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Once Were Warriors Maclary & Edmonds Go Platinum

Once Were Warriors, Hairy Maclary and the Edmonds Cookery Book go Platinum!

Novels by Alan Duff, the Hairy Maclary picture books by Lynley Dodd and the Edmonds Cookery Book star on the list of 21 New Zealand books that have ‘gone platinum’ under a new accreditation system launched this week by Booksellers New Zealand. [See complete list below.]

The Premier New Zealand Bestsellers recognise and celebrate New Zealand books that have achieved high sales figures and are proven top sellers in this country. The scheme mirrors the gold and platinum discs that have played such a vital part in the music industry for many years.

“To recognise the excellence and sales of New Zealand books is a fantastic way to highlight the wealth of writing talent that exists in this country,” said Michael Moynahan, Chair of the Board of Booksellers New Zealand. “Sometimes we imagine that the bestsellers in this country come from the US or the UK. This list proves that this isn’t so. We can be very proud as a reading nation of the strength of our passion for New Zealand books.”

To qualify, publishers were asked to submit sales figures across all editions and imprints for their largest selling New Zealand books. These figures were verified by Booksellers New Zealand, then accreditations confirmed for one of four levels of achievement, with platinum representing the highest sales figures. All books on these lists will carry, on their covers, a platinum, gold, silver or bronze seal, depending on the level of sales reached as a mark of its enduring appeal to the New Zealand book-buying public. As books reach these best-selling levels in the future and the numbers are proven, new books will be added to the list of Premier New Zealand Bestsellers.

The first group of books to achieve Premier New Zealand Bestseller status reflects some of the traditional book-buying habits and interests of the New Zealanders with the inclusion of classics such as the Edmonds Cookery Book and the Yates Garden Guide. It also includes children’s books such as the Hairy Maclary titles and The Little Yellow Digger books by Betty and Alan Gilderdale, which are now reaching a second or third generation of young readers.

The list highlights the phenomenal success of newcomers with Michael King’s Penguin History of New Zealand, published in October last year ‘going gold’ and The Lord of the Rings Location Guidebook by Ian Brodie, published in 2002, attaining platinum. It also brings to the fore books that quietly develop a huge following such as Treat Your Own Back and Treat Your Own Neck, both by Robin McKenzie and both achieving gold status. And, it proves that Alison Holst continues to make the best muffins, and that she and Jo Seagar endure as New Zealand’s favourite food writers reaching platinum and gold with a number of their cook books.

Alison Holst’s Marvellous Muffins holds number one slot as the book with the largest overall sales – a staggering 244,365 since it was first published in 1994. Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy comes in second, with 176,067 since it first trotted on to the market in 1983.

The book that has been of value to this nation of ‘green fingers’ for the longest period of time is The Yates Garden Guide, which was first published in 1897. The sales since 1990 alone were enough to guarantee this book’s platinum status.

The Premier New Zealand Bestsellers are administered by Booksellers New Zealand, the trade association for booksellers and publishers, committed to fostering a strong, efficient and professional book industry in New Zealand.


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