Publishing in a Topsy Turvy World

I’d forgotten that today was the day the Children’s Book Council Awards shortlists were being announced when I noticed the notables listed on Twitter this morning. So it was particularly exciting to discover that Topsy Turvy World was not only a notable but, at midday, was shortlisted for the 2013 CBCA Book of the Year Awards for the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.  

Topsy Turvy World is a book that belongs as much to its publisher, Susan Hall, and the staff of the National Library who helped bring it to life, as it does to me. In an era where self-publishing and online content feel like a viable alternative to mainstream publishing, it’s easy to overlook the importance of traditional publishers. Books like Topsy Turvy World wouldn’t exist without the commitment of a strong team.

Although I wrote the words and imagined every detail of the history of the fifteen native animals featured in Topsy Turvy World, I had plenty of back-up from the National Library to make sure every fact was verified by historians and naturalists.

Topsy Turvy world was inspired by Penny Olsen’s beautiful book for adult readers, Upside Down World, and is illustrated with 18th & 19th century illustrations from the collections of the National Library of Australia.

Books like Topsy Turvy World wouldn’t exist without the support and commitment of a strong team. Perhaps that’s what is most important about any good book – that it brings people together to enjoy a shared vision of the world.

Kirsty is an Australian author of books for children and young adults.

“Every adult was once a child and the child inside them never disappears.”

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