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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The eggnog has been drunk, decorations put away, and the hangovers have hopefully cleared. A month after Christmas, The Read catches up with booksellers around the country to see how the silly season went.
We spoke with Anna Hunt of Marsden Books, Jenna Todd of Time Out Bookstore, Bronwyn Wylie-Gibb of UBS Otago, Louise Ward of Wardini Books, and Aimee Paardekooper of Paper Plus Cromwell.
Happy New Year, hardworking booksellers! For those of you who have worked throughout the “summer holidays” we office-workers get, scorning our out-of-offices with impossible-to-imagine return dates, well done and we love you for it. Now, after the many many book lists of 2016, it’s finally time to revel in the joy that is the cream of the crop for 2017.
Bookshops opening, expanding, changing ownership: who would have thought this sort of positive activity in New Zealand’s book trade would be a feature of 2016 after some years of doom and despondency?
The threat from e-books has also retreated – a worldwide trend – and sales of printed books , while not as strong as 2015, have been steady, with many shops recording good growth. This Christmas is shaping up well, although some of our members have taken a knock from the recent earthquakes.
The Indiebound Summer Reading Guide showcases 117 of the best books around this summer, as voted for inclusion by over 20 of New Zealand’s leading independent bookshops. Booksellers NZ provides this service because we want our members to have the best tools available to maximise sales at this incredibly important time of year.