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Who are we?
Our publishing philosophy
Our marketing and distribution
Our publishing partners

The Federation Press is an independent, Australian-owned and run publishing company specialising in legal, social and academic books. It was founded in 1987 by Kathryn Fitzhenry, Christopher Holt and Diane Young.

In 2013 The Federation Press turned twenty-five years old. From the initial publication in June 1988 of Peter Gillies’ Business Law, we now have over 400 books in print, publish around 40-50 new books and new editions per year, are entirely self-funding and have no overdraft (nor ever have had).

Despite the size of the list, The Federation Press remains a genuine small publisher. Our seven full-time and two part-time employees sit in one large open plan office; few in number but long in experience. All information is shared and everyone knows what is going on. While everyone has a specialist function, everyone is customer service, everyone answers the phones and, when necessary, packs and despatches books.

We also publish under three specialist imprints: Hawkins Press for our criminology titles; Desert Pea Press for selected high-quality non-law titles; and Themis Press for legal research titles.

Our publishing philosophy

The Federation Press believes ideas are important and that books remain unrivalled as a forum for communication, analysis and debate on ideas. We encourage authors to write books that not only convey information but which also engage current debates and stimulate the intellect. We encourage the use of language which is clear and unambiguous. We even, occasionally, publish revised versions of theses.

The Federation Press endeavours to produce books as environmentally responsibly as we can. All books are printed with soy-based inks, and in 2005 we began printing some of our books on 100% post-consumer-waste paper, Cyclus. By 2007, the majority of our titles were printed on this recycled stock. From 2008, our books are being printed on recycled paper or on internationally certified sustainable FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) paper. Working with our suppliers we are committed to promoting and strengthening the sustainability of the publishing industry.

The Federation Press makes a specific commitment to publishing books on legal and constitutional issues for a broader public. We concentrate on encouraging top quality authors to write with clarity and conciseness on complicated issues so that books, which are simple to understand but not simplistic, are published at attractive prices. Examples are It's Your Constitution and Islam: It's Law and Society.

We also make a specific commitment to keeping our prices down. We want our books to be widely read and, so far as possible, price not to be a deterrent.

The Federation Press is a successful tertiary academic publisher that has relied upon high quality, well-priced books to establish a flourishing student publishing program. It was the 15th largest supplier of books to the University Co-operative Bookshop Ltd (Australia) in second semester 2010.

The Federation Press has a well-merited reputation for speedy and efficient publication. Books are published as soon as possible after delivery and acceptance of manuscript.

Our marketing and distribution

The Federation Press uses wide-ranging, flexible and effective marketing strategies for our academic and legal books. We also have agents who sell to general bookshops; you can find our books not just on campuses and in the legal bookshops but also in the big chains like Dymocks and in the smaller independents which dot our cities and suburbs.

We have a strong interest in ensuring that our books and authors have wide international exposure. We have solid distribution arrangements with Taylor and Francis (UK, Europe (including Eastern Europe and Russian Federation), Israel, Middle East and Africa (including South Africa)) and Irwin Law (Canada). The Federation Press has also successfully co-published books with publishers in the US and UK.

Our distribution system is outstanding. Orders are usually dispatched within 24 hours of receipt. We supplied 99.67% of orders to the University Co-operative Bookshop Ltd for all first semester requirements. The Co-op’s annual analysis, most recently September 2008, is the only objective measure of distribution efficiency in the publishing industry we know of.

Our publishing partners

The Federation Press has extensive experience in cooperative publishing with both community organisations and academic centres. We currently have co-publishing arrangements with the NSW Law and Justice Foundation and the Victorian Law Foundation; the Macquarie Legal Centre; Macarthur Legal Centre; the Immigration Advice & Rights Centre (Sydney);  and with centres at the Australian National University, the Universities of Sydney, Western Australia and Melbourne.


All permission requests must be directed to the Publisher. Please refer to our guidelines in the attached PDF for more information: Permissions

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