Every year the Australia Council for the Arts in partnership with Sydney Writers Festival and Writing NSW organises the prestigious Visiting International Publishers delegation. The list of VIPs alumni is a formidable list of publishing professionals from around the world. According to the website:
Delivered alongside the Sydney Writers’ Festival, the VIPs program supports international publishers, scouts and literary agents to participate in a week-long schedule of business meetings, networking events, industry forums, writers’ festival events, and panel discussions with Australian publishers and agents. The program showcases Australia’s literary talent, and promotes the sale of rights to Australian titles in international markets.
The visiting delegation will immerse themselves in Australia’s unique literary culture, share insights into global publishing trends, strengthen relationships with their Australian counterparts, and expand opportunities for Australian authors overseas.
VIPs is one of the Australia Council’s signature strategic initiatives, and this year marks the 21st anniversary of the program. Since its inception in 1998, the VIPs program has welcomed 270 international guests to Australia, from 28 countries, with more than 300 Australian titles sold into overseas markets through the program.
In 2016 and 2017, the Australia Council conducted a five year longitudinal evaluation of the VIPs program from 2011-2016, which included a survey of Australian publishers and agents. The report is now available here.
The evaluation revealed that for every $1 the Australia Council invests in the VIPs program, $5.45 is generated for the Australian literature sector – a 445% return on investment.
The evaluation also revealed:
- More than $4.1 million in rights sales has been reported over the five years ($3.8 million in direct sales to VIPs who attended, and a further $300,000 in indirect sales through referrals from VIPs to other international publishers);
- Participation in the VIPs program in 2016 accounted for 15% of all rights sales for Australian publishers;
I am honoured to have been invited to join this delegation later this month. This the 21st delegation being organised and hosted by the Australia Council for the Arts. The biographies of the 2019 visiting delegates is now available online.
Ia Atterholm, Literary Agent – Ia Atterholm Literary Agency, SWEDEN
Faye Bender, Literary Agent – The Book Group, USA
Jaya Bhattacharji Rose – International Publishing Consultant, INDIA
Peter Blackstock, Senior Editor – Grove Atlantic, USA
Simon Boughton, Publishing Director – Norton Young Readers, W.W. Norton & Company, USA
Joanna Cárdenas, Editor – Kokila, Penguin Random House US, USA
Li Kangqin, Senior Acquisition Editor & Rights Manager – Shanghai 99 Readers’ Culture, CHINA
Job Lisman, Editorial Director – Prometheus Publishers, NETHERLANDS
Pamela Malpas, Literary Agent – Jennifer Lyons Literary Agency, USA
Stephen Morrow, Vice President – Dutton, Penguin Random House US, USA
Julia Reuter, Editor – Carlsen Verlag, GERMANY
Rebecca Servadio, Literary Scout – London Literary Scouting, UK
Susan Van Metre, Executive Editorial Director – Walker Books US, Walker Books International, USA
16 April 2019