I always enjoy the start of the year. It’s a great time to reflect on the year that has gone and look forward to what the new year will bring. Here at Exisle it means looking at what we did right in 2013, what we can improve upon and what we have in the pipeline for 2014.
I am fortunate that I can say 2013 was a terrific year for Exisle. That’s not to say we didn’t get some things wrong but we got a lot right. In many ways it was a record year for us, which sadly is not something everybody in our industry can say. We had some real winners in several of the categories we publish in — The Happiness Trap Pocketbook, Gallipoli, The Total Food Allergy Health & Diet Guide, Every Dog Has Its Day, Dogs In Action, Brumby, Those Were The Days & Optimum Health the Paleo Way were a few of the standouts that were well received by our audience and bookstores in both Australia and New Zealand. We also started our children’s imprint, EK Books, and enjoyed terrific success with An Aussie Year. Of course, Exisle had many more titles that might not quite have achieved ‘bestseller’ status but still performed solidly in what at times has been a difficult market. We also constantly strive to build a strong backlist and it’s fabulous to see established titles such as The Happiness Trap, Mindfulness for Life, The Eczema Diet and many more continuing to sell strongly.
It has been heartening to see signs of recovery in the retail trade with reports in the newspapers of Christmas trading figures in Australia up 3.4% and spending in the region of $42 billion; an additional $15 billion is predicted in the post-Christmas sales. Certainly on our own little website here we saw our best ever December sales results, up significantly on previous years. I hope that our fabulous bookstores around the country saw similar results. Certainly our trade sales for 2013 indicate the book business is picking up.
2013 also saw our most serious focus ever on international sales, with Benny doing a great job of securing foreign rights for a large number of titles across a wide range of countries. As part of our international strategy, extra effort has been put into building the Exisle business in the UK with even more titles planned for release there in 2014.
Books are such good value, whether as entertainment or as a tool building our knowledge. Much of my holiday time was spent with my head buried in a book, much to my wife’s chagrin at times. But where else can you get so many hours of pleasure for such a low price?
So what will 2014 bring us? Certainly the Exisle schedule is again varied and, we think, interesting. A sneak peek at some of our upcoming titles will see School Start, perfectly timed for those with littlies about to start school; Mindful Learning, for anyone studying through 2014; Fit For Birth, essential reading for pregnant women over 35; The ADHD Handbook, covering everything the parent of a child with ADHD needs to know; and Is It True?, another fabulous Max Cryer book that busts the myths behind things we’ve been told and have always simply accepted as true. As we creep towards mid-year we have Healing Fatty Liver Disease — actually, after the indulgent Christmas I had, I might need that one if I don’t change my ways! Of course it wouldn’t be Exisle without more terrific self-help titles, so Chris Skellet (author of When Happiness Is Not Enough) brings us his new one, The Power of the Second Question — just wait till you see the cover on this one!
Each month we will also have more books from our friends at Sheldon Press in the UK, covering topics such as Elderly Relatives, Grief, Holistic Health, Weight Loss, Self-Esteem … Oh, I could go on but I do need to keep some surprises up our sleeve! If you want to be kept up to date and have first bite of the cherry with new releases you really should subscribe to our newsletter. We have two editions — one for general public here and one for the trade here.
So again in 2014 Exisle Publishing will be striving to bring to the fore quality books by Australian and New Zealand authors and demonstrate that local independent publishing is not only alive and kicking but can be, with your support, successful on the world stage as well.
Here’s to a fantastic year ahead! I hope you come along for the ride.
Filed under: Staff Guest Blogs