Category

Featured Members

Sarah Rennie, Gecko Press

By Featured Members

Name: Sarah Rennie
Role: Marketing Manager
Company: Gecko Press

My first job in publishing was: Almost 20 years ago and an eclectic mix of sales, rights and editorial roles. Including trekking across London to sell London A-Z guides to market holders outside tube stations whilst at HarperCollins; granting permissions for books to be used as props on Eastenders at Time Warner Books; and writing back cover blurbs for erotic fiction at Virgin Books. My first and last editorial job!

I’m currently reading: Dipping in and out of JFK by Fredrik Logevall. Listening to Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. Reading aloud I Want Spaghetti by Stephanie Blake with my daughter. Refreshing BBC Sport page for Commonwealth Games coverage in my hometown of Birmingham

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been:  Touring Europe with David Sedaris. He was hysterical. And working on newspaper serialisations in the UK, it could be ruthless, exciting, fast paced – and often involved a bit of scandal.

Chavon Bringans, Upstart Press

By A - F, Featured Members

Name: Chavon Bringans
Role: Publishing and Sales Assistant
Company: Upstart Press

My first job in publishing was: This one! Being the publishing and sales assistant for Upstart Press means that I am jumping from task to task constantly. They include liaising with printers and bookstores, keeping our title information up to date, organising sales material and a lot more. I am lucky enough to see the distribution side of publishing in this job, so I spend the occasional day helping out in the warehouse, which I love.

I’m currently reading: Aside from reading the new releases from Upstart Press, I am making
my way through Book Lovers. Topical right?

The thing that has surprised me most since I started my job is: How much my love for
spreadsheets has grown. I love a good conditionally formatted spreadsheet and in the past
few months I have used them to my advantage because keeping on schedule is important.

The thing I like best about working in publishing is: The books! It may seem cliché but as a lover of books, having them readily available at work is a dream come true. It is great way to
try different books especially ones outside of my comfort zone.

Hope Lenzen, Bateman Books

By A - F, Featured Members, G - L

Name: Hope Lenzen
Role:
Publishing Assistant
Company:
Bateman Books

My first job in publishing was: This one! I am the Publishing Assistant for Bateman Books and I do almost everything you can think of. I oversee our submissions inbox, apply for various book and publishing awards, send out advance and review copies to authors/illustrators, create and maintain NTI’s, create sales kits, honestly the list goes on! I’m still new and settling in, so I assume more jobs will be handed to me as time progresses and I find my feet. I couldn’t be more excited!

I’m currently reading: Mostly submissions… but when I get a quiet moment at home, I am currently re-reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. 

The thing that has surprised me most since I started my job is: Not surprising per say but eye opening. You never stop learning in the publishing industry! I knew I would have much more to learn after my time on the Whitireia Publishing Course and the team here at Bateman Books have been so generous with their knowledge.

The thing I like best about working in publishing is: Being completely surrounded by all thing’s books. There are so many moving parts in the publishing world, and I get to watch, if not be a part of, all of them. I’ve only been at Bateman Books for a short time, but I’ve already had the chance to spend some time in the warehouse and be involved in production and allocation meetings.

Ella Fischer, Auckland Council Libraries

By A - F, Featured Members

Name:Ella Fischer
Role:
Publishing Partnerships Specialist
Company:
Auckland Council Libraries / Ngā Pātaka Kōrero o Tāmaki Makaurau

My first job in publishing was: Actually, it’s this one! My background is in language teaching and (science) communications, so I have always had a passion for words, writing and language. I first got a taste of publishing many years ago, when I had the chance to work on some book projects in publishing seminars at university. More recently, I remembered how much I enjoyed this work and when the job at Auckland Council Libraries came up, it sounded right up my alley. Our publishing programme is focused on Māori and Pasifika content and it is a real privilege to help our communities tell their stories. There is a lot to learn still, but I’m enjoying every second of it!

I’m currently reading: I’m in the middle of Greta & Valdin by Rebecca K Reilly and I love the setting in Tāmaki Makaurau. My to-be-read pile is getting a bit out of control, but some highlights include Sleeps Standing | Moetū by Witi Ihimaera with Hēmi Kelly, and re-reading a favourite, The Flying Mountain by Austrian writer Christoph Ransmayr.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Getting to work with an amazing bunch of people – my lovely colleagues at the library, the communities and writers I get to help bring ideas to life, and the wonderful people working in publishing, who have been very generous in sharing their knowledge, advice, and opportunities. Another big highlight in my short career in publishing was to be awarded a PANZ Mentorship and being matched with an amazing mentor. Ngā mihi nui ki a koutou katoa!

Image of Faith Wilson

Faith Wilson, Saufo`i Press / Penguin Random House New Zealand

By Featured Members, S - Z

Image of Faith WilsonName: Faith Wilson
Role: Founder / Pacific Arts Legacy Intern
Company: Saufo`i Press / Penguin Random House New Zealand

My first job in publishing was: One I created! I started up my own press last year, Saufo`i Press, that publishes Pacific poetry in Aotearoa. But I don’t know if that counts as a job cos I don’t get paid lol, in which case my first official job in publishing is as the Pacific Arts Legacy Intern at PRH, where I started at the beginning of this year. And I’m loving it.

I’m currently reading: Son of Sin by Omar Sakr, published by Affirm Press in Melbourne. Next up is Noelle McCarthy’s Grand, published at PRH.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Being so new to the industry, kinda everything so far. Receiving the internship at PRH – gotta thank the ancestors/Atua/universe (and CNZ and PRH of course) for that one. But also the support and alofa that Saufo`i Press has received. It started out as an idea from someone with zero publishing experience, and with the love and props from my community, it’s now a real thing and that’s feels cool and scary and electric in equal measures.

Lesley Stead, Stead & Daughters

By Featured Members

Name: Lesley Stead
Role:  
Company Director of Stead & Daughters Ltd

My first job in publishing: A number of years ago we tried our hand at publishing. My job at that time was to be a proof reader and editor.  Due to the growth in our retail business, we put publishing to one side until we decided 12 – 18 months ago to make a return. These days I’m working in the domain of design.

I’m currently reading:  Love Stories by Trent Dalton. As the owner of Paige’s Book Gallery, I read a wide variance of genres, doing my best to keep abreast of titles coming through.  After I’ve finished Love Stories I will be onto The Nine Lives of Kitty K by Margaret Mills, and after that Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus. I love to read.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been:  Spotting a gap in the market for a particular line of books for first-time readers, and successfully testing the waters with a publication titled Beautiful Whanganui. Stead & Daughters is currently on a trajectory to continue with a wide variance of titles for first-time readers

Kate Stephenson, Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand

By Featured Members

Name: Kate Stephenson    
Role:
Senior Publisher
Company:
Hachette Aotearoa New Zealand

My first job in publishing was: Assistant to the Publisher & Associate Publisher at HarperFiction, HarperCollins UK

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: I think the nature of publishing is such that there are constant highs and lows. You can sign an amazing new author, and maybe get some exciting sub-rights deals, and you can also be incredibly disappointed if publication doesn’t go the way you’d hoped. On a shallower note, pre-Covid times in London the parties and the New York trips were excellent perks, but probably my biggest highlight so far has been founding an imprint with two of the best colleagues and building from scratch a list that we were genuinely proud of (including some big bestsellers along the way).

Sue Wootton, Otago University Press

By Featured Members, M - R

Name: Sue Wootton
Role:Publisher
Company:
Otago University Press

My first job in publishing was: This job! Although I have been involved as a freelancer and a writer for many years.

I’m currently reading: Dunce by Mary Ruefle, From the Centre: A writer’s life by Patricia Grace and the first of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Difficult to choose but so far this year it would have to be phoning Joanna Preston to let her know that tumble had made the shortlist for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for Poetry in the 2022 Ockham NZ Book Awards.

Tony Murdoch, Cadsonbury Publications

By A - F, Featured Members

Name: Tony Murdoch from Cadsonbury Publications (a wholly owned subsidiary of Smith’s Bookshop)
Publications:
Cadsonbury is a minor player in the publishing world. It specialises in publishing out-of-print NZ books and currently has 127 titles available.
Role: Co-owner with Alan Direen
Company: Chapter & Verse NZ Ltd.

Background: Alan and I took over Smiths in October 2019 so we are very much newcomers to book selling and book publishing. Smith’s is long standing Christchurch business specialising in new and used NZ books.

Cadsonbury Publications was founded by Robin Mitchell who sadly died. Barry Hancox, the previous owner of Smith’s took it over in the early 2000s. Many years ago we both taught in high schools, Alan in Central Otago and myself at Aranui High in Christchurch. A chance conversation at the pub led us to buying Smith’s at a time in our lives when retirement beckoned. Most days we pinch ourselves to make sure it’s not a dream.

I’m currently reading: John Pascoe’s wonderful Explorer Mr Douglas and dipping into Warren Feeney’s Canterbury Society of Arts 1880 -1996 which is a fascinating insight into Christchurch’s arty past.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: Early in the piece we decided to put some resource into promoting Cadsonbury Publications. While its still early days our sales have lifted and we have already added three more titles to our catalogue. One, The Cheviot Estate, was found in one of the 320 boxes of uncatalogued books we inherited. It was the Department of Lands official booklet published in 1893 to facilitate the selling of the Cheviot Estate and had a wonderful map showing the sub-divided estate. We checked in the published books on Cheviot and could not find any reference to it and so thought this would be worthy of reprinting. We then ran an advert in the North Canterbury News and our first, albeit modest, print run sold out!

Graeme Cosslett, PANZ President & New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)

By Featured Members

Name: Graeme Cosslett
Role: Tumuaki – Director | Chief Executive
Company: New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER)
Position on PANZ Council: President

My first job in publishing was:  This is a tricky question for me.  Perhaps I could say delivering papers during my childhood!  Prior to my current role, I was General Manager Products and Services within which NZCER Press is a key business unit.

I’m currently reading:  Te Kōparapara – an introduction to the Māori world, Auckland University Press (edited by L. Carter, S. Duncan, G.Leoni, L. Paterson, M. Ratima, M. Reilly, P. Rewi), and The Book of the Earthworm, Apollo Publishers (Sally Coulthard).  One to nourish the mind, and one the garden.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: For several reasons – the Taipei International Book fair of 2015.  Travelling abroad feels like such a distant memory these days but in 2015 New Zealand was the host country so we had a wonderful representation of New Zealanders in Taipei and publishers are simply great fun to travel with.  I also remember the absolute delight of their local people and how they would queue up at the doors each morning, then literally sprint to their favourite locations at the book fair, clearly with an absolute love and passion for books and reading.