Friday, August 10, 2012

Publishing In New Zealand

I have decided readers that every now and again admist my book reviews, I will be writing a blog post about something that strikes my fancy at the time or something I have been thinking about lately.

The first to re-ignite my Literary Musings is Publishing in New Zealand.  I attended last Saturday a book talk in which an Editor from Scholastic Books was one of the guest speakers and as she talked it got me thinking about New Zealand authors and how hard it is to get your name out there and into the overseas market. It's all very well in having the authors attend the Frankfurt Book Fair http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/. This is actually one of my dreams to one day attend this as it is a collection of Authors, Publishers etc from all over the world showcasing their books, what they do etc. It's amazing and a Booklovers Dream.
I know several  NZ authors and local ones at that , and as I was listening to the talk I kept thinking how hard it is for New Zealand authors to get recognised overseas as the Big Six - Publishing companies are not picking up New Zealand authors unless they are big sellers yet they will pick up American authors whose books have done well on Amazon etc , authors that started out as Indie authors, self publishers or small boutique companies.
A major example would have to be Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James , we all know what that book is and about , its reviews are very mixed from one star to five stars.  It's a book that has outsold Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling. Yet, if we go back a few years . The story of Fifty Shades of Grey was published as a fan fiction piece on a Twilight Fan Fiction website , the story was given feedback and the author placed it onto Amazon making it avaliable to everyone who had a kindle , for me last year I kept hearing from my American friends about this character named Mr. Christian Grey and how "Paula , get with the times you have to read this book Fifty Shades" , I hummed and aahed over to read it or not. The I joined a bookgroup on Facebook , they were reading it and EL James was a member of the group - soon we got talking and she became one of my Facebook friends and blog followers and volia - I read the book. Recently , that book was picked up by Penguin Books NZ and now the author is rolling in the cash. Another two books - same story and both friends of mine on Facebook "On the Island by Tracey Garvis and Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire" have been picked up by Penguin Books , so readers soon they will hit the shores and it too will become a selling point in not only America but New Zealand shores.

Yet, I hear this and I think "That's awesome news, as I am happy for them " and have I read their books or have them sitting on my bookshelf to read - DEFINITELY.  But, it gets me thinking what about the local authors, those ones who have written amazing books and are trying to get them out there for the world to read - Do they have a chance or is it because New Zealand is so small , we are forgotten about and the authors unless they have been a big name in the publishing world and is recognised e.g Sheryl Jordan who has just published her latest book Ransome's Wood. Do the authors here , the ones who are just beginning to get into the writing world and make their way actually stand a chance ?

I think that Readers , as reviewers of books - we need to be the ones to start supporting our local Indie NZ Authors and getting their names into the big wide world.


Here are a few books that All should try :

Or if you are in New Zealand

* Battle of the Birds by Lee Murray

* Aroha by Anaru Bickford

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