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PANZ Digital Marketing workshop review

By News

Ex cyclone Gita couldn’t keep the eager participants of the PANZ Digital Marketing Workshop – Creative Engagement, away yesterday.  With more than 30 attendees the room was at maximum capacity.

The workshop started in high gear with an insightful and inspiring look at the This Girl Can campaign; a UK government funded campaign aimed to get women exercising. The campaign was launched after research showed a significant disparity between the numbers of men and women in the UK who were involved in sports and exercise.  Dan West, Digital Strategy Director for FCB (a major advertising agency also responsible for such iconic campaigns as the PAK ‘n SAVE stick man and the Farmers Christmas campaign) was tasked with managing the This Girl Can campaign and tackling this thorny issues. Dan talked through the complexities of the campaign and challenges faced in the digital realm, offering practical as well as inspirational ideas.

Hayley Miller, partner at Kensington Swan is passionate about privacy law and her session reminded everyone about the care that must be taken when managing databases that hold personal information.  Hayley stayed on for lunch to continue answering questions, of which there were many with one attendee remarking “I never knew privacy laws could be so interesting”.

Tyne Brocklehurst’s more interactive and practical style got the room buzzing after lunch with participants invited to come up with their own social media promotion ideas and her talk on e-newsletters offered practical and helpful tips and tricks.

The final session of the day, featured Leonie Barlow and highlighted her one woman approach to navigating the digital space. Leonie is one of New Zealand’s leading ‘Influencers’ and she talked about her strategy for building followers and her personal approach to social media and YouTube.

Networking drinks and nibbles concluded the day allowing the discussion to continue and ideas and wine to flow.

Our grateful thanks to the National Library for the use of the space.

Rotorua Noir – New crime festival coming to Rotorua in 2019

By News

Grant Nicol

With its bubbling mud and steaming pressure Rotorua may be the perfect setting for a crime novel (Ngaio Marsh certainly thought so in 1943 when she penned Colour Scheme) and in 2019 it will be the hub for book lovers as Kiwi crime takes centre stage at New Zealand’s very own crime festival Rotorua Noir.

The festival founders are Kiwi crime writer Grant Nicol and Craig Sisterson, who is also the founder of the Ngaio Marsh Awards. In fact Rotorua Noir will also be celebrating 10 years of the fabulous Ngaio Marsh awards. Grant has recently returned to New Zealand from Iceland where he helped organise the Iceland Noir crime writing festival in 2016 and hopes to bring some of its ideas to New Zealand for Rotorua Noir.

Craig and Grant met in Iceland, when they both attended Iceland Noir in Reykjavik. On moving back to New Zealand Grant decided it was “time to have our own festival to celebrate Kiwi crime writing. Craig has done a great deal over the last few years to champion the cause of New Zealand crime writers so I had no hesitation in calling him up and asking for his help when I came up with the concept.”

Craig Sisterson

Planned for early 2019 (probably January or February says Grant) the exact venue is yet to be selected but will be announced shortly and the ball is well and truly rolling. The festival will incorporate two days of panels featuring local and international crime writers discussing their craft and a day of workshops for local writers to attend. “We already have four authors from overseas who have agreed to attend, as well as many Kiwis – but there will also be writing workshops, author readings and a North Island vs South Island cricket match” says Grant. “We will be looking to involve the local community as much as possible and will be utilizing a local arts venue as well as one of Rotorua’s book shops. I want to get as many of New Zealand’s crime writing community together under one roof and give the public the chance to listen to them and meet the people responsible for creating so many fine books.”

Any publishers with authors interested in appearing at the festival can contact Grant here. You can also keep up to date with the festival progress on Facebook and Twitter @RotoruaNoir2019

Congratulations to Yale scholarship recipient Rachel Lawson of Gecko Press

By News

The hotly contested W.E. and M.L. Forde Scholarship to attend the Yale Book Publishing Course in Connecticut, USA reached a head last week as the selection panel met to decide who would be the lucky recipient.  With applications from top publishing executives across a wide range of publishing fields it was no straight forward task.

PANZ is delighted to announce that Rachel Lawson, Assistant Publisher at Gecko Press will be heading to the US to take up this opportunity in July next year.

Panel member and Yale Publishing Course alumnus Sam Elworthy said “It was a great and slightly daunting experience sorting through the applicants for the Yale Publishing Course because the best and brightest from our industry had come forward, keen to develop the international relationships and gain the strategic insight that one gets at Yale.

After considerable discussion, we settled on Rachel Lawson for this year’s scholarship. Rachel works for one of our fine independent publishers, Gecko Press; she is deeply involved in new strategic directions for the Press; and she has broad experience in publishing. We wish her well and encourage the other great applicants to put their names up again next year. What a great legacy for Margaret Forde to leave to the industry.”

Rachel who has been Assistant Publisher at Gecko Press for two and a half years and in the publishing industry for over 25 said “I feel very very lucky! I’m looking forward to everything I can learn about how to do things better, the international perspectives, new contacts and new ideas—and bringing it all back to Gecko Press. Seeing how businesses are working in other countries and the focus on new ways of thinking is so useful for a business like Gecko Press with our international model but tiny size! Thank you to the Forde family and PANZ for the fantastic opportunity.”

In 2018 the Yale Publishing course will run from 29 July – 3 August. The course is a week-long 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 Rachel! We look forward to reporting back to members on Rachel’s experiences in due course.

For more details on the W.E and M.L Forde Publishing Scholarship click here.

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.

2018 Creative New Zealand Publishing Internships Announced

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L-R: Samantha Chorley, Sucheta Raj & Olivia Nikkel

Congratulations to the successful recipients of the 2018 Creative New Zealand Internships Initiative. PANZ is delighted to announce that in 2018 Samantha Chorley will intern with Victoria University Press; Olivia Nikkel  with Bridget Williams Books and Sucheta Raj with Allen & Unwin.

Helen Heath, Programme Leader, Publishing at Whitireia New Zealand, says “It was a very difficult decision as there were so many strong applications but we are very pleased with these selections and think they not only meet the job requirements well but will suit the ethos of each placement. Whitireia publishing graduates have a reputation for excellence for good reason. If these young people are the future of New Zealand publishing then we can all rest assured we are in good hands”

The Creative New Zealand National Publishing Internships Initiative, administered by PANZ, provides internship opportunities each year for three new graduates of the Whitireia New Zealand publishing course to enter the industry. 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 former interns now hold senior positions in publishing companies.

”Allen & Unwin New Zealand is delighted to be welcoming a Whitireia intern into the team for the next six months. It’s a brilliant opportunity to introduce new insight and thinking from someone new to our industry, as well as tackle many projects that in an otherwise busy team, would likely stay on the back-burner.” Says Allen & Unwin New Zealand Director Melanie Laville-Moore.

For more details on the Creative New Zealand National Publishing Internships
Initiative click here.

Publishers Association Appoints New Council

By Media Releases, News

PANZ-LogoThe Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) has appointed its new officers and councillors for the 2017–18 period.

The new council elected at the association’s AGM on 14 July consists of:

President: Peter Dowling (Oratia Media)

Immediate Past President: Melanie Laville-Moore (Allen & Unwin)

Vice President: Melanee Winder (Hachette NZ)

Councillors: Alex Collins (Lift Education), Debra Millar (Penguin Random House NZ), Sandra Noakes (HarperCollins NZ), Tom Rennie (Bridget Williams Books), Tracy Strudley (Global Education Systems)

At the AGM, Melanie Laville-Moore paid tribute to two council members stepping down after long and valuable service.

PANZ is indebted to the contribution of departing councillors Sam Elworthy (Auckland University Press) and Julia Marshall (Gecko Press), and to the leadership over the past two years of Melanie Laville-Moore.

The council will hold its first meeting in Auckland on Wednesday 16 August.

———– END ———–

FOR INTERVIEWS OR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Sandra Noakes

on behalf of PANZ, 0275 7676 75

2017 PANZ Book Design Awards logo

A Unique, Artful Cookbook Wins at the PANZ Book Design Awards

By Media Releases, News

MEDIA RELEASE – Thursday 20 July 2017

Tonight at the PANZ Book Design Awards when a book really is judged by its cover – and its design – Cazador: game, offal and the rest, written by Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt, designed by Tim Donaldson and Amanda Gaskin of Sea Change Studio, takes home the Gerard Reid Award for Best Book.

The judging panel said of Cazador:

This cookbook as brave, classic, yet excitingly contemporary. Cazador’s exquisite production values are immediately seductive. It is beautiful to hold and look at. The blood linen cover, exposed ‘frenched-like’ binding (that opens flat for function), arresting artful photography, an interestingly paced layout that never gets pedestrian, knife-like typography that also plays homage to the 1980’s heritage of its restaurant home. The outward beauty is sensitively matched by a depth of thought that reveals the soul of Cazador (the restaurant) and its story. An outstanding package.

Cazador’s design lifts it above simply a cookbook, it breaks its genre and becomes something of its own, artful and unique.

Cazador was also shortlisted for Best Typography and winner of Best Cover and Best Cook Book categories.

Nine awards were presented:

BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK (sponsored by Penguin Random House New Zealand)

Beach Life by Douglas Lloyd Jenkins (Penguin Random House) designed by Alan Deare, Area Design

BEST NON-ILLUSTRATED BOOK (sponsored by Upstart Press)

Extraordinary Anywhere: Essays on Place from Aotearoa New Zealand edited by Ingrid Horrocks & Cherie Lacey (Victoria University Press) designed by Jo Bailey & Anna Brown 

BEST CHILDREN’S BOOK (sponsored by Scholastic New Zealand)

Annual edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (Gecko Press) designed by Spencer Levine

BEST EDUCATIONAL BOOK (sponsored by Edify)

Mātaki Mai Ana Te Ao: Te Tawhio Pihirei o 1981 by Rachael Tuwhangai, Hone Morris and Pania Tahau-Hodges (HUIA) designed by Tim Hansen, Fay & Walter

BEST COOKBOOK (sponsored by 1010 Printing)

Cazador — game, offal and the rest by Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt (Cazador) designed by Tim Donaldson & Amanda Gaskin, Sea Change Studio

BEST TYPOGRAPHY (sponsored by Mary Egan Publishing)

Annual edited by Kate De Goldi and Susan Paris (Gecko Press) designed by Spencer Levine.

AWARD FOR BEST COVER (sponsored by HarperCollins Publishers New Zealand)

Cazador — game, offal and the rest by Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt (Cazador) designed by Tim Donaldson & Amanda Gaskin, Sea Change Studio

GERARD REID AWARD FOR BEST BOOK SPONSORED BY NIELSEN BOOK

Cazador — game, offal and the rest by Dariush Lolaiy and Rebecca Smidt (Cazador) designed by Tim Donaldson & Amanda Gaskin, Sea Change Studio

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the Allen & Unwin Young Designer of the Year Award. This year it was presented to Auckland designer, Sam Bunny.  The judges said:

‘Sam Bunny’s portfolio showcases a wonderful range of designs across a number of categories. His work is consistently measured, visually enticing and exhibits a good understanding of the subject matter.

From the substantial non-fiction The Great Kiwi Pub Crawl, to the haunting monochromatic The Salted Air, to the playful design of Grandad’s Wheelies and the mysterious but impactful cover illustration of The Impossible Boy, all his work hits the right tone and is well executed. Bunny seems to have fun with his designs and his work effectively serves the purpose of making you want to read these titles.’

This year, for the first time, there was a People’s Choice Award.  Voting took place at last night’s awards ceremony in Auckland where attendees had the opportunity to compare the awards finalists.  The inaugural Hachette New Zealand People’s Choice Award was presented to Spencer Levine for Annual, published by Gecko Press, the book that received the most votes.

The judging panel was convened by award-winning illustrator and book designer, Rowan Somerset, supported by graphic designer, David Coventon; graphic designer and book designer, Anna Egan-Reid and leading business commentator, journalist and publisher, Vincent Heeringa.

The PANZ Book Design Awards are administered by the Publishers Association of New Zealand. The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) established the PANZ Book Design Awards to promote excellence in, and provide recognition for, the best book design in New Zealand.

Link to the press release.

PANZ Members get their much requested Digital Marketing Workshop

By News

Catriona Ferguson reports

On 28 April we held our first ever digital marketing workshop. Digital marketing has been top of the training request list from PANZ members for a wee while now and the jam-packed room at the National Library in
Auckland certainly reflected that enthusiasm.

We welcomed delegates from as far as Invercargill, Wanaka and Wellington and some publishers even went as far as to send two or three participants along. The enthusiasm and buzz in the room was fabulous.

The day got off to a lively start with the enterprising Claire O’Connell from The Classroom. Claire took the group on a tiki tour of all things social media with nicely tailored advice for her bookish audience. She gave an overview on the most popular social media platforms here in New Zealand, highlighted the kind of accounts that could prove inspiring for local publishers and gave some examples of which companies were out there nailing the whole digital thing. Facebook remains the queen of the social media marketing platforms but it was hard not to be seduced by some of the delicious book-related Instagram accounts that Claire profiled. The session also offered some hands on tips and tricks for defining audiences, boosting posts and measuring and reporting. More on The Classroom here.

After lunch Nevena Nikolic from Neilsen offered up some insights on book buyers, with a focus on older millennials (that’s the 25 – 34 year olds for the uninformed). Apparently this group is highly social, well-connected and aspirational – and happily they also have some spending power. Nevena steered us through how their book buying habits have influenced the market (colouring-books, grip lit and healthy eating for example), what influences their decision making and where they go to finally buy those books.

Fee McLeod (General Manager of Unitec’s MindLab) picked up the conversation after Nevena with a focus on how The MindLab has managed to grow their work in
the educational space. They offer a whole range of collaborative and digital learning opportunities for teachers around the country finding fresh ways of using technology to be adaptable, flexible and technically skilled.

The afternoon was wrapped up by Anna Dean who’s company Double Denim (more on Double Denim here) crosses both traditional and online media. Full of ideas and suggestions for inventive marketing campaigns, Anna talked about her own successful campaigns in the wider cultural sector and how the book world might gain some traction in a crowded online space.

Throughout the day delegates enjoyed the opportunity to natter between themselves during the breaks. And so at 4.30pm we did a little more of that accompanied by some wine and nibbly things.

We’re currently gathering feedback from those who came along to the workshop and planning phase two. So, if you have any thoughts or ideas on what you’d like to see next please do let us know.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – be careful what you wish for

By News

Frances Plumpton reports

I first visited the Bologna Children’s Book Fair in April 1989 when I took a side trip from my Winston Churchill tour investigating library services for young children in the UK. My first impression then was the range of stands from all around the world. I was envious of the Australian Publishers Association stand which housed 25 publishers, and the Canadian stand an exhibition housing 48 publishers. New Zealand was represented solely by Wendy Pye’s Good Parent stand. Any other NZ publishers were not visible.

I do recall seeing the beginnings of series fiction and the emergence of the remarkable Dorling Kindersley non-fiction series.

I have attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair as an agent since 2007, representing a selection of NZ children’s books as well as IBBY NZ and also the Australian East/NZ Society of Children’s Book Writers and illustrators. When Nicky Page and Trish Brooking first approached me about the possibility of a stand in Bologna I must admit that I was sceptical that they would be successful, giving the short time frame. Unfortunately Julia Marshall of Gecko Press who has been a constant attendee, was already committed to another stand. I had not yet booked my table in the Agent Centre and was also aware that Sophie Siers of Millwood Press and Mary McCallum of Makaro Press also intended to come and would be welcome support on a stand.

Nicky’s very strong and focussed proposal on behalf of Dunedin UNESCO City of Literature was accepted and she and Trish immediately began organising all the resources for the display, working with writers and illustrators based in Dunedin and recipients of the University of  Otago College of Education Children’s Writers residency.

The very strong support from Giorgia Boldrini, director of Bologna UNESCO City of Music whose inspiration was behind the sponsorship of the stand and her colleague Francesca Vacchetti was invaluable. Unfortunately Mary McCallum had to withdraw from the trip to Bologna but remained in the background as a strong support and Sophie Siers of Millwood Press and I were the representatives at the Fair.

Nicky’s attention to detail culminated in an eye catching stand with open bookshelves inviting browsers for the Dunedin linked books and an area for formal meetings. The exhibition was supported with a booklist and documentation of rights available for each title.

As well as the designated stands, Bologna attracts a lot of agents and smaller publishers who come for a day or two on a visitors pass, working a mix of appointments and browsing the halls and our open stand attracted many of these. It was soon obvious that there were many passers-by with a connection to NZ or Dunedin and we recorded these informally in a notebook. These included a Chinese professor who had spent the previous year at Otago University, a Turkish Agent who had commissioned Janet Frame titles when she was an editor several years ago and an American reviewer who had backpacked around NZ in his teens in ’92 with fond memories of his time in Dunedin.

Sophie and I talked with many publishers and editors who called in and were able to pass on interest in many of the books on display to their NZ rights holders. I held the majority of meetings on the stand and there was a lot of interest in the UNESCO connection. In hindsight, this has been a very interesting and positive experience. Giorgia Boldrini is keen to explore further links with Dunedin, there has been an active interest in many of the exhibited titles.

Nicky Page and Trish Brooking are to be congratulated on preparing such a professional proposal within a challenging time-frame, followed by meticulous attention to detail supported by the Dunedin design team with the stunning display material culminating in a stand that showcased the vibrant Dunedin children’s literature community.

This would not have been possible without Sophie Siers and her stalwart duties on the stand and Mary McCallum for her background support.

And next year? We’re working on it . . .

New Zealand Book Council launches new online resources to increase New Zealand book sales and readership.

By News

You may have noticed that the NZBC has a shiny new website! They have some fantastic new free online resources to promote New Zealand books and writers, and to keep you up to date with latest industry news, events and opportunities.

Aotearoa Reads (www.aotearoareads.nz) is a new hub for Kiwi readers. Alongside original NZBC published articles and podcasts, readers can enjoy the latest reviews, commentary, interviews and book recommendations from around the web, all in one central location. If you have articles, interviews, reviews or new title information, please email it to the Book Council’s Marketing Communications Manager Steph Soper steph@bookcouncil.org.nz . She’ll link it to Aotearoa Reads, and will push it out through the associated fortnightly Aotearoa Reads enewsletter, as well as Book Council social media channels. There has been a lot of chatter on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #AotearoaReads  – we’re encouraging everyone to use this hashtag to join in the conversation and promote NZ books and writers.

The Book Council’s industry hub is the NZ Book Scene (www.nzbookscene.nz). Browse directories of national book organisations, awards, festivals, residencies, grants, magazines, journals and writing courses – and stay up-to-date with the latest industry news with the NZ Book Scene news blog. Let Steph know if you have anything to add to the directories, and feel free to send her news, events and opportunities for the blog and associated fortnightly NZ Book Scene enewsletter.

A resource that’s already generated much buzz and excitement is the Book Council’s new book calendar – it’s full of events organised by bookish groups throughout Aotearoa. Whether it’s a festival, book launch, poetry reading or live storytelling event, never miss a book event in your community again! The brilliant part about this calendar is that any person or organisation can add an event. Readers can also apply regional tags to easily see what’s going on in their area. http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/events-calendar/

The Book Council has revamped their Writers Files. The files are now searchable by region and genre. Looking for a poet from Dunedin? A crime writer in the Waikato? A Pasifika writer who’s also a slam poet and musician in Auckland? This resource of over 650 bios is the most comprehensive online collection of information about Aotearoa writers.  If you provide Steph with a list of your NZ authors, she’ll cross reference the ones the Book Council already has on file and get the Book Council’s writers’ files intern to work with you and your authors to check for updates. You’re also welcome to send her a list of authors you’d like a bio for.  The Book Council has limited staffing and budget for new files (they publish between 10-15 new files a year), so there is a wait list. If publishers/publicists have time to draft up the new bios for Steph, this will help speed up the process. http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers-files/

For those of you that publish books aimed at primary and/or secondary school students, the Book Council’s School Library blog publishes reviews by their member school librarians and teachers of the latest books for children and young adults. Post the books you’d like reviewed to the Book Council (with Attn: Kathryn Carmody, Programmes Manager) and the Book Council will get them out to their school members. The reviews are rounded up and sent out as an enewsletter once every two months. Last year the average open rate for this enewsletter was 55%  – and will a database in the thousands, this means your books are reaching a tonne of keen book buyers and readers.  http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/schools/school-library/

As well as these five free resources, the Book Council has a new Book Council Associate Friend ($300 a year) subscription. This is designed for publishers, booksellers and other bookish organisations. Support the work we do on behalf of Aotearoa writers to raise their profile and to increase their audiences and sales. You will receive two free articles per year in Aotearoa Reads (e.g. we can do author interviews, write several reviews of your new books, or write a feature on the subject of your choice) and two free advertising slots per year in each of our enewsletters (we have four). We also acknowledge your generous support on our website and in our annual report.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Steph.

An update on life as New Zealand Publisher at HarperCollins

By News

By Alex Hedley, New Zealand Publisher, HarperCollins

I’m just shy of six months into my role as the publisher at HarperCollins New Zealand, and it’s already been one heck of a ride. Much smaller in New Zealand than Penguin Random House, the company I left, HarperCollins has a strangely familiar ‘indie’ vibe to it. It has the kind of agile, fleet-footed and creative ability of the book businesses I began my career with.

I sit next to our digital marketing exec Kelly Bold, opposite marketing communication manager  Sandra Noakes, across the room from our key accounts manager Teresa Garnett, sales support co-ordinator Kathryn Moffitt and sales manager Matthew Simpson. While I’ve always had plenty to do with sales, marketing and publicity as a commissioning editor and publisher, it’s quite a different thing to see how they operate on a daily basis. I share and witness their wins and struggles, strategies and solutions – such invaluable learnings for me as a publisher. A big part of the reason I came to HarperCollins was to get a more holistic understanding of the publishing machine. Larger publishing houses tend to operate in departmental silos. This has its advantages, especially when you’re cutting your teeth and wanting to focus on the process of making the books… but it also has significant drawbacks.

One of the greatest joys of working in the same space as the sales and marketing team for the international list is sharing the buzz around new titles coming through from imprints like 4th Estate, Head of Zeus, Apollo, William Collins, Harper Design and Harper USA. Getting a sense of the international trends early is a fantastic insight, not least for packaging inspiration for our local titles.

One of my first jobs as the new publisher was to write the history of HarperCollins in New Zealand, as part of the 200-year celebrations of HarperCollins internationally. The original Harper Brothers Company was established in New York in 1817 and over the years published the works of Mark Twain, the Bronte sisters, Thackeray, Dickens, John F Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr. In New Zealand the company was established in 1888 as a division of the UK’s William Collins, making us the oldest continuously operating local publisher in New Zealand. It’s a remarkable coincidence that I’m also helping celebrate the 110th year of my family’s bookshop in Masterton, founded in 1907, the oldest book business continuously owned and operated by one family in New Zealand.

Last week my father David sent me an anecdote from my grandfather Alex’s diary, about a book that, in his words, ‘started him as a bookseller’. It was a Collins title called Reach for the Sky about Douglas Bader, a Second World War air ace who lost his legs but returned to fly in war combat with artificial limbs. He was shot down over Europe, taken prisoner, and made numerous escape attempts with indomitable spirit. As my grandfather Alex said in his diary: ‘It had everything from courage and flair to human interest. I indented heavily, took a risk and was the only bookseller in New Zealand with copies when the demand was on. I had a ball, with people ringing me from all over New Zealand. Eventually I sold them all and started to make my name. This was the first time I sold over 100 copies of a book.’

In writing company profiles we often focus on the successes. While we don’t hear about them as often, just as important are the failures, the setbacks and the lean times. Looking back over what these two businesses have had to overcome to stay afloat – two world wars; the Great Depression; the advent of commercial radio and television; the new world order of retail; the Kindle; iPads – to see both companies still striding ahead in 2017 should give the New Zealand book industry tremendous confidence. I believe at the core of both businesses is a passion for quality books, and the wherewithal to take risks when the timing is right.

In some ways, the most significant accomplishment of my time at HarperCollins so far has been our local publishing vision document. We’ve worked hard at this and believe it will serve as a guideline for everything we do going forward. At its core is the intention to publish books that are ‘surprising, original and quality’.

At HarperCollins, looking ahead, we’re going to take a few risks, and while we’ll celebrate this hugely significant anniversary, we certainly won’t always look to the past to define our future. Without taking risks, and without being bold, we’ll surely live up to the epithet, ‘sunset industry’. But if we’re creative, original and courageous, we will continue to surprise our critics and delight our readers.

Alex Hedley

Photo credit Tom Donald