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Oratia Media celebrates 10 years of book publishing

Waitakere-based independent publisher launched its first book in May 2009 and is going strong today

It was in May 2009 that Oratia Media launched the first book under its Libro International imprint — a new edition of Tim Tipene’s junior novel Kura Toa: Warrior School.

Ten years on, Kura Toa remains in print, like almost all the 80 books Oratia has now published. In 2016, the imprint name changed to Oratia Books, better to reflect our roots in Auckland’s Waitakere Ranges.

Founded in 2000 by Peter Dowling and Alessandra Zecchini, Oratia was primarily a publishing services company with global clients including Reed Publishing NZ, where Peter had become publishing manager.

‘After Reed was taken over in 2007, editorial director Carolyn Lagahetau and I continued our relationship with Reed authors, many of whom were ready to work with an independent publisher,’ Peter recalled.

‘In 2009 we tested the waters with short runs of Tim’s novel and Jeff Evan’s Nga Waka o Nehera, then jumped right in with two big new books in Outrageous Fortune and The Iron-Bound Coast.’

All four books in that first year were from a West Auckland stable, and the link to Waitakere creativity remains strong — as does a commitment to market the books worldwide through distribution, rights sales and presence at international book fairs.

Children’s books, Māoritanga and local non-fiction (especially history) form the majority of the books published to date, and Oratia Media continues to offer publishing and management services.

‘In 2019 Oratia will publish 11 new books, from large pictorial hardbacks to a new non-fiction series for young adults,’ said Belinda Cooke, who joined Oratia part-time as sales & marketing consultant in 2016.

The Oratia team (pictured from left Alessandra, Belinda, Carolyn and Peter) join with their friends from the past decade to celebrate this milestone and look forward to a solid future in publishing.

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