Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Adventures in the NZ book trade

I spent yesterday in Wellington being a consultant in an hour-long meeting. It took a whole day to get there and back, flights from Hamilton being intermittent. This was for the book trade so of course it was a whole day of being unpaid. But it was well worth it: before the meeting I got to meet my lovely niece and her lovely baby daughter at Maranui; have a long lunch with an old friend at Nikau; have a long chat with Tilly at Unity Books; and afterwards overhear my publisher tell another of his authors that he had read my new manuscript and thought it “quite good”, which is an academic publisher’s version of “awesome”. And then my publisher bought drinks.  It was just like the good old days.

In other news: the Winn-Manson Menton Trust is calling for applications by 21 September from established and mid-career New Zealand writers for the 2013 Katherine Mansfield Menton Fellowship. There are strings attached – you have to live in Menton in the south of France for at least six months and work in the Villa Isola Bella where Katherine Mansfield lived and wrote towards the end of her life, and it pays a measly $75,000. Yes, $75,000 for six months. But if that appeals and you don’t find the money on offer insulting – or if you do but can swallow your pride – get in touch with Marlene LeCren of Creative New Zealand and she’ll tell you how to apply.

The grumpy publisher Kevin Chapman, president of the NZ book publishers’ association PANZ, has a more cheerful message about New Zealand’s role as the Frankfurt Book Fair’s Country of Honour in this letter dated 17 August:  
Dear Colleagues
The Guest of Honour programme has moved from planning to implementation of the major stage, so I thought I should update you.
Over the period between mid-July and early November, we will take part in over 300 events, in over 50 cities and towns across seven European nations (primarily Germany, but also Switzerland, Austria, Belgium, UK, France and Italy).
We are working in partnership with 110 organisations, including 12 literary festivals, 10 Literaturehauses, 34 publishers, museums, bookshops, etc.
A group of 67 New Zealand authors will present their work, and over 80 author visits to Germany will have been organised by the Guest of Honour team. The programme for the Pavilion at the fair is complete and has been very well received by our colleagues at the fair.
New Zealand books in translation will be the focus of up to 600 German bookstores through a window display competition.
Translations published or confirmed for publication since the beginning of GOH, and through to 2013, are now at 90.
Much of the programme team are now based in Germany until after the fair, and the New Zealand-based PANZ staff are now working on detail such as individual schedules for each of the 67 authors still to travel.
We are on the cusp of delivering one of the greatest promotions New Zealand writing has ever seen.
Thank you for your support.
Kevin Chapman
Watch this space for more good news from publishers and more moaning from authors.

No comments: