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Three Festivals

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Vanda Symon has the time of her life at UK crime festivals
by Vanda Symon

First published in the NZ Author which is the magazine for NZSA members. The New Zealand Society of Authors (PEN NZ Inc) Te Puni Kaituhi O Aotearoa  is the principal representative for the professional interests of writers. Reprinted with permission.

Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate

I couldn’t believe my luck when I received the invitation to be a guest at the Newcastle Noir Crime Festival. An invitation to an overseas festival! Me?! My publisher amped up the excitement levels even more by saying Crimefest was in Bristol the weekend after Newcastle Noir in May, how about we see if we can get you involved in that too, and we can do some events in London in the week between.

She didn’t have to ask twice.

For me, being invited to the festivals in Britain was a huge thing. It signalled a rebirth of my writing career which had been on hold while I completed my PhD in science communication. I found the intensity of research and writing for academia meant I had nothing left in the tank for creative writing so I had produced no new work in the five years that it took to become Dr Vanda. But I was in the incredibly fortunate position of having found a UK publisher for my Detective Sam Shephard novels, so they had gained a second life at the best possible time. Overkill was published in the UK in September last year, and The Ringmaster in April this year – in time to coincide with the festivals.

Then to top off an amazing year, via a very excited email from my publisher, Karen Sullivan, I was invited to The Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate in July. As she put it, “No one gets invited to Harrogate, Vanda!” I had heard fabulous things about Harrogate over the years, and here I was, about to experience it. Well, if I could afford it.

So, let’s talk turkey. It is all well and good being invited to overseas festivals – but as anyone who has tried to organise an overseas holiday is aware – travel is expensive. There was no way I was in a financial position to be able to get to these festivals if I was completely paying my own way. The festival organisers were not in a position to pay my airfares, and my publisher, Orenda Books, was not in a position to pay my airfares either. Fortunately there is funding available. PANZ, in association with Creative New Zealand, administer the International Promotional Fund for Literature. This fund is to assist New Zealand writers to attend international literary festivals to promote their books and awareness of New Zealand Literature. I feel extremely grateful and fortunate that I applied for and received funding for both trips. Thank you!

One of the fabulous things about having three festivals in quick succession was being able to see and appreciate the different flavour each festival had.

Newcastle Noir was a lovely, intimate festival held at the City Library in Newcastle. Its programme was a single stream line-up, with a wonderful range of topics and authors. I liked being able to attend every session I wanted. The panel I was on was “Do you come from a land down under?” – the sessions were all named after song titles – and we took the very casual antipodean approach, with spot quizzes and dishing out Toffee Pops to the crowd. As well as the fabulous panel line-up, some of the side events were great fun. I got to experience my first ever silent disco. Wasn’t going to attend that, but went along for a look – then lo and behold someone slapped some headphones on my ears, and what do you know? I boogied the night away.

CrimeFest in Bristol was a different kind of a festival – a convention where there were two to three sessions running at once, so there was a lot of choice. I had the pleasure of being on a session called “A Question of Guilt: How clear-cut is crime?”, and moderating a session on “Worldwide Police Procedurals: differences and similarities”. The convention was held in The Mercure Bristol Grand Hotel, which had a multitude of rooms and ballrooms and spaces for the huge number of participants.

Antipodean Noir panellists L-R: Vanda Symon, Stella Duffy, Jane Harper,Christian White, Craig Sisterson

Harrogate was another scale up again, but incredibly managed to feel intimate and very friendly. It was held at The Old Swan Hotel in Harrogate, famous for being the place Agatha Christie disappeared to in 1926. This grand old hotel was set up beautifully with the ballroom accommodating the single stream sessions. As well as spaces within the hotel, there were marquees and tents on the lawn set up as bars, bookshops and breakout venues. The session I was involved in – “Antipodean Noir” was packed out, with close to a thousand people there. As well as attending sessions with crime writers of great renown, a highlight was boogying away to the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers – a band consisting of crime-writing stars Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Doug Johnston, Chris Brookmyre, Stuart Neville and Luca Veste. (Although their catch phrase is “Murdering songs for fun”, they are damn good and were invited to play Glastonbury this year.)

The personal value I got from attending these festivals was immense. Writing is so much about output, so it was wonderful being able to wallow in the festivals and experience all of this fabulous input. The writers were inspirational, thought-provoking, entertaining and occasionally alarming! I got to meet and chat with fellow authors, publishers, readers, bloggers and reviewers. I was able to step out of my life and my day job, and be Vanda the writer. My batteries were recharged.

The festivals also came at a pivotal time in my life when I was questioning what I wanted to be. It reinforced in my mind, that yes, writing is what I wanted to do, what I needed to do.

If you get the opportunity to travel to international festivals, do so. And do remember there are funding opportunities available to support this if you have been invited. Newcastle Noir, Crimefest and Harrogate were life-changing events for me – it’s been a special year.

Details of the International Promotional Fund for Literature can be found here.

Vale Bert Hingley

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Bert Hingley

Tributes have flooded in following the announcement of the passing of publishing great, Bert Hingley on 3 September. Friends and colleagues remember the Hodder & Stoughton publisher as a champion of New Zealand publishing, legendary for his author lunches.

Joan Rosier-Jones said “The news of the death of Bert Hingley will be a shock to many. In the 1980s Bert was editor at Hodder & Stoughton, Auckland, and he began the renaissance of fiction in the New Zealand market.

He was an important part of many authors’ lives, not just as their publisher, but as a friend and bon vivant. It was therefore a blow to many, who included writers such as those mentioned above and Maurice Shadbolt, Michael King, Philip Temple and Lloyd Jones, when Bert decided to accept a position with Hodder & Stoughton, Australia.

Most of his New Zealand authors made a point of visiting Bert and his wife, Cheryl, when visiting Sydney. They were both always hospitable and eager for news of the New Zealand literary scene. Bert Hingley will be sadly missed on both sides of the Tasman. Our condolences go out to Cheryl and their sons, Benjamin and Gabriel and family.”

NZSA CEO Jenny Nagle says she was fortunate to work with Bert: “I worked with Bert Hingley at Hodder & Stoughton NZ from 1982-1987 and again at H & S Australia from 1989-1994. At the latter, I was lucky enough to have the office beside his. I remember the joke at the time Bert crossed the ditch that several small NZ vineyards would go bust when he left the country. In the NZ years, I was so proud to champion his NZ fiction and children’s publishing list to the educational market. I remember uplifting launches for Sue McCauley, Joan Rosier-Jones, Maurice Shadbolt, Marilyn Duckworth, and Russell Hayly and the moving celebration we had for Keri Hulme, MC’ed by Michael King when she won the Booker for The Bone People. Michael presented Keri with a greenstone taonga that he had been given, saying it had now come home – it was a spine-tingling moment. Bert’s NZ fiction list won many NZ awards.”

“Bert will be remembered for his role in the New Zealand Book Trade. He participated in several trade organisations influencing the development and promotion of New Zealand books. His “publishers’ lunches” were legendary – a meeting place for discussion as well as eating and drinking together. Bert’s most significant influence on New Zealand publishing was his development of New Zealand fiction where he produced a range in a way that had not been seen before.
Bert was intellectually challenging and will be fondly remembered for his warm sociability, communication and humour.”
Bob Ross

Geoff Walker said “I mainly remember Bert Hingley playing a key role in the exciting explosion of New Zealand fiction publishing that took place in the 1980s. As the publisher at Hodder & Stoughton, as it then was, Bert helped to spearhead some very exciting new fiction. One that comes to mind was A Breed of Women by Fiona Kidman, that established Fiona as a major New Zealand writer. Sue McCauley’s Other Halves was another. We look back at this time as a turning point in our fiction publishing. He also published Michael King for some time, notably Michael’s trailblazing Being Pakeha.

Bert was a classy publisher of the old school who loved working with authors because he was one himself. He was a published poet and was very comfortable in the literary world. For some time he wrote a weekly publishing news column in the Listener (yes, there was such a time).

Bert also fervently believed in such vital publishing practices as the long editorial lunch. It is said that after one particularly generous and lengthy lunch he poured his author into a cab to go home. ‘Thank you,’ the author is alleged to have said. ‘But actually, I’d rather have had the money.’ Bert’s response isn’t recorded.”

David Elworthy wrote: Bert was a clever and perceptive publisher. Selfishly I just wish that he’d stayed on this side of the ditch, so that we could have continued to enjoy his warm wit, his effervescent good humour, and his prodigious talent for hilarious book trade gossip.

Charles Goulding worked with Bert Hingley at Hodder from 1981 to 1988.
“Bert published books. It was my job to sell them.

There are moments that stand out. Sue McCauley’s ground-breaking novel Other Halves, for example. Radical at the time – a novel based on life. A Pakeha woman in her ’30s and her relationship with a Māori man half her age. It was deservedly a critical and commercial success.  Bert’s decision to publish in trade paperback, rather than hardback, was also radical. Bert explained to me that he was borrowing from the French tradition of publishing first editions in paperback. I know it seems bizarre now but I spent as much time explaining the format to booksellers as I did the novel. Bert’s bold approach to fiction publishing and his experimentation with format coincided with the genesis of a renaissance in New Zealand fiction. Did Bert lead the market or was he lucky with his timing? We may never know but whatever happened continues still.

Bert had hits and he had misses. And when they missed, they really missed. At times I would remonstrate with him about some of his publishing decisions. I offered to help with market advice. He said, ‘Anybody can fill a warehouse with books that don’t sell because they were trying to make a bestseller. If I am going to fill a warehouse with books that don’t sell, then I want to be satisfied that every one of them is a good book’. If more publishers took that approach, there would be significantly fewer books published and that would not be a bad thing.

When it comes to hits, The Bone People stands out. Keri Hulme’s novel was initially published by Spiral, a feminist collective. In the current parlance, it ‘blew up’ on publication. Bert, a man in the publishing establishment, successfully persuaded Spiral and Keri Hulme to enter into a co-publishing arrangement with Hodder. In the ’80s that was not easy to do. What is not known but is a story that deserves to be told is Bert’s contribution to the novel winning the Booker. Keri Hulme won the Booker because she wrote an extraordinary novel. However, to win any contest you have to be entered. The rules required that the novel had to be published in the UK within a calendar window. At that time, it was the London office’s view that Auckland was there to sell the books London published and not to bother them with the books we published. It was only Bert’s determined advocacy and sheer bloody mindedness that bludgeoned Hodder London into publishing before the deadline and submitting The Bone People. And the rest is history …”

Changes to the Copyright Act What NZ authors and publishers need to know

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The New Zealand government has amended Section 69 of the Copyright Act in order to implement a World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) agreement, known as the Marrakesh Treaty. The aim of the Treaty is to increase access to published materials for people who have a print disability.

It is important that New Zealand authors and publishers are aware of these changes and the rights and obligations that you have as copyright owners. You may be contacted by organisations that intend to make copies of your books that will then be provided to people with a print disability in New Zealand and in other countries that have signed up to the Marrakesh Treaty.

In anticipation of the amendment’s implementation later this year, PANZ, CLNZ & NZSA have prepared an outline to these changes and what they mean for New Zealand publishers and authors. This includes guidance on the steps to follow when dealing with an accessible format enquiry, including an email template to use for your correspondence. You can download this outline and email template here. 

Importantly, we are strongly encouraging all members to copy your correspondence on accessible format copies to an email address setup by CLNZ: afc@copyright.co.nz Doing this will allow CLNZ, on behalf of PANZ and NZSA, to collate the notifications you receive and this will be immensely valuable to our ongoing advocacy with government. Information provided to CLNZ will be treated in confidence and will be anonymised and/or aggregated prior to being shared with any external agency.

Please contact Tom Rennie (tom.rennie@bwb.co.nz) with any queries regarding the Marrakesh Treaty or PANZ’s ongoing work with the Copyright Review.

2020 Creative New Zealand National Publishing Internships applications open

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We are now calling for applications for the Creative New Zealand National Publishing Internships Initiative 2020 which offers a Whitireia graduate the opportunity to work in a publishing company for six months. There will be three internships available which will run from February to July 2020. This a terrific  opportunity to have a new graduate assisting you with your business. The programme has produced some impressive results in past years with many publishers choosing to offer the interns full-time positions at the end of the programme and a number of interns now hold senior positions in publishing companies.   Last year’s successful applicants were Lift Education, Te Papa Press and Victoria University Press.

Craig Gamble, Publishing Manager at Victoria University Press said of the 2019 programme “It’s probably only a slight exaggeration to say we’d be lost without the mentoring programme. It is the perfect vehicle through which young publishing staff can learn the ropes, and it hugely benefits us though the injection of new ideas and skills as well as the sheer amount of work they invariably get through. The befits are enormous.”

Applications are open to trade publishers and also to educational publishers who produce a broad range of titles including picture books, early readers and junior fiction and/or books in te reo as well as Pasifika and Asian languages.

Applications close Friday 20th September and publishers will be advised whether or not they have been successful by the 9th October to help with staff planning for the year ahead.

For details on how to apply click here.

NATIONAL POETRY 2019 REACHES NEW HEIGHTS

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Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day went next level in 2019, with a very impressive total of around160 events nationwide. Spanning the days leading up to, following, and of course all day Friday 23 August itself, quality events were hosted from one end of the country to the other.

Dannevirke Library – Cut Up Poetry

Poetry was found in art galleries, schools, libraries, bars and book shops and on beaches, buses and radio in over 55 cities, towns and online locations, both nationally and internationally. With something for everyone, the 2019 calendar offered an abundance of activities and opportunities from the numerous community events to the more ambitious performances. The takeaway message from this year’s campaign is that Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day is growing, and people are loving it!

Phantom Billstickers National Poetry Day also made a big splash in the media. The Weekend Herald made poetry their Canvas cover story in the lead-up – rising stars Tayi Tibble and Sugar Magnolia Wilson were interviewed and splashed across the cover. Other highlights included Courtney Sina Meredith’s powerful and compelling interview with John Campbell on TV ONE Breakfast; Sugar Magnolia Wilson’s interview with Jeremy Corbett for TV THREE The Project; and Radio NZ Afternoons hugely popular flash poetry competition, judged by 2019 Ockham New Zealand Book Awards finalist Erik Kennedy. And #NZPoetryDay was trending across social media channels before midday.

All four of the 2019 Ockhams finalists for the Mary and Peter Biggs Award for poetry were also front and centre in Phantom Billstickers eye-catching, nationwide street poster campaign.

Wild Honey event at Unity Books, Wellington

An excellent Christmas for children’s books

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TV3’s Newshub took a look at New Zealand’s booming children’s book industry in a story that aired over the Christmas break.

Books for kids were a popular gift, with titles flying off the shelf and the industry buoyant.

Watch the full video here, which features Little Unity and PANZ President Peter Dowling.

2019 Yale scholarship recipient announced

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Photo of Tom Rennie

2019 Yale scholarship recipient Tom Rennie

Despite tough competition the recipient of the W.E. and M.L. Forde Scholarship to attend the Yale Book Publishing Course in Connecticut has been decided.  PANZ is delighted to announce that Tom Rennie, Publisher at Bridget Williams Books will be heading to the US to take up this opportunity in July next year.

Panel member and Yale Publishing Course alumna Melanie Laville-Moore said “This is the last year that PANZ will be able to award the W.E and M.L Forde Scholarship for attendance at the Yale publishing course, and so unsurprisingly, there was a large pool of applications received. The standard was extremely high and whilst this made for some tough decision-making, it was heartening to be reminded of the immense talent pool that New Zealand publishing enjoys”.

Tom has led BWB’s digital strategy and developed the highly successful BWB Texts series. From early 2016, as BWB’s Publisher, Tom has been responsible for commissioning books, covering both New Zealand history and contemporary issues.

Tom told PANZ News “I’m deeply grateful and excited to be able to attend the Yale Publishing Course in 2019, with the support of the W.E and M.L Forde Publishing Scholarship. This opportunity arrives at a very timely moment in respect of my work at BWB. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting fellow publishers from around the world and the prospect of developing lasting connections. The course always offers an astute assessment of the state of the global industry and I’m also looking forward to relaying a summary of this to PANZ members when I return.”

In 2019 the week-long Yale Publishing course will run from 28 July – 2 August. The course is an intensive classroom-based course for mid- to senior-level professionals in all areas of publishing. It tackles timely issues facing publishing professionals, giving a candid inside look at lessons learned by industry leaders as well as forward-looking approaches to publishing as a global enterprise.

Congratulations Tom! We look forward to reporting back to members on Tom’s experiences in due course.

Sadly, 2019 marks the final year of the W.E. and M.L. Forde Scholarship, however if you are interested in an international career changing course don’t forget that the PANZ International Career Development Fund is available to members with funding of up to $3,000 available to attend an international course, internship or fellowship. More details here.

Children’s book boom drives growth for New Zealand publishers

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Heading into Christmas, sales of New Zealand-published children’s books are on a roll —helping the domestic publishing industry to reach more readers with local stories in 2018.

In the 11 months to the end of November, sales of New Zealand books were up +1.6% by volume compared to the same period last year.

Children’s books account for much of that dynamism, with volume sales up +16.7% and value sales +18.8% compared to 2017.

Data from industry analyst Nielsen BookScan points to a surge in sales of children’s and young adult non-fiction books, which spiked +77.9% over the past year.

Unusually for a segment dominated by fiction and picture books, three of the top ten children’s books in the Christmas selling period to date are non-fiction titles.

Picture book The Wonky Donkey, given global prominence from a viral Facebook video, has galloped to the top of the sales charts.

Growth is not limited to children’s, however, with New Zealand fiction for adults seeing a sales boost of almost +2% by volume.

“New Zealand publishing is in good heart and proving the value of quality, locally authored work to readers here and around the world,” commented Peter Dowling, President of the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ).

Children’s book sales globally are booming, evidenced by rights and distribution activity at industry fairs attended by PANZ in 2018 including the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair and Guadalajara International Book Fair.

“That trend is being reflected here with new publishers and bookstores opening, and a growing range of gorgeous and engaging books by New Zealand authors and illustrators,” Dowling said.

“Christmas shoppers should head to their local bookstores to see what the excitement is about — the summer readers in their lives will thank them.”

ENDS

About the Publishers Association of New Zealand

PANZ represents book, educational and digital publishers in New Zealand, from large international publishers to local independent presses. The book publishing industry publishes over 2,000 New Zealand titles each year and turns over an estimated $330 million a year. 

 

Contact: Sandra Noakes,Councillor

Email:sandra.noakes@harpercollins.co.nz   Tel:027 576 7675

About Nielsen Book

Nielsen Book is the leading provider of book-related data services to more than 100 countries worldwide. Its Auckland office works with booksellers, distributors, libraries and publishers to collate sales data and support decision-making in New Zealand’s vibrant book sector.

Contact: Nevena Nikolic, Senior Sales & Marketing Manager

Email: nevena.nikolic@nielsen.com Tel: 021 942 618
http://www.nielsenbookdata.co.nz

 

Publishers’ Picks of 2018

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Sh*t Towns of NZ cover imageTo celebrate a bumper year of publishing we asked our members to pick a favourite child and tell us about the book they were most thrilled to publish. We also flipped the coin and asked which other publisher’s title they wished they’d commissioned.

There were definitely some common themes in the books that inspired envy, with Birdstories, Dear Donald Trump and Sh*t Towns of New Zealand topping the list of titles  that turned rival publishers a tad green.

Claire Murdoch, Head of Publishing New Zealand, Penguin Random House New Zealand
What a cruel question, PANZ! Luckily I’m new in the Penguin Random House NZ saddle so – while I can’t take credit for any of it – I can feel hugely proud of all the great books the team has published this year. I still get excited about My Life, My Fight, the Steven Adams biography originally signed by Debra Millar and written by the very brilliant Madeleine Chapman. She’s such a fierce talent and her point of view is fresh and urgent and right for our times.

As for the green-eyed-monster question, I can’t lie – I wish I had published Sh*t Towns of New Zealand. Instead, Allen &Unwin did. Kudos! It’s also great to see Sean Mallon’s Tatau out – and so, so beautifully – from Te Papa Press.

Dear Donald Trump cover imageAlso from the PRH team, Catherine O’Loughlin, Children’s Publisher, could not pick a favourite among her many wonderful 2018 books, but admires Dear Donald Trump by Sophie Siers and illustrated by Anne Villeneuve (Millwood Press).

Jeremy Sherlock, Senior Non-Fiction Publisher is most thrilled to have published Health Your Self by Dr Nic Gill. He would most like to have published: Topp Country: A Culinary Journey by the Topp Twins (Diva Productions) – “a no-brainer, in a way. A beautiful heartland cookbook that celebrates New Zealand, its people

and produce, from our beloved Topp Twins. I’ve bought multiple copies as Christmas gifts already.”

Fiction Publisher Harriet Allan says, “it was a rare pleasure this year to venture into poetry with Owen Marshall’s View from the South, a selection from his past three poetry books along with many more new works. She would have liked to have published Sia Figiel’s Freelove, published by Little Island Press. “Hers is a unique uncompromising voice and her laughter fills an entire room.”

Jenny Hellen, Publisher, Allen & Unwin
I was absolutely thrilled to publish Women, Equality, Power: Selected Speeches from a Life of LeaWomen Equality Power cover imagedership – it was exciting to see the huge response from the media, booksellers and the general public who flocked to hear Helen Clark speak at various events. When I first contacted Helen about the book, she wasn’t so keen as she couldn’t imagine that anyone would want to buy it. But she gradually came on board and was delighted by the way it turned out and the interest it generated and by the admiration

shown to her by many.

Birdstories: A History of the Birds of New Zealand by Geoff Norman (Potton & Burton) is a book I’d have loved to publish. Such a great idea and it looks beautifully put together, with an excellent jacket.

Alex Hedley, New Zealand Publisher HarperCollins Publishers NZ
The book I was most Sam Hunt cover imagethrilled to publish in 2018 was Sam Hunt: Off the Road by Colin Hogg. I’m a huge fan of Sam, and I’m always in awe of Colin Hogg’s artful turn of phrase. Neither are afraid to speak their mind – this is an extremely honest and revealing book!

The book I wish I’d published is The Colour of Time by Dan Jones & Marina Amaral (Head of Zeus), an extraordinary collection of colourised photographs from 1850-1960. Truly startling.  But on a local level, I have to say I’d have been most pleased to publish the Steven Adams story (Steven Adams: My Life, My Fight, Penguin). Also – Hillary’s Antarctica by Jane Ussher and Nigel Watson (Allen & Unwin) is a very fine bit of publishing.

Alison Shucksmith, Product and Publishing Manager, Hachette NZ
I am most proud of publishing Shhh! Don’t Wake the Baby, celebrating the birth of Neve, a brilliant moment for New Zealand and the world.

I wish we had published Granny McFlitter Champion Knitter by Heather Haylock and Lael Chisholm (Puffin), a beautiful book that is both a delight for grown-ups and children to admire and read.

Bridget Williams, Director and Publisher BWB
Ko Taranaki Te Maunga cover imageI’m thrilled with In Ko Taranaki Te Maunga, Rachel Buchanan writes a very personal narrative about Parihaka, weaving together whakapapa, history, contemporary politics and her own vivid experience. And what we love about this book is the impact it has had – racing out the bookshop door, popular on Facebook, and so many people gathering at the National Library to hear Buchanan speak with Mahara Okeroa. So, yes, we’ve reprinted, and our great distributors at Batemans are continuing to pack it out of the warehouse.

Birdstories: A History of the Birds in New Zealand by Geoff Norman (Potton & Burton) is right off the BWB publishing patch – but here we are up at the top of the Botanic Gardens, with kererū literally at the window, tūī and kākā flapping their way past. So this stunning publication is a must-have for the BWB office in 2019!

Carolyn Lagahetau, Editorial Director, Oratia Books
I’m really thrilled that in 2018 we published Nanny Mihi and the Bellbird by Melanie Drewery and Tracy Duncan. Nanny Mihi has been in my publishing life for a couple of decades; she’s had a bit of a holiday and has been treated like some of our real life nannies; I didn’t visit her or call her as much as I should have! So, here she is, revitalised and sharing her smart, funny and delicious ways with her mokopuna.

I would have liked to have published the David Riley title Fānene Peter Maivia, Son of Samoa in his Reading Legends series, in Samoan and English (published by Reading Warrior). Alongside books in his Pasifika Heroes series, David writes about historical and contemporary figures from the different islands, providing Pasifika children an impetus to read as they see themselves reflected in the books. He also gives them the message that their lives can include achieving things they might not think are possible.

Kevin Chapman, Director Upstart Press
I am proud of How Māui Fished Up The North Island, by Donovan Bixley. I have wanted for a long time to publish in more than one of New Zealand’s official languages, and Donovan’s different, and cheeky, take on this great story was the obvious candidate.

I wish I had published Past Tense by Lee Child (Penguin Random House). Would love the sales!

 


Nicola Legat, Publisher Massey University Press & Te Papa Press
For Massey University Press I was thrilled to publish Damian Skinner’s Theo Schoon: A Biography. Collectors know about him but for the public Schoon has been in the shadows for too long. Damian shines a long-overdue light on a remarkable, extraordinarily complex and influential figure in this country’s art history.

For Te Papa Press I am very proud of Sean Mallon and Sebastien Galliot’s Tatau: A History of Samoan Tattooing. The scope of the authors’ research is so impressive, it’s full of superb images, and InHouse has backed it up with outstanding design.

I don’t publish fiction but if I did I’d have loved to have published Kate Duignan’s superb The New Ships (Victoria University Press).  Well done VUP!

Quentin Wilson, Quentin Wilson Publishing
The title I was most thrilled to publish in 2018 was Province of Danger, by Ray Grover. Province of Danger is the most extensively researched and well-written novel about WW II and the surrounding times I have ever read. Kevin Ireland’s Foreword to this book sums it up better than I am able: “No New Zealand novel about the harrowing experience of our growth towards nationhood has a broader sweep and more detailed grasp of events. It is a masterpiece of times that must never be forgotten”.

I would most like to have published Fight for the Forests: The pivotal campaigns that saved New Zealand’s forests by Paul Bensemann (Potton & Burton). This book recounts inspiring actions by inspiring individuals. I wish I had been there and I wish I had known the people involved. This book makes getting to know and understand those people and their actions possible.

Rachel Lawson, Associate Publisher, Gecko Press
As a way to choose just one book from our 2018 list, I’ll regress to the age of 10, when the magic of reading felt strongest for me. For that 10-year-old I’ll choose The 

Mapmakers’ Race by Eirlys Hunter—a quintessential adventure novel with tramping! Narrow escapes, family, resourcefulness and maps in a landscape reminiscent of the Southern Alps. This book was a treat to work on and to watch becoming a favourite of indie booksellers and readers—in the UK and Australia as well as New Zealand.

For the book I’d have loved to publish in the same age range, Kate De Camillo’s Louisiana’s Way Home (Walker Books) —a gorgeous lively and distinctive voice, a tough story told with lots lightness, and beautifully published with a cracker of a cover.

Sally Greer, Publisher, Beatnik Publishing
I was most thrilled to publish RIPE RECIPES: A Third Helping by Angela Redfern and the Ripe Deli team. Beatnik has had huge success with the first two RIPE RECIPE books, and there has been so much demand for a third book. This all-new collection of recipes celebrates 15 years of business for the Ripe Deli crew and includes all-time favourites as well as exciting new dishes.

The book I wish I’d published is Dear Donald Trump by Sophie Siers (Millwood Press). I love that this book has done so well with international rights, and that Sophie had lots of help from fellow publishers that contributed to its success. That is the experience I’ve had with attending the Frankfurt Book Fair too, and that’s the lovely thing about our industry is that we support and help each other. It’s completely opposite to Trump’s wall building approach!

Sam Elworthy, Director, Auckland University Press
At AUP, the game changer book for us was Sir Tīmoti Kāretu and Wharehuia Milroy’s He Kupu Tuku Iho: Ko te Reo Māori te Tatau ki te Ao. Completely in te reo, our expectations were modest but we sold out our first print run in a week and are rapidly selling through a second printing. We’ll be rolling out big plans next year for Kotahi Rau Pukapuka, 100 Book in Te Reo, so this book was an exciting start.

Other publishers’ books? Phew. I reckon Sh*t Towns of New Zealand (Allen & Unwin) if I could get it through the AUP board. But seriously, A&U are doing great publishing (though I still resent Mel for edging out AUP for publisher of the year).

Here are some other wonderful books our publishers are proud of:

Charyn Jones, Managing Editor, Wendy Pye Publishing
One of our authors wrote a text about mindfulness, Staying Still by Samantha Montgomerie. She planned this so that students could focus on the doing words of listening, looking, thinking and breathing. She started with a reference to how much fun it is to run and skip and be busy. She then went on to demonstrate ways of staying still and being in your surroundings and aware of your emotions. Those of us working on the book felt “softened” by the message.

Mary Varnham, Editor-in-chief, Awa Press
When Emma Gilkison, an IIML graduate, came to us with the manuscript for her extraordinary memoir, The Heart of Jesus Valentino, we were gripped from page one. Emma and her partner Roy Costilla had faced a situation that’s every parent’s nightmare – learning their unborn child was suffering from an unsurvivable medical condition. This sounds a sad story but in Emma’s hands it becomes a page-turner – beautifully written and starkly honest. For a revealing insight into how doctors and midwives view and treat such rare conditions, read this book.

Alex Collins, Chief Executive, Lift Education Tautai Ake
Lift Education E Tū published a series of 33 literacy books in gagana Tokelau for use in schools in Tokelau. They were developed in conjunction with Matāeke o Akoakoga a Tokelau (the Tokelau Department of Education), an editorial team in Tokelau, and Elaine Lameta from Massey University.

Penguins Under the Porch cover imageJenny Haworth, Wily Publications
The book I was most thrilled to publish was Penguins Under the Porch by David Harbourne.  This is a study of Oamaru and is one of the best written non-fiction books I published this year. David was a Yorkshire man who came to New Zealand and fell in love with Oamaru and then returned for several months, interviewed everyone possible in Oamaru and then wrote the book.


Charlotte Gibbs, Toitoi Media
The Jillion is a collection of incredible work from Toitoi Issues 1-12. Written and illustrated by New Zealand’s young writers and artists ages 5-13, the Jillion is a celebration of their curiosity, courage and creativity.