Can we? Of course we can. What? Follow America in turning around book sales in New Zealand and see them grow rather than decline.
That’s the big message I came away with from attending the American Booksellers Association 9th annual Winter Institute, held this year in Seattle, WA. On occasions it was a bit tough to keep positive, in particular when Jonathon Noel from Nielsen in the UK presented a chart that showed that book sales in New Zealand in 2013 were down 19.3%.
Judith Farley shares her own life experiences and shows readers how to live lives of peace, joy, forgiveness and enlightenment in her new book.
"Life is full of choices, some we make we perceive as bad and some good but this book will show you how that those you percieve as bad are all in alignment with your journey," Farley says. "If you want to live a life of understanding why things happen the way they do, then I suggest you make a choice to read this book. It will change your life forever, from one of confusion, stress and fear, to one of peace, joy and ease."
Man Booker Prize winning Kiwi author Eleanor Catton is to be awarded an honorary degree from Victoria University.
Catton, whose 832-page novel The Luminaries scooped the literary world's most prestigious prize last year, will receive an honorary degree of Doctor of Literature at the university's May graduation.
"We are extremely proud to count Eleanor among our illustrious alumni, and look forward to formally acknowledging her achievements with an honorary doctorate," Victoria University Vice-Chancellor Professor Pat Walsh said.
Catton's remarkable success so early on in her writing career is clear evidence of her outstanding talent, he said.
I believe I might be at my happiest in a good bookshop or library. Both spaces induce either thrilling adrenaline rushes or a sense of serene wellbeing, and sometimes a slightly disturbing fusion of the two. It is something to do with the extraordinary potential hovering, the unexplored glories waiting for me – a powerful, urgent feeling I can remember as far back as my first visits to the Canterbury Public Library and, a little later, the Corner Bookshop in Merivale, and later still, the Canterbury University Bookshop, where my book-buying habit took proper flight and caused the normally sweet bank manager at the university branch of the BNZ to speak rather sternly to me about my overdraft.
Auckland University Press has produced a treasure trove of more than 240 classic New Zealand books, some long out of print, as ebooks in multiple formats for readers in New Zealand and around the world.
With the support of Creative New Zealand, Copyright Licensing New Zealand and the Vice-Chancellor’s Strategic Development Fund at the University of Auckland, the Press has mined fifty years of great publishing to bring back its classic books in these new formats.
It is time: time for a major re-evaluation of the book industry, especially in New Zealand and to a lesser extent Australia and internationally says Rob Clarke of Paper Plus Coastlands (pictured right).
An industry veteran of wide vision and many years experience, he believes that as bookshops we have to act now, or - like dinosaurs - become extinct within a decade. “That’s the ecology of bookselling if we don’t change it. We are all inter-dependent; publishers, wholesalers and booksellers. This is not something as booksellers we can do alone, it has to be in partnership with international as well as local publishers and their distribution channels.
We had it so good, it seems... but the global financial crisis, online suppliers, e-books and changing customer habits have wounded the New Zealand book industry.
Now Hachette is reduced to a sales and marketing office in this country; Pearson a sales presence only and HarperCollins a more slender model post-surgery? Book sales show a decline of around 15 to 16 percent. What’s happening here? Is it a correction in the market, or merely a blip? The Read asked Dr Sam Elworthy, president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand. “A bit of both,” is Sam’s opinion.
Purchasing books online from overseas sources is a global issue for international publishers and not just restricted to New Zealand, according to Booksellers NZ CEO, Lincoln Gould, commenting on the recent announcement by Hachette NZ that they are restructuring their New Zealand operations because of a drop in New Zealand sales.
The global book industry, especially in the English speaking countries, has been in ferment in recent years as online selling and the advent of e-books have put enormous pressure on publishers.