Feature stories

Tales for Tykes: The art of Storytelling in bookshops

by Baz Macdonald
Vic Books storyteller Baz Macdonald explores the ways children’s performers throughout New Zealand keep kids engaged.
I am half-way through reading Margaret Mahy’s classic The Witch in the Cherry Tree with 15 shining young faces glued to Jenny Williams’ lovely illustrations.
I cackle my way through another of the pesky witch’s temper tantrums, gauging how attentive the kids are as I do.

Nielsen: Bestsellers, Trends and the Magic of Data

Looking at the Nielsen Bestsellers is a staple of pretty well every bookseller’s data diet. Each month, the Booksellers NZ website receives 1,600 views of the bestseller charts, for which we pay a contractually arranged subscription that allows us to pass them on to our members. 
We thought it was worthwhile, with this in mind, to drill down into where this data comes from, how it is managed and curated, where the data goes, beyond New Zealand subscribers – and when we will be getting e-book sales data. We put these questions to Nevena Nikolic, the Sales and Marketing Manager for Nielsen Book. 

The Mitch Marks Ockham New Zealand Book Awards Awards

by Mitch Marks - all photographs from the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards © Marcel Tromp 
This year’s New Zealand Book Awards, the second under the Ockham banner, are the first literary awards I’ve been to. I imagined it was going to be a cross between the only other awards I’ve attended: music awards and school prizegivings. That’s not too far off, except a music industry event would never close the foyer bar as soon as everyone files into the theatre.

Change, technology and the future with three industry stalwarts

by Marcus Greville
There is hardly a better battleground for analogue vs. digital than bookselling: the changes have been continuous and paradigm-changing in terms of the way that bookshops operate. Not too long ago I was telling another bookseller about the monthly CD-ROMs that updated our bibliographic database; in response I got an amused smile and the comment, ‘Nice, granpaw’. I recall I gave a similar response to tales of microfiche in the 90’s.

The write course: the place of writing classes in the NZ book trade

This week, The Read investigates writing courses and writing qualifications in Aotearoa; what they do for the Kiwi book ecosystem and what the book industry thinks of them.
We spoke to a selection of writers, publishers, writing course directors and booksellers Catherine Robertson, Paula Morris, Fergus Barrowman, Adrienne Jansen, Mary-Jane Duffy, Jemma Pirrie, Damien Wilkins, Thom Conroy, Thomas Koed, Ashleigh Young and Bronwyn Wylie-Gibb.
What do writers get out of them?

Tapping an Audience: From Blog to Books

The publishing of blogs in book form is not a new phenomenon. Internationally every year hundreds of blogs, ranging from recipe, to humour, to comics, to personal are converted and published into books. But the recent successes of Emily Writes’ Rants in the Dark, and Ashleigh Young’s Can You Tolerate This?, two books with connections to blogs (emilywrites.co.nz and eyelashroaming.com respectively) sparked us to investigate the blog/book relationship in New Zealand.

Courtney takes us on a trip to WI12 in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Courtney Smith spent part of her summer enjoying winter in Minneapolis, thanks to being one of our Kobo Booksellers NZ Scholars for 2016, alongside Rochelle from Paige's Book Gallery in Whangarei. She has written about her time at the politically charged Winter Institute conference, and her week working in an LA bookshop for this week's The Read.

Rookie Booksellers see their Future in Books

It’s a new year and a lot of people are making a new start. With all the bad news we’ve had about the book trade over the past few years, it’s heartening to see people step up to run or buy bookshops in Aotearoa. 
This week, we celebrate the Year of the Rooster by talking to some fledgling (and not so fledgling) booksellers: Barry Weinand of Paper Plus Whangarei, Lincoln Gould of Messines Bookshop, Marco Loos of Paper Plus South City, Thomas Koed of Volume Books, and Suzanne Kelsall of Paper Plus Greymouth.
New country

Sharks, mazes and tiny winged horses: Kids books for 2017

Children’s book publishing is where the action is right now. We’ve seen Virago open out its Virago Kids imprint, Lonely Planet’s Kids imprint grow and grow, and on the local front, the enlargement of children’s lists for the likes of Potton & Burton and Makaro Press. We’re also seeing a few more first-time authors being picked up by both larger and independent publishers, which is incredibly important for the health of the market.