Author Notes #5 (January 2024)

Booksellers wanting less diversity (?!); a long look at the publishing industry; #Booktok; the Colleen Hoover backlash; and why authors need to check their contracts

Welcome to my first Author Notes for 2024, a monthly post in which I highlight a few things that have caught my attention in the writing and publishing industry over the last month.


In Australia, the owner of Robinson’s Bookshop Susanne Horman recently made some startling comments on X (Twitter) suggesting that what bookstores and readers really need is less diversity, more stories about men, boys and ‘white kids on the cover’. WTF? And then yesterday the official ‘apology’ was equally painful, offering explanations and justifications that didn’t go down too well with a lot of Aussie authors and readers. It feels depressing to give airtime to this kind of thing, but in response, author Zana Fraillon started a really great chat on Instagram about #betterbookshops, which has given everyone the opportunity to heap praise onto the booksellers who champion diversity and inclusivity. Shout out here to the excellent Indigenous owned and led Magabala Books in WA, with their beautiful bookshop in Broome.

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