friendships have developed. Our shelves are also punctuated by shelf talkers so that shoppers can keep abreast of what we have been reading. Hand-selling is a huge part of our business and the regular orders of backlist titles demonstrate the power of the shelf talkers and the personal approach we take. When the ideal book cannot be found upon the shelf we are happy to order titles from both Australian and overseas suppliers. Our Orders & Information counter sets us apart from most of our competitors. From 9am on the dot the phone rings hot with requests from the reading public. We send out monthly newsletters to schools featuring new releases and staff reviews and enjoy a steady flow of corporate and school orders.

This is a dynamic environment with over 35 regular staff members. In addition to the core range of titles that all Dymocks stores carry, we have seven staff who work out on the shop floor who also select books, DVD, CDs, toys, games, stationery and an eclectic collection of gifty things to meet our particular needs.

For many years now we have run an enormously popular calendar of Childrens’ events. We have enjoyed sharing the crazy antics of Maisy and Spot among others (Mary in the sweaty suits!). We have had some fantastic turn outs to author events featuring Lauren Kate, Rachel Caine and Maggie Stievater to name a few, and our last few years have been punctuated with visits from the delightful and local Andy Griffiths, Favel Parrett and Sally Rippin. Our café area is ideal for intimate events but we have also hosted wonderful off site events with Michael Palin, Derek Landy, Michael Connelly, Maggie Beer …. I could go on and on! One of the most thrilling aspects of the Dymocks 234 experience in the past two years has been our involvement with the Melbourne Writers Festival. This is a privilege AND task of epic proportion. Our on-site store specially erected in the Federation Square is home to works by all the featured authors, meticulously chosen, displayed and rearranged to suit the events over the 10 days. The printed word is NOT, by any stretch of the imagination, dead….and bookstores, particularly ours, in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD are alive and kicking.

Melissa Traverso and Emma Leslie

Dymocks 234 Colliins St, Melbourne

There is no “cookie-cutter” or “Black Books”approach to customer service here. Customers are sure to find a kindred spirit in their preferred literary

Australian Booksellers Association Incorporated in Victoria, ABN 56 365 379 358, Unit 9, 828 High Street Kew East Victoria 3102 Telephone 03 9859 7322 Email

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News on Bookselling March 2013  

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