A New Kind of Indie Publisher
For Pity Sake Publishing started life in 2014 on Sydney’s beautiful northern beaches. Our founder, Jen McDonald, originally set up the company to self-publish her own work. But as soon as the shingle went up, she was almost knocked down in the rush of new and previously published authors.
Each of these authors came to For Pity Sake via different paths. Some had been ‘let go’ from traditional publishing houses for commercial reasons (that’s code for ‘your book didn’t sell enough copies’). Others had tried the self-publishing route and found it a very lonely experience. One or two new authors didn’t know the first thing about getting a book into print, other than the rejections and silence from traditional publishers they’d approached.
It became clear to Jen that there was room in the industry for a more collaborative, personalised and (dare we say it) humane approach to publishing – and that’s what we at For Pity Sake aspire to every day. That’s why ‘we’re for writers’ is our tagline, borne out in the diversity of our author stable which includes:
New, never before published writers
Genre-busters (those who are writing in untried or blended genres)
Authors in formats like poetry and short stories that are often eschewed by traditional publishing houses
Self-published authors who need a helping hand along what can be a solitary road
Established authors who no longer have a home with a traditional publisher.
Authors who want to invest in themselves and their work.
Barbie Robinson is a Canberra-based arts advocate and artist whose practice encompasses writing, photography, design, event management, radio presentation/production, audiobook narration and arts marketing. Barbie’s current endeavours include running the Living Arts Canberra internet radio site. That Looks on Tempests, is her third solo book of poetry and the first to be published by For Pity Sake. The work is highly personal, created as part of Barbie’s ‘Gratitude Project’ after a life-saving stem cell transplant.
Bettina Ehrlich, née Bauer, was an Austrian painter, illustrator and author of children's books. Born in Vienna in 1903, Bettina lived briefly in Berlin and Paris, and from 1938 in England until her death in 1985. Her beautifully illustrated children’s books were originally published by Oxford University Press and after Ehrlich’s passing, the London-based Jewish Blind and Disabled charity became the beneficiary of the copyright. JBD kindly granted For Pity Sake the rights to reproduce six of Bettina Ehrlich’s works - Francesco and Francesca, Trovato, Sardines and the Angel, The Goat Boy, Angelo and Rosaline and For the Leg of a Chicken.
Jennifer is a Sydney Australia-based communication professional. In 2014, Jen founded For Pity Sake and published two of her books, Vegetarian Vampires a series of essays on Deepak Chopra’s Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, and My Big Breast Adventure, a collection of blog posts written over a two-year period while she received treatment for breast cancer. Due to a relapse, Jen stepped down from her position as Principal of For Pity Sake Publishing in December 2018, but you can follow her progress here.
Warren Reed is a former Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agent who currently advises businesses on the geopolitics of globalisation with specific emphasis on Australia and the Asian region. A regular media commentator on espionage and terrorism, Reed is often sought out to comment on the human side of spying. Fluent in written and spoken Japanese, Warren Reed’s other language studies include Mandarin, Bahasa Indonesian and Arabic. He has written two previous espionage fiction novels – Code Cicada and Hidden Scorpion. An Elephant on Your Nose is Warren’s third spy novel and the first to be published by For Pity Sake.
Peter Yeldham OAM is an internationally award-winning author. His Australian work includes numerous mini-series, among them 1915, Captain James Cook, The Alien Years, All the Rivers Run, The Heroes, The Far Country, Run from the Morning, The Timeless Land, Ride on Stranger and The Battlers. His adaptation of Bryce Courtenay’s novel Jessica earned Peter a Logie award in 2005. He is the author of nine previous historical novels including those published or republished by For Pity Sake: A Bitter Harvest, Barbed Wire and Roses, Above the Fold, Dragons in the Forest and The Last Double Sunrise. For more, click here.
Diana Thompson has long harboured the desire to become a writer. This became a reality when her first romance novel Winterflood’s Passion was published by For Pity Sake in 2015. Diana is a true romantic, believing there is one incredible love out there for each and every one of us. An award-winning jeweller by trade, she ran Canberra’s most eminent jewellery store ‘Briolette’ for several decades before retiring to a smaller bespoke operation in Braidwood, close to the family farm she shares with her husband. Writing now consumes her every waking thought and Australian country life has a special place in her stories. Winterflood’s Passion and Unbridled Passion are both set in Bowral in the picturesque New South Wales Southern Highlands. Learn more here.
Dorothy Johnston was born in Geelong and lived in Canberra for thirty years before returning to Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula where the ‘sea-change mystery’ series is set, comprising to date Through A Camel’s Eye and The Swan Island Connection. She has authored eleven mystery and literary novels in all, two of which – Ruth and One for the Master – have been shortlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Dorothy has published many short stories and essays including an ebook, Eight Pieces on Prostitution. She has reviewed fiction for the Fairfax Press for several years. Click here for more.
Sara Dowse is an award-winning writer. Her novel West Block drew on her experience as head of the first women’s policy unit in Australia’s department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. Four other novels followed.
‘Virtually alone among writers of Australian fiction,’ one observer has noted, ‘she has a fine understanding of the mechanics of power.’ As the Lonely Fly, twenty-five years in the research and writing, is her sixth novel.
For more than 40 years Tim O’Dwyer has practised as a solicitor in Queensland Australia. Nationally recognised as a ‘real estate watchdog’ and consumer advocate, he often appears on programs such as Today Tonight and A Current Affair and has been a regular columnist for Australian Property Investor magazine. His legal articles have been published in newspapers and magazines across Australia and Tim has lectured on real estate law at TAFE colleges, QUT and the University of Queensland. He has also contributed to a Legal Studies text book for secondary schools. Apart from an early slim volume of poetry, Real Estate Escapes is Tim’s first book. To learn more click here.