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Day 2: Reinventing Publishing Today: Part Two

By News


Entering Asian Markets

ka meechan 2013“PANZ first attended Taipei International Book Exhibition in 2011, and in 2014 managed the collective New Zealand publisher stand with enhanced NZ publisher representation. In 2015 New Zealand will be the Guest of Honour Country at TIBE,” said Ka Meechan (pictured below), project manager of our GoH programme told a breakfast briefing.

Her outline of the Taiwan market: a book-loving population of 23 million people which supports more than 40,000 new titles every year.
David Glover, co-ordinating the educational component of the GoH TIBE 2015 initiative, has lived and worked in Asia and found Taiwan much easier to enter than other Asian markets. First time exhibitor in 2014, Peter Dowling of Oratia Media, stressed the importance of face-to-face meetings. Two of David Ling’s books were launched during the fair by his Taiwanese publisher, plus he sold rights to five of his children’s titles to mainland Chinese publishers.
“The cornerstone of the GoH initiative is the visiting author programme. Our pavilion at TIBE 2015 will be the stage for our authors to shine,” said Ka, who aims to have a draft programme schedule available in July. “There will not be another opportunity to enter this market with such support,” her briefing concluded.

Split Sessions: Taking your Books to the World / Building and Managing your List

With panels of Kiwi publishers – Belinda Cooke, Peter Dowling, Claire Murdoch and Fergus Barrowman talking about their overseas rights and distribution endeavours in one room and Nicola Legat, Robbie Burton, Rachel Scott and Kevin Chapman discussing list building in the other, these were a truly collegial sessions that reflect our industry.

Building New Audiences – from publisher to reader and back again

brett osmondIn a thought provoking session, Random House Australia’s Brett Osmond discussed the ways publishers and authors can reach their reading audience directly. Brett, Marketing and Publicity Director and Head of Digital for RH in Oz gave a masterclass in the use of on-line technology and shared the lessons learned. “Take risks, but get more sophisticated,” he says.
And so sophisticated has RH’s targeting become that there are seven composite identities for book buyers they’ve created and given names and definition; and any initiative must reach at least two of those segments!
Marketing and publicity should be joined at the hip and bring in the digital market, he advises. For the latter, ‘work on a few platforms and learn’. At the centre must be the company website, designed so it creates value for the audience who access the site.
An area RH is exploring is personalisation, with the first steps taken in developing a ‘crime and thriller’ website to reach one group of readers – and hopefully starting a long-term relationship with that audience.
Long term planning is essential – at least five months out from launch; plus a level of planning allows time to review what works and what does not.
Finally “Engage everyone with the whole business, including authors.”

The Big Idea – What’s Next for Publishing?

Dan Caton: The best ideas come from history – tell good stories, and for non fiction, tell good information
Brett Osmond:  the future is now
Tom Rennie (Bridget Williams Books): use the sheer messiness ahead to demonstrate our value – don’t take the risk of having others tell us
So it seems the panelists’ views into their respective crystal balls diverge!
Dan felt that Paul Cameron’s idea of making reading a more audio experience was great, and he is going to try it out. Educational e-reading devices that indicate where students are competent or have difficulty would also be a bonus in the future.
Brett says the future involves allowing readers to buy into content in whichever way they want to read it. Also ‘open’ organisations and playing with content, perhaps extending it to apps.
For Tom, all prophecy is based on digital, with print publishing in decline. Yet, he points out, ‘the industry is in decline’ air of fatalism is at odds with actual behavior as digital sales plateau and print maintains volume. “We have a vibrant and innovative print industry that will persist. And print and e-book publishing will become increasingly interconnected, not two separate worlds.”

Flipping Your Business: Adapting your business model in changing times

When a top selling title is How to Tell if Your Cat is Planning to Kill You, it is apparent that you are a publisher with attitude and acumen.
kirsty melville 
‘Finding that all important niche’ – one that differentiates your publishing house from the rest – was the focus of Kirsty Melville’s keynote address. The Andrews McMeel publishing story is hugely successful, and has been founded on rules for changing times.
Know your focus: who is the audience for the book, and how are you going to reach them, even before you acquire the MS.
Some of the company’s biggest sellers have come out of left field. Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans a big selling cookbook? You bet, and Kirsty acquired it by striking up a relationship with the authors who had been successful self- publishers.
“Your relationship with your author is the foundation of your business,” Kirsty advised.
Books of comic strip favourites, quirky cookbooks, kids books with attitude, an upcoming title called The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances… a list that does not depend on novels or high end nonfiction? The message to her audience could not be more clear: think outside the box.

Educational Publishers went the extra kilometre at Conference

stewart gill2The conference closed at 12.30pm and delegates departed however there was more to come for educational publishers. The PANZ Education Summit funded by Education New Zealand began straight after and was attended by more than 30 publishers. 

Stewart Gill (right), an Independent Publishing Consultant and former Managing Director of the Academic and K-12 schools division of Macmillan Australia, was the keynote speaker. He drew on deep industry experience and a lot of current data to tackle issues that mattered to the publishers present—the size and composition of the overall markets in Australia and New Zealand, the challenges and opportunities of entering the Australian market and the evolution of digital solutions (including predictions for change over the next 5 years). PANZ members were seen hard at work taking notes!

Clive Jones (pictured below right), General Manager Business Development at Education New Zealand then briefed the delegates on Educational New Zealand’s overall strategy and how ENZ’s support for the growth of educational publishing exports, delivered through PANZ, fit into that wider strategy.
David Glover from Creative Strategies and the Project Manager for education for TIBE Guest of Honour 2015 launched the toolkit for the GoH programme which will ensure that all publishers attending the exhibition are armed with plenty of contacts and key information on the market. By the end of the day, David had a half dozen publishers packing their bags for Taipei and many more keen on the opportunity.
clive jones portrait 
The last session of the day was What Now for Digital Learning? It featured a sterling line up of educators; Stuart McNaughton, Auckland University, Evan Blackman, Microsoft New Zealand and Dan Caton, Wittel Morris Strategic Consulting, and was chaired by Mark Sayes from ESA Publications.
Educational publishing had been integrated into the whole conference but the last afternoon allowed a very sharp focus on the opportunities for the sector—in digital innovation and export in particular.
Tim Lind, Biozone:
For me it was great to meet the other educational publishers and compare notes as to what is working and not working, and what the challenges are. Reassuring to know that there are many shared challenges, and very grateful for the opportunity to raise some industry concerns during our seminar.

I thoroughly enjoyed all the seminar talks and gained valuable networking contacts, and appreciated the opportunity for discussion. I would be very keen to attend next time.

In fact the only downside of Conference was the performance of the coffee machines!

Fergus Barrowman receives MNZM in Queen’s Birthday Honours

By Media Releases, News

Victoria University Press publisher, Fergus Barrowman has been made a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to publishing in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List announced yesterday.

While Fergus’ current high profile is as the publisher of Booker Prize winning novel The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, he has had a distinguished career, and has championed many fledgling New Zealand authors who have gone on to receive international recognition.
“For a good many years, Fergus has been one of this country’s great literary explorers—hunting for new voices, new talents, new ideas and taking them to the world,” says Publishers Association of New Zealand president Sam Elworthy. “He and the Victoria University Press team have brought to readers a treasure trove of great New Zealand scholarship and literature. Fergus’s work is an outstanding example of the work that publishers do connecting authors to readers, New Zealanders to the world. The Publishers Association congratulates Fergus on his well-deserved recognition in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.”
Also made a recipient of the MNZM is children’s literature specialist, and author of theLittle Yellow Digger series of children’s picture books, Betty Gilderdale.
Recently retired booksellers Beatrice Parsons and Julian Parsons of iconic Wellington bookstore Parsons Books and Music both received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to business and the arts.

New Zealand publishers build on Frankfurt Book Fair success

By News

Latest Media Release from Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage

New Zealand has another strong presence at the Frankfurt Book Fair, which opened today in Germany, building on the success of its Guest of Honour appearance last year, Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Christopher Finlayson said.

The book fair, the world’s largest media and content fair, had unprecedented success in 2012 with New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme.

This year 20 New Zealand publishers are attending the five-day fair, capitalising on last year’s high profile throughout Germany and Europe. As a result of last year’s fair New Zealand’s book rights sales were ten times greater than normal.

Mr Finlayson said the Fair brought attention to New Zealand’s publishing and educational sectors.

“Being Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair connected the world’s best publishers, as well as gaming and film producers, with our cultural creators,” he said. “The response we’ve had since the fair has been significant and I am pleased our presence continues to be strong in 2013.”

Sam Elworthy, the president of the Publisher’s Association of New Zealand said in the past 12 months the increase in interest in New Zealand literature has smoothed the way for New Zealand publishers to meet new clients and sell more book rights.

“Publishers here saw the opportunity, and put in the ground work; 2012’s book fair was a hugely busy one for New Zealand’s publishers and 2013 is about building on last year’s new relationships and continuing to strengthen our presence in the international market.”

New Zealand’s Guest of Honour pavilion, where books, film and animation from Aotearoa was presented, was acclaimed for its design and architecture. Overall book fair ticket sales increased by 6% last year and the organisers attributed this to the huge public interest in the New Zealand pavilion which received almost 70,000 visitors.

2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition to Feature New Zealand as Theme Country; Novelist Lloyd Jones to Visit Taiwan, Helping Spread the Power of Reading

By News, News Archive

The signing of the Agreement between New Zealand and the Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu on Economic Cooperation (ANZTEC) in July 2013 has ushered in a new era of collaboration between New Zealand and Taiwan on trade, customs duty reduction, and TV and film production. Accordingly, the diverse culture of New Zealand will become more familiar to the Taiwanese people via the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), which will feature New Zealand as the theme country, Taiwan’s Ministry of Culture (MOC) announced.

The MOC, supervisor of the TIBE, will join hands with the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ), Creative New Zealand, and the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office (NZCIO) in Taipei on this special event, introducing New Zealand’s core value of diversity to a wider audience. This event will highlight the distinct features of Maori culture and oral literature and seek to effect intercultural exchange with Taiwan’s aboriginal community while showcasing New Zealand’s unique attributes

Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai expressed her hope that with the ministry’s “Southern Strategy” Taiwan can broaden its scope, extending its erstwhile focus on Europe and the United States to countries in the southern hemisphere, such as Australia and New Zealand. As a part of ANZTEC, Taiwan and New Zealand have agreed to collaborate on the post-production sector of the film industry. By featuring New Zealand as the theme country of the 2015 TIBE, it is expected that the “Southern Strategy” will kick off to a good start and be implemented across the spheres of film, TV and culture.

Minister Lung said that the endeavour actually began during the 2013 TIBE earlier this year. When the PANZ delegation visited Taiwan at the invitation of the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF), Lung told the delegation that both sides would benefit from further collaboration saying “while Taiwan needs a gateway to access the southern hemisphere, Taiwan can serve as New Zealand’s northern gateway to the Chinese market.”

Lung also extended her gratitude to NZCIO director Stephen Payton’s aid in inviting New Zealand’s foremost novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan. Lung has been deeply impressed with Jones’s masterpiece Mister Pip, and she hopes to see the film adaptation in theatres in Taiwan soon. It is projected that, through such cultural exchanges, a growing number of readers will get acquainted with more New Zealand writers.

NZCIO director Stephen Payton said that it was an honour for New Zealand to feature as the theme country at the 2015 TIBE.

The NZCIO is looking forward to collaborating with the TBFF and Ministry of Culture to introduce the beauty of New Zealand’s literature and cultural spirit to Taiwan. Similarly, it also constitutes an opportunity for the New Zealanders to get to know the wonderful island of Taiwan.

As a sign of its appreciation of the TIBE, the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office will invite New Zealand’s most celebrated contemporary novelist Lloyd Jones to Taiwan, as a feature of the theme country campaign. In his opening address Stephen Payton stated, “In his novel Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones takes us to another island, Bougainville, and asks us to think about how influences from other times and places shape us an individuals and communities. This is writing we can share, that we need to share, including with our friends in Taiwan.”

 Mr Jones has won numerous awards and accolades, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and having his work selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Two of Jones’s books have been translated into Chinese and published in Taiwan: Mister Pip (2010, China Times Publishing Co.) andHand Me Down World (2012, Stride Publishing). Mister Piphas been selected as recommended reading in various high schools throughout Taiwan, and a film adaptation premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2012. The film version, starring Hugh Laurie, the famed Dr Gregory House in the hit TV series House, as Mr Watts, is expected to be released some time later in Taiwan.

Lloyd Jones received the invitation to Taiwan not more than five days ago. As a writer, Jones has been writing and reading stories all his life. He takes great delight in the process of storytelling, with which the writer takes the readers on a ride through different a time and space. In the present age of information explosion, we have varied media and channels of communication, but the act of reading still largely relies on the accumulation of other people’s writing. Both the writer and the reader have their own free will. Language is not a barrier that keeps out one from the other; we can still share and communicate through stories. Jones stressed the importance of book fairs, not only for the promotion of reading but also for readers and writers alike. A book fair is a place where books get to speak for themselves. True to the original meaning of the word “fair,” it is a playground and a marketplace. It is a place allowing more people to have fun.

At the announcement press conference, Minister Lung, Director Payton, and Mr Jones exchanged books as greeting gifts. Lung presented Payton with the English version of the four-volume Contemporary Taiwanese Literature and Art Series, which covers essays, novels, poems, and paintings. In return, Director Payton presented Minister Lung with New Zealand Journey and Janet Frame, the female New Zealand writer’s autobiography. Mr Jones also gave the minister the original English version of Mister Pip as a gift.

Stephen Payton said that Taiwan has been a close friend of New Zealand in the Asian region; with the recent signing of the ANZTEC, further long-term collaboration can be expected in the future.


Pictured above: Press conference announcing New Zealand as the 2015 TIBE theme country. (From left) NZCIO deputy director Serena Gar Ming Chui, director Stephen Payton, Minister of Culture Lung Ying-tai, New Zealand novelist Lloyd Jones, and TBFF chair Doris Wang.

New Zealand, the Guest of Honour in 2015 TIBE

 Located in the southwest Pacific, New Zealand has been hailed as a “living laboratory of geology” for its rich natural resources and geological wonders. In recent years, The Lord of the Rings franchise has helped promote the country’s magnificent scenery to the whole world. Moreover, New Zealand has proven itself a true “land of milk and honey” with its vintage wines, organic foods, and bountiful produce.

 New Zealand has also been quite active in the realm of culture and creativity. New Zealand featured as the Guest Country of Honour at the prestigious 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, marking the first-ever comprehensive introduction of the country’s literature, profound culture, and social diversity to German-speaking readers as well as the global publishing industry. As witnessed by all, New Zealand has indeed turned the privilege into a resounding success.

 Collaboration between New Zealand and the TIBE has achieved remarkable results since the inception of the relationship in 2011. Illustrator Gavin Bishop, for instance, graced the book fair with his presence in 2011 and published the Chinese version of his bestselling Friends: Snake and Lizard later, which went on to win the 2012 China Times Book Review Award. The 2013 TIBE was honoured with a visit from Kevin Chapman and Anne de Lautour, President and Association Director of the PANZ, as well as Belinda Jones of Creative New Zealand; they all praised the book fair for its vigour and vibrancy. Julia Marshall of Gecko Press has attended the TIBE for years on end, and the publisher has just won the 2013 Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year in Oceania, which goes to show the emerging presence of New Zealand publishers in the global publishing scene. The fervent interaction between New Zealand’s publishing industry and the TIBE has ultimately led to their induction as the theme country in 2015.

 The 2015 TIBE theme country pavilion of New Zealand is expected to showcase a diverse line-up of outstanding publications, covering the subjects of literature, art, history, lifestyle, fashion, design, health, education, children’s books, and illustrations. Also, Creative New Zealand will introduce a “Translation Grant Scheme,” an initiative seeking to promote the translation of New Zealand publications. Any interested publishers can apply for the grant scheme and further participate in the 2015 TIBE activities.

 Lloyd Jones: A Brief Introduction

 Born in Lower Hutt, New Zealand in 1955, Lloyd Jones attended Victoria University of Wellington. A resident of Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, Jones was a journalist who covered the political turmoil in Papua New Guinea in the 1990s, when the autonomous region of Bougainville sought independence from Papua New Guinea. Coverage of the Bougainville conflict, however, was blocked and censored by the government.

 This experience led to the birth of Mister Pip, recipient of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Overall Best Book and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2007. Other notable works include Book of Fame (2000; winner of the Deutz Medal for Fiction at the 2001 Montana New Zealand Book Awards), Biografi: An Albanian Quest (1993; a New York Times Notable Book), Choo Woo (1998),Here at the End of the World We Learn to Dance (2002), and Paint Your Wife(2004).

 Mister Pip is the story of an island caught up in the throes of war. The only remaining white man is Mr Watts, who stays behind to educate the local black children. Mr Watts urges his students to read over and over Charles Dickens’s Great Expectations, in which the eponymous Mr Pip is the protagonist. On the island stripped of virtually everything, the children seem to take a leave from the drab and dull reality and enter the alternative world of the novel. The magical power of reading depicted in the book serves to illustrate the author’s superb storytelling technique.

 TIBE is looking forward to the honour of the presence of Lloyd Jones in Taiwan, who is expected to participate in a series of activities, granting the readers a precious opportunity of direct interaction with the master novelist. Through a wide range of cultural exhibitions and literary events, the TIBE hopes to introduce the readers to the diverse, vibrant cultural scene of the 2015 theme country, New Zealand.

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