A new digital rights portal aims to overcome the tyranny of distance and the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic to promote books from Aotearoa New Zealand to international rights’ buyers around the world.
The Publishers Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Tākupu has launched NewZealandBooks.com which will be a focal point for the very best of publishing in Aotearoa. It lists fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles, promotes award-winning books and celebrates the quality and range of our local writing talent.
NewZealandBooks.com was launched alongside New Zealand’s stand at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair which runs this week (Monday 21 – Friday 25 March 2022). The fair is off to a good start with the news that local firm Beatnik Publishing has been awarded the Bologna Prize for the Best Children’s Publisher of the Year (Oceania category).
Seven publishers will present some of Aotearoa’s finest writers through a virtual stand on the new portal, alongside a complementary physical stand displaying the books at the fair itself, which will be run by a local stand manager. This hybrid approach to international book fairs enables publishers to experience the buzz of an international book fair from the comfort of their own offices.
“The travel restrictions brought by Covid have unsurprisingly hindered our traditional routes to make international connections and do business,” says Julia Marshall, PANZ Council Immediate Past President and publisher of Gecko Press.
“However, it has also forced us all to think creatively and critically about how we could do things differently. While nothing beats meeting in person, the hope is this site will open more doors and help grow the presence of literature from New Zealand storytellers in more international markets.”
PANZ would like to acknowledge Creative New Zealand who through their International Programme support New Zealand publishers to attend international book fairs, including PANZ’s attendance at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, and the development of www.NewZealandBooks.com.