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Featured Members

Zooey Neumann, Edify

By Featured Members

Name: Zooey Neumann
Role: Content Development
Company: Edify Ltd

My first job in publishing was… Administrative assistant with Helen Benton and Bob Ross at Tandem Press, ca. 1999.

I’m currently reading… I tried giving science fiction a go and have just finished reading An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon, but it’s not for me. Back to literary fiction I go, once I can tear myself away from wasting time on Twitter.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… I can’t pinpoint one particular highlight but I am proud that we are still managing to produce New Zealand textbooks here at Edify. I am particularly proud of the new editions of David Barton’s Alpha and Beta Mathematics (David has sold over 2 Million copies of his maths books over the years), as well as the superb New Zealand Chef by Lesley Christensen-Yule and Lindsay Neill, 4th edition.

Becky Innes, Allen & Unwin NZ

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Name: Becky Innes
Role: Marketing Manager
Company: Allen & Unwin NZ

My first job in publishing was… Marketing Assistant at HarperCollins – although completely inexperienced I got an interview on the strength of using the word “eclectic” in my CV, and here I am 20+ years later.

I’m currently reading… I just finished and LOVED Crudo by Olivia Laing. So funny, yet heart-rending about the state of the world. Now enjoying Lanny by Max Porter (Eleanor Catton’s UK editor, also a writer) – so imaginative, and I love how he evokes the history of the village/English countryside/folk traditions, but a little boy has just gone missing so I think I’m going to have ask a colleague who’s read it if there’s a happy ending otherwise I don’t know if I can go on…

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… Winning (with our wonderful publicity team) the Marketing Strategy of the Year Award at NZ Book Industry Awards 2017, for Woman in the Wilderness – I love it when books by unknown writers and small promo budgets do well.

Malcolm Neil, Booktrack

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Name: Malcolm Neil
Role: Business Development
Company: Booktrack

My first job in publishing was… Bookseller at Minotaur Books (a SF&F specialist) in Melbourne Australia in 1988.

I’m currently reading… Marlborough Man by Alan Carter, and a bunch of other crime novels

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… I think starting Kobo in Australia and New Zealand is top of the list at the moment, but I also rate being the CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association pretty high.

Erena Shingade, Allen & Unwin

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Name: Erena Shingade
Role: Publicist
Company: Allen & Unwin

My first job in publishing was… This one! Publishing is a dream, especially after having worked in debt collection.

I’m currently reading… I Love Dick by Chris Kraus. The 2017 TV adaptation is pretty great, too.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… Working with the A&U team on Helen Clark’s Women, Equality, Power in September last year. The level of audience enthusiasm at her talks was off the charts, and now that she is her own boss, her comments on feminist issues are even more witty and cutting. Listening to her and Lianne Dalziel chat backstage at WORD Christchurch about the challenges faced by young women going into politics now was incredible.

Martha Halford, Martha Halford PR

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Name: Martha Halford
Role: Head of Communication
Company: Martha HalfordPR

Martha Halford is a UK-based PR professional with twenty years’experience promoting non-fiction. After overseeing the PR function at a medium-sized independent publisher of business & management titles for ten years, she set up her eponymous consultancy in 2010.

Several PANZ members are likely to have UK distribution without an active marketing function. If any of them would like to bring their titles to the attention of a bigger audience, Martha would be delighted to discuss a potential collaboration with them. Please go to the website’s contact section to find her details.

My first job in publishing was… I started my career as a production assistant with Dorling Kindersley. The ad stated that I would be required to liaise among departments which appealed to me due to the communication angle. It turned out that comms between the different departments were to be succinct and dry and I lasted in the job a few months before transitioning to an international sales role, my first step towards fulfilling my PR vocation!

I’m currently reading… I’m glad to be asked what I’m reading so as to talk about books, for a change, in publishing. As I manage a communication consultancy and a young family, I don’t have time for reading and my rate is pretty slow. However, I’m re-reading some short stories by Chekhov (one of my heroes) and I’m about to start a short story by Henry James. I wrote a long essay on James for my MA in English Literature and I recently rediscovered him, after many years, before a trip to Venice last Summer. I read ‘The Aspern Papers’ which rekindled my love for the literary master.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… Since modesty is not one of my fortes (usually PR professionals aren’t the proverbial wallflower) I would tend to point out that I’ve had a wealth of PR highlights getting difficult books into the market – I deal with books written by authors usually unknown outside their professional circle and who deal with specialist topics. Having browsed through my website to refresh my memory I think that the launch of the Collins Dictionary’s latest edition is a fitting example.When I devise a campaign, I never adopt the ‘scatter gun approach’ but I think creatively about all the media who might be interested: from the specialist media to the national ones. In this instance, I targeted the publications of all professions for whom the command of the language is of particular importance from lawyers to academics via marketers. They all announced the new Collins. I then pitched many features to national newspapers around new words in the Dictionary – as a result most newspapers covered it (alongside their digital editions). This campaign appears on my site here.

Andy Long, Auckland University Press

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Name: Andy Long
Role: Marketing and Sales Manager
Company: Auckland University Press

My first job in publishing was… I got the digital marketing assistant role at Random House New Zealand in 2011.

I’m currently (re)reading… The Infinite Game by Niki Harré as I and the author have a sneaky plan to work with this text – very ‘hush hush’ you understand.

My biggest career highlight has been… Taking a lead role in updating the websites of each publisher I’ve worked for (AUP’s new one is imminent). Note: This is not to say I ‘made’ these sites (I can’t code to save myself) but rather as a lead communicator/project manager between the site developer and the publisher ensuring the product is made as well as possible. But the site itself is not what makes them, after all it’s just a website, one of millions and so fleeting that the sites I’m referring to are all gone and replaced now. What makes them a highlight is the massive team effort it takes to get them live. These sites allowed me to work with directly with everyone in the publishing ladder, from the customer service team, to the MD, to the publisher, to our partners overseas and everyone in-between. It is these relationships and friendships that I formed as a result of getting a website live that are priceless to me.

Craig Gamble, Victoria University Press

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Name: Craig Gamble
Role: Publishing Manager
Company: Victoria University Press

My first job in publishing was: I started in the book trade at Whitcoulls, before moving to the Publisher’s Agents Samuels Brown, begun by Margaret Samuels and Neil Brown. Not long after that Neil, his brother David, and I formed Archetype Book Agents. After a few years in Australia working for Borders and others, I came back to NZ, working for Booksellers NZ for a year before coming to VUP. I’ve been here ever since.

I’m currently reading: The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (a novel that can barely contain the life within it), Michael Pollen’s history of psychedelic drugs How to Change Your Mind and a Text non-fiction work by Carolin Emcke called How We Desire. Also, a large array of forthcoming VUP titles (there’s a new book by Elizabeth Knox coming that completely blew me away).

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: There are two, hard to choose between them. The first was selling the third Harry Potter book into New Zealand with Archetype. It was the first Harry to really hit in big in NZ and what I remember most is the chaos of publication day and the photos of all the Harry parties around the county, especially at The Children’s Bookshop in Wellington. The second was the morning we watched Eleanor Catton win the Booker Prize for The Luminaries. The VUP office sort of erupted and didn’t calm down for about a year. The months afterwards were a blur of excitement and work. At one stage we were booking entire aircraft to bring stock over from Australia. But it was huge fun too, and so wonderful to see one of our own get so much well deserved praise and attention.

Tania Mackenzie-Cooke, Hachette NZ

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Name: Tania Mackenzie-Cooke
Role: Publicity Manager
Company: Hachette NZ

My first job in publishing was… This one! After 20 years of being a journalist and radio producer I jumped ship to Hachette two years ago and have never looked back!

I’m currently reading…  A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. Neon/Sky have just started broadcasting the TV adaptation. A Discovery of Witches is the first book in the trilogy – and for my first foray in to Witches, Daemons and Vampires I am definitely getting the gist of what all the fuss is about. I’ve also just finished Michael Caine’s Blowing the Bloody Doors Off – I have been a huge fan of Michael’s my whole life, the book is as charming, warm and funny as he is.

My biggest career highlight in publishing has been… There have been two – the first is when my personally signed copy of Michael Caine’s bio arrived for me. I’ll be honest and say I had tears in my eyes.  The second is a shout out really – moving from journalism to publishing was a huge change for me, and it has been the highlight of my working life to discover that working in publishing is as magic, life affirming and inspiring as I’d hoped.

Jenny Thomas, Cengage Learning

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Name: Jenny Thomas
Role: Publishing Editor
Company: Cengage Learning

My first job in publishing was… As an author!  I was teaching English at a local secondary school and was approached to co-author a junior language skills book for New House Publishers.  Luckily, the title was a success and that led me to continue writing over 20 workbooks and textbooks for NZ English classrooms during the last 20 years.  New House Publishers subsequently become Cengage Learning and 10 years ago I was approached to become the Editorial Publisher for their multidisciplinary local secondary list.

I’m currently reading… I have just finished The Pearl Sister by Lucinda Riley … the perfect companion to sitting by the pool in the Hawaiian sunshine!

My biggest career highlight has been… Aside from publishing my very first book it would be the part I have played in developing a hugely successful series for senior Mathematics.  Walker Maths is a comprehensive publishing project for individual Achievement Standards at NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3.  We have been working on building the series for 3 years and we now have over 30 titles available.

Debra Millar, Point Publishing

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Name:  Debra Millar
Role:  Owner/publisher
Company:  Point Publishing Limited

My first job in publishing was… I joined Annabel Langbein Media in 2009 after working for 20 years as a journalist and then magazine publisher with ACP Magazines (now Bauer Media), so I was definitely a latecomer to books. It was a thrilling time to enter the book trade as Annabel was embarking on filming her first TV series, The Free Range Cook.

I managed the publication of the cookbook that accompanied the TV series and helped to set up some international rights sales. That book still ranks as the number one-selling New Zealand title through BookScan.

 

I’m currently reading… I am writing and publishing an illustrated history of my suburb, Point Chevalier, next year and my reading currently centres around that project. I’m reading Halfway Round the Harbour, the autobiography of historian and writer Sir Keith Sinclair, published in 1993. I intended to read only the early chapters relating to Sir Keith’s childhood years in Point Chevalier, but I’ve found it impossible to put down. He had a big life and he writes with great warmth and humour.

My biggest career highlight so far was… Joining Penguin Books in 2010 as General Manager of Publishing. I took over from Geoff Walker, who had been with Penguin for 25 years and published some of the country’s most important books to this day. Given I had amassed just 18 months of book publishing experience, it was daunting. But I like to think my journalistic instincts and nose for a great story stood me in good stead. I’ve felt incredibly privileged to share the life stories of some immensely private people, including most recently the basketballer Steven Adams, which was a four-year quest.