Welcome to my personal website. This is where I post details of writing projects, films, and other personal projects, and occasionally (very occasionally at the moment) blog on subjects that I hope will be interesting to many of the people I know – in writing, film-making, data management, consulting and life in general. I’m pretty slack with it: writing actual novels and short stories gets priority.
My Movember campaign is over: thanks to those who bought my books in Movember, and thus added to my Australian royalties. The sales figures are through, and we raised $7,200, which I’ve duly donated. For those who multiply by twelve and figure that’s my income, it’s more complicated than that. November and December are traditionally big months, and books traditionally sell well in the initial period after publication — Two Steps Forward was easily my bestseller in November, though the others performed respectably. Book advances are also an important part of authors’ income – lump sums that you have to ‘earn out’ before any further royalties are paid (all my books have earned out in Australia so Movember was not affected). But it gives an idea of the income that an author on the bestseller lists can make from sales in Australia – either a lot or a little depending on your expectations.
This is what it was about:
Instead of Sponsoring me to Grow a Moustache, Buy a Book
In November, 2017, I’m donating my Australian book royalties to the Movember Men’s health campaign. The more book sales, the more royalties… So I’m asking everyone I can contact to buy one of my books and / or pass on the word. If we get this going, it could translate into a really substantial donation: I’ll keep you updated here.
I’m doing this for two reasons:
- Mental health in particular is a huge issue – one that will touch most of us directly or indirectly at some time. Through my Rosie books, featuring a character on the autism spectrum, I’ve come into contact with many individuals who are only a step or two away from being able to build careers, extend their relationships and live fuller lives. If we can find and fund the right interventions and support, we can help them take those steps.
Mental illness can affect any of us, men or women, but we know that men are more likely to commit suicide or violence towards others. My wife, Anne Buist, does great work as Chair of Women’s Mental Health at the University of Melbourne. It makes sense to similarly direct some of our effort towards men.
- I’m on a mission to get men to read more novels. Any publisher will tell you that they sell fiction mainly to women, and choose what they publish accordingly. It’s a vicious circle I’d like to break.
There’s research to suggest that reading fiction is good for psychological health (understanding others, building empathy in particular) and that can only be a good thing. If there are books around that we can relate to.
So, November / Movember:
Below are the four books I’ll be donating royalties from. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding them in bookshops. All are available as e-books and all but Two Steps Forward as audio books. If you want to order online, an excellent Australian option is Booktopia https://www.booktopia.com.au/search.ep?keywords=simsion&productType=917504
If you’re thinking Christmas presents, Two Steps Forward will be published around the world (with a bit of fanfare) but not outside Australia / NZ until at least March 2018.
The Rosie Project. Comedy, safe choice. 3.5 million copies sold in about 40 languages. Australian Book Industry Book of the Year, 2014. Socially awkward male hero seeks perfect woman. Men who have recommended this book include Bill Gates, Nicholas Kristof, Alan Carr, Tim Ferguson. If you’re on the geeky side, and your partner doesn’t understand you, buy it, read it, and then give it to them to read.
The Rosie Effect. Sequel, comedy. Same socially awkward man tries to hold his marriage together as he faces fatherhood. Similarly recommended, but read the first one first.
The Best of Adam Sharp. My personal favourite and one that men (overall) have responded better to than women, though Toni Collette liked it enough to option it for a movie. Most common criticism: too much sex, drinking and (mainly 60s and 70s) music. If that doesn’t sound like a negative, this one’s for you.
Two Steps Forward. Just hit the Australian bestseller list, a collaboration with my wife. An engineer (male, divorced, cynical) and a recent widow (spiritual, vegetarian, impulsive) independently set out to walk the Camino de Santiago. If you’ve ever contemplated the Camino, or are up for personal renewal, no further thought needed.
Thanks in advance. I’m hoping that between us we can get some men reading novels again, and the rest reading one extra. And that we raise a heap for men’s health.
Latest News – Writing & Production
August 4 (2017) TWO STEPS FORWARD is with the printer and Text Publishing have announced publishing deals in USA, UK, Canada, Germany, Netherlands and Israel. The remainder of the foreign publishers are still to publish THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP, so won’t make a decision for a while.
Jun 17: I’ll be taking some time out to write between mid June and mid August. Expecting to have some more movie news soon. TWO STEPS FORWARD, my novel with Anne Buist, is in the final stages of editing for publication in Australia early October with other countries to follow.
Toni Collette options The Best of Adam Sharp screenplay and book – see Deadline.com
Week beginning May 1 2017:
THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP published in US May 2
I’m on tour in the US with THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP till May 18 – Event details here
TWO STEPS FORWARD, the new novel with Anne Buist has been typeset.
I’ll be doing a bunch of events at the Sydney Writers Festival later this month
THE BEST OF ADAM SHARP was published in Australia on Sept 19, 2016 and Netherlands in Oct 2016. Feb for UK and Germany, May for USA.
It’s the story of a love affair rekindled after 22 years, set in Melbourne, Norwich and a French village. It’s about love, music and coming to terms with the past. Rights have also been sold in UK, USA, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, Hungary, Poland and Estonia – hopefully with more to come.
My new novel, TWO STEPS FORWARD (previously LEFT RIGHT), written with partner Anne Buist, is scheduled for publication in Australia in October. A story of renewal set on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
Year beginning 1 Jan
Sad to hear of the passing of Peter Sarstedt – a fifty year career remembered largely for one huge hit in 1969, ‘Where do you go to my Lovely?’.
My partner, Anne, and I caught him when he played in a Brunswick St, Fitzroy club, must have been late 80s, opening and closing with The Song in a wry acknowledgement of his ‘one hit wonder’ reputation.
Anne had a special affection for The Song, but not the lines about being ‘between 20 and 30, a very desirable age’. So for her 40th, I asked Mr Sarstedt via his agent if he’d be good enough to record it for her without the verse. He very graciously did so, writing an alternative verse, and posted me the cassette in time for her birthday. I included the story, briefly, in The Best of Adam Sharp, but it was one of the self indulgent bits that ended up in the editor’s waste basket. Sadly.
Week Beginning 21 November, 2016
A visit to NZ speaking at Glen Eden library
The Rosie Project back at No 1 on Text Publishing e-book charts
General information about The Rosie Project including list of international publishers.
General information about The Rosie Effect including list of international publishers.
News about the US Publication of the The Rosie Project.
The Rosie Project, a novel by Graeme Simsion and winner of the 2012 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an unpublished manuscript and Australian Book Industry Association Book of the Year for 2014 was published in Australia by Text Publishing on 30 January, 2013. Rights have been sold in 41 countries.
The screenplay of The Rosie Project has been optioned to Sony Pictures. My agent (screenwriting only) is Rich Green, at ICM Partners, Los Angeles.
Graeme Simsion’s Tedx Talk, Its all design, from IT projects to The Rosie Project, can be viewed by clicking here.