HarperCollins Australia: Publisher QnA

January 21, 2014 Bookish 13


The first in my series of publisher QnA’s is by HarperCollins Publishers Australia, who among other things, bring out the HarperTeen and Voyager titles. HarperCollins is synonymous with quality (in my eyes), and their publicist has answered a few questions about reviewing for them.


1. Your official job title is…?

Publicist – Children’s and Voyager at HarperCollins.

2. How long have been in your current position?

Almost a year! You know what they say about time flying.

3. How did you break into the business?

I actually studied journalism and even worked at a magazine for most of my degree. In my second last semester, I joined the editorial committee of the uni’s creative writing anthology and loved the process so much that I knew I wanted to try and get into publishing somehow. I had many elaborate plans to apply for postgraduate programs but was very lucky when my journalism lecturer used one of her nifty contacts to organize an internship in HC’s editorial department.

A job came up which the managing editor encouraged me to apply for – I didn’t get it, but they must have liked me because when another opportunity came up, I was hired! (Hooray 🙂 )

Disruption (Disruption #1) by Jessica Shirvington. Out March 24th 2014.

4. What are you reading right now?

I’m having trouble with commitment at the moment so I’ve just been re-reading. My most recent re-reads have been Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell and Disruption by Jessica Shirvington –which is a re-read for me, but readers will have to wait until March 24th before they can read it for the first time! (Mwahaha) Trust me though, it’s excellent and worth the wait.

Ahh Disruption. Colour me impatient, with a dash of envy 😉

5. Do you use NetGalley or Edelweiss?

Locally, we use NetGalley very occasionally. NetGalley and Edelweiss are always good places to find titles from HarperUS.

6. Do you send out review copies or physical Advanced Reading Copies (ARCs) to reviewers?

A combination of both. We will have ARCs for specific titles, which can go out up to six months before publication. Most titles however have review copies. Our US and UK offices will sometimes send us ARCs for their titles to distribute – we often post about them over on our HarperCollinsYA twitter account if we think they’ll be of interest to bloggers. This seems to work, but you have to be super quick (especially with Kasie West – her ARCs are like gold).

7. Are there catalogues reviewers can look at online? If so, where can they find them?

Yep, we have a monthly publicity catalogue for our lead titles which you can check out here.

8. What should a review request include? Do you have any guidelines reviewers should meet before they contact you (page views, followers, etc.)?

Ok, I like this question because some review requests make me laugh (or alternately groan).

What you need are links to your blog and your twitter account – those are the things I’ll definitely check out. The other stats are fine, but what I’m looking at to determine you’re not a total random just wanting free books is whether you post on your blog regularly and whether you’re engaging and interacting frequently on social media. Avoid guilt trips/pity parties and sending huge lists of requests for books that actually come from different publishers!

Also, rather than emailing us to tell us you want to be on our database, contact us when you have a specific book you want to request. It sounds terrible, but otherwise you probably won’t be at the front of my mind when I’m putting together review copy lists.

9. Where should potential reviewers send review requests?

Emailing publicity@harpercollins.com.au is the best way. (Please don’t ask me directly on Twitter. Work/Life balance, lovelies! I’m always happy to talk about books anytime of the day, but when it becomes too work-focused – particularly at night or on the weekends – it’s a bit much.)

10. Do you have a preference for when reviews are posted?

As early as possible during the month of publication is ideal. I understand bloggers’ reading schedules can be insane – but still, during the first month is best. That’s true for YA but when it comes to BFF (big fat fantasy), I understand they can take some time to get through!

11. What is your position on receiving reviews for books you have not sent to a reviewer?

It’s fine? Actually it’s quite cool because it means the book is getting out there in ways that are not just through the publishing house.

12. Speculating on SpecFic is all about supporting Aussie authors. Which awesome Aussies do you publish?

Jessica Shirvington, Tara Eglington, Gabrielle Tozer, Sarah Ayoub, Duncan Lay, Jo Spurrier, Kylie Chan, Traci Harding, Will Elliott, David M Henley, KJ Taylor, Jackie French – the list goes on and on! We have fabulous local authors.

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer. Out February 1st 2014.

13. Any débuts readers should look out for this year?

For YA – Gabrielle Tozer’s The Intern (out in February) is a very fresh and funny contemporary read. For Voyager, check out Alan Baxter – his first book Bound is out in July and is a fantastic dark urban fantasy.

14. What do you love most about your job, about the Australian publishing world, and book community in general?

Goodness, what a question! The best part of all the things is being able to share great stories with other readers (or people about to become readers).

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions 🙂 My pleasure!


So there you have it, everything you need to know about reviewing for HarperCollins Publishers Australia, straight from the wonderful lady who reads all the requests!

13 Responses to “HarperCollins Australia: Publisher QnA”

  1. Emily Mead

    That sounds like a fabulous job! I’m still in high school, but I’ve always wanted to do journalism at uni – nice to know it’s a good pathway.

    I can’t wait to read The Intern this year.

    • Shaheen

      It does, doesn’t it? I always daydream about working with books for a living! The Intern sounds awesome, I’m planning to pick it up when I can. Sneaky copies have already been spotted around AU!

      • Emily Mead

        I’ve heard about the sneaky copies! I’m going into the Sydney Dymocks this Friday (read: buying a million trillion books) so I hope there are some there!!

        • Shaheen

          I bought mine today!!! My local Big W had both the black and the white copies, I bought a black one 😀 Excited to read it, I loved The Devil Wears Prada.

    • Shaheen

      Thanks!! I’m hoping this series will help reviewers who always email *me* about all this stuff – they can have all the information and decide what to do next 🙂

      The other interviews will have exactly the same questions, so I hope it’s still interesting for you to find out what the other publishers say! 😀

  2. Joy @ Thoughts By J

    Wonderful QnA Shaheen, it’s been a very insightful read. 🙂 I’m so excited to get my hands on a copy of The Intern, it looks wonderful.

    I interned at A&U recently and it was a wonderful experience. It was so good playing a part in the publishing process, and it just made me fall in love with books all over again.

    I’m looking forward to your next publisher’s QnA!

    Joy x

    • Shaheen

      INTERNING! I absolutely wish I still lived in Sydney – I’d be applying for all those jobs! I’m still planning to maybe apply after my PhD. I’d love to work with books but I’m scared that the moment books turn into work for me, I may enjoy them less. As in, I like it begin my hobby and am afraid to turn it into work. So that’s a decision I’ll have to make next year – what to do after the PhD!

      And related: I bought a copy of The Intern today. Looking forward to reading it 😀

  3. Cait

    I’m so glad you’re doing this series. 🙂 It’s SO interesting. I love HarperCollins. They were the first publishers I ever asked for an ARC I was so nervous! I didn’t think I’d get a yes, because they are the best publishers…honestly. I totally agree with you when you say they’re excellent for quality. I’m more likely to rate books 4 or 5 stars when they come from HarperCollins.

    • Shaheen

      Hahah, HC do publish quite a lot of awesome books. In fact, I went to a bargain bookstore today and all 4 books I bought were from Harper. I love them too!

  4. Olivia (Bookcomet)

    This actually helps SO much. Thank you!
    I have been wanting to request an arc for ages but I’m a little shy. It’s nice to hear from a publicist for an agent in Australia though! I dream of having her job!

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