Self-funded publishing is no longer a DIY challenge, thanks to the wide range of options available now, both on- and off-shore. The quality of self-published books is also consistently rising, thanks to the professional agencies that have been set up to support writers who wish to be published under their own steam.
Distribution – do you think of giant Australian distribution warehouses like Penguin Random House’s United Book Distributors? Or the other extreme, author and publisher Paul Little dispatching his recent titles from the basement of his wife’s suburban Auckland store?
They are the two ends of the spectrum of book distribution serving this country.
United Book Distributors is definitely in the heavyweight corner of the boxing ring. It distributes titles for Penguin Random House, Allen & Unwin, Hardie Grant, Simon & Schuster, Phaidon, Pearson Education, Text, Scribe – and Kiwi nonfiction publisher Awa Press.
Features on the future of publishing in New Zealand discussing the adult market for books have been published in both trade and general media in recent weeks. So what about the future of children’s trade publishing in this country?
“Some of our books have sold over 300,000 copies, so they aren’t small fry,” says Penny Scown, senior editor at Scholastic NZ. “The attitude to children’s books as not being ‘real books’ is enough to make your blood boil – if people don’t develop the reading habit as children, there won’t be any readers for all those adult books,” she says.
Wellington Children’s Bookshop owner Ruth McIntyre is looking forward to the buzz and excitement of Storylines Wellington Family Day at the Michael Fowler Centre on Saturday 17 August. “There’s a lot of preparation for it, making sure there’s stock of all the guest writers’ books. But I have a wonderful time on the day. People are really impressed because it is free and so it has a really good vibe,” says Ruth.
The event is obviously good business for the store, who will have at least three staff members on hand as well.