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Export deals flow from NZ London Bookfair showcase

30 May 2005

Export deals flow from NZ London Bookfair showcase

30 May 2005 -- A string of new deals have been signed by New Zealand publishing companies, as they reap the commercial rewards of a major showcase of New Zealand creative capability at the recent London Book Fair.

New Zealand and Australia were selected as the market focus for the 2005 London Book Fair, giving the 29 New Zealand companies taking part a prime exhi
bition space in the heart of the busy 3-day event.

The businesses attending the fair were backed by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, Creative New Zealand, Booksellers New Zealand and the Book Publishers Association.

NZTE Client Manager Maria Gray says the creativity and vibrancy of New Zealand publishing struck a strong note with those attending the fair.

“We stack up well in terms of having good ideas and design and, as with our feature films, are seen as doing something a little bit different.”

One local author who helped out on the New Zealand stand, Dr Tom Mulholland, generated interest in his book – Healthy Thinking: How to Turn Life’s Lemons into Lemonade - from 24 different companies in all corners of the globe, with one deal signed at the Book Fair and two more completed since the event in early March.

Dr Mulholland’s publishers, Reed Publishing, are confident of further sales of the book over the next few months. Whale Rider author Witi Ihimaera was also at the event and gave four seminars over two days, including a packed out session entitled A Whale of a Tale – Maori Girl to Moby Chick.

Reed Publishing International Rights Manager, Teresa Garnett, says a new picture book by Ihimaera, based on the Whale Rider story, attracted keen interest from ten publishers, two of whom have already signed up for publishing rights.

“Being in a prime location at the Fair and having authors there made a tremendous impact. There was a rush to our stand each time a New Zealand author finished speaking. They all helped to highlight us as a country, a stand and as individual publishing companies,” says Ms Garnett.

Three titles taken to the fair by Wellington’s Huia Publishers will be translated and published in France as a result of a deal made at the London Book Fair. That includes Stone Fish a new book of short stories from Booker Prize winning writer Keri Hulme.

Director, Brian Bargh, who was attending the fair for the third time, says Huia is also negotiating with several United States publishers and has new co-publishing ventures with Australian companies in the pipeline, as a result of contacts made at the fair.

“Having a strong contingent of New Zealand companies certainly helped us make an impact,” he says. “The fair is big and busy – the real action comes now when we follow up by mail and email.”

The drive to raise international interest in New Zealand’s publishing expertise was strengthened by an ‘islands of the imagination’ debate and lunch hosted by Brand New Zealand , just prior to the book fair. The panel included Witi Ihimaera, the director of the award winning New Zealand film In My Father’s Den, Brad McGann and Creative New Zealand Chairman, Peter Biggs. The event attracted a full house of authors, screenwriters and other leading figures from the New Zealand and UK creative communities, together with media.

Christchurch company Book Design attended the fair for the first time and Studio Manager, Kim Dovey, says the business was able to punch well above its weight.

“New Zealand is such a small market that you have to fight hard and be really professional to succeed. Our material really stood out and went down well with the UK publishers we were targeting.”

Ms Dovey is confident of securing design work as a result of contacts made at the fair.

“Publishers in the UK have no qualms about getting book design done on the other side of the world. We are attractive because we give them the opportunity to work directly with the designer, use the same technology as they do and are relatively inexpensive.”

“It was a real bonus being on a big stand with other New Zealanders. Our bounciness and openness went down really well.”

Teresa Garnett says Reed Publishing will definitely be back at the fair in 2006, to capitalise on the higher profile New Zealand achieved this time round.

“New Zealand got its foot firmly in the door this year and the benefits will be long term. This has shown that the London Book Fair is just as good as the Frankfurt Book Fair for doing business.


Allphy Book Distributors Ltd

Annabel Langbein Books

Auckland University Press

Awa Press

Book Design Ltd

Book Publishers Association of New Zealand

Book Sellers New Zealand

Cape Catley Ltd

Creative New Zealand

David Bateman Ltd

Exisle Publishing Ltd

Harper Collins Publishers ( New Zealand)

Hazard Press Ltd

Huia Publishers

Learning Media Ltd

Love to Sing Ltd

Mallison Rendel

New Holland

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Penguin Books

Phantom House

Random House New Zealand Ltd

Reed Publishing ( NZ ) Ltd

Saint Pubishing ( 2002) Ltd

Sayer Literacy Agency

Steele Roberts

Te Papa Press

Totika Publications Ltd
University of Otago Press

Victoria University Press


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