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NZ publisher knocks Lonely Planet off its perch

Awa Press Media Release for immediate use: 5 December 2008

Small New Zealand publisher knocks Lonely Planet off its perch

A visitors’ guide to Antarctica produced by small Wellington publisher Awa Press has beaten Lonely Planet to the top spot on Amazon, the world’s largest online bookseller.

Antarctica Cruising Guide, by zoologists and tour guides Peter Carey and Craig Franklin, has been a big success for Awa Press since it was published in 2006. It has gone through several editions, including a special bespoke edition for the British tour company Voyages of Discovery, which specialises in Antarctica cruises.

But even the publisher was bowled over when the book hit the top spot on Amazon this week. Awa Press’s publishing director Mary Varnham said the company knew the book was doing extremely well in the United States. ‘We have had terrific feedback from people who’ve taken it with them to Antarctica, and our US distributor has reported very strong orders this season. But it’s still a thrill to know we’re up there with Lonely Planet.’

The book is unique in being a full-colour guide to Antarctica wildlife, from whales to insects, and the places commonly visited on an Antarctic cruise. The authors have also included the history of the continent, and the threats to its preservation as one of the loneliest and most beautiful places on Earth.

‘It’s a very well-written and lovingly produced book, and obviously readers appreciate that,’ Mary Varnham said.

Awa Press began publishing in 2004. Its latest travel books include 100 Essential New Zealand Golf Holes by Tom Hyde, due to hit the stores next Monday in time for the Christmas rush, and Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge Guide by Amy Taylor, launched in Taupo last week.


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