PANZ International Conference - Publishing for the Future

With a title like that it is no wonder publishers turned out in force today in Auckland.
Around 150 of  them from all parts of the industry and from across NZ turned up at Auckland's Mercure Hotel for two day talkfest on their future.
Star attraction Geneva-based Jens Bammel, Secretary General of the International Publishers Association,(left) got the show off to a lively start with his wide-ranging address Surfing the Avalanche:The Changing Face of Global Publishing in which he looked at the speed at which the publishing industry is ever-accelerating. This is a man who knows his subject and suddenly it seemed the hour was over.
The second session, Strategies for Selling More On-line: Trends in EBook Consumption, Cracking the Non-fiction code and more was chaired by Ka Meechan, MD Nielsen BookData with panellists Mark Tanner of Google Australia, Malcolm Neill of Kobo ANZ, and Mark Higginson, Head of Digital Development, Harper Collins Australia.
After a break for afternoon tea we then heard from Elizabeth Weiss, Academic Director of Allen & Unwin Australia on the subject Refining your Digital Strategy: Work-flow and the Scale of Change; POD and International Distribution. She gave an amazingly frank account of Allen & Unwin's digital publishing experience and this would have proven most helpful to many in the audience just feeling their way in to the digital publishing process.
Finally for today's session we had Fighting the Pirates:Digital Rights, Publishing Agreements and more chaired by AUP's always lively and entertaining Sam Elworthy with panellists Paula Browning, CEO Copyright Licensing NZ, Anthony Healey of APRA here from Australia, and Jens Bammel of the IPA making his second appearance of the day.
Whew, all worthwhile and illuminating but now I need a drink.
Delegates will be back for dinner in a couple of hours and then tomorrow's sessions start at 8.30am.
Hats off to PANZ for their initiative in setting up this worthwhile conference and for the smooth organisation in place.
Read Jens Bammel's excellent piece in the New Zealand Herald a few days ago. Well worth reading.



Coinciding with the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, Janet DeNeefe, director of the Ubud Writers & Readers Festival will present a feast from her cookbook Bali – The Food of My Island at Wantilan Restaurant, Thursday 15 – Saturday 17 March. 

The nights are designed to introduce people to the Indonesian food DeNeefe knows and loves, beyond peanut sauce and gado-gado.

“I want to highlight the majesty of Indonesian food in all its glory. I will be featuring dishes from all over the archipelago, spotlighting elegant curries, golden seafood broths, wok-tossed greens, banana-leaf specials, sambals and an array of traditional and contemporary desserts”, said Janet DeNeefe.

DeNeefe is the founder and director of the International Ubud Writers & Readers Festival which has been named by Harper’s Bazaar, UK, as “one of the top six Festivals in the world”.

Having travelled to Bali first in 1974, Janet fell in love with the people, culture and most importantly the food. She began teaching Balinese cooking at the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne in 1987 and later created the Casa Luna Restaurant and Cooking School where guests are educated about Balinese food, cooking and culinary myths. Janet now teaches cooking all over Australia and has held classes in Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Her school was named as “one of the top cooking schools in the world” by The Australian.

DeNeefe’s cook book Bali – The Food of my Island Home was released last year and explores the every- day lives, culture and the colourful cuisine of the beautiful island paradise.

Over three nights in March, Janet DeNeefe will offer an incredible food journey and stories of Bali’s lush island, culture and the people.
Wantilan Balinese Restaurant in Hawthorn will play host to this special event.

DATE: Thursday15 – Saturday 17 March
TIME: 7.30pm
PRICE: $75.00 for 9 dishes (minimum of 2 people)
WHERE: 571 Burwood Road Hawthorn 3122 Melbourne.
BOOKINGS: 98199280

iPad 3 May Be Unveiled Next Week

iPad 3 May Be Unveiled Next Week
Jeff Chiu / AP Photo

It could be an invitation to an Apple product launch—or a party of the sort Dominique Strauss-Kahn was being questioned about. “We have something you really have to see. And touch,” read the message the company sent out to journalists, sparking rumors that Apple may be ready to launch the latest version of its bestselling iPad. The company has sold more than 50 million iPads worldwide. While the invitation does not say whether the new iPad will be introduced at the event, it was accompanied by a picture showing what looked like the device’s signature touch screen. The iPad 2 was launched last year in March, and went on sale in the U.S. nine days later.

February 29, 2012 (via The Daily Beast)

Self Publishing for Poets

By Jason Boog on Galley Cat, February 29, 2012 

Should more poets self publish? We caught up with poet Susie DeFord to find out why she chose to self-publish Dogs of Brooklyn this year.
In an interview with GalleyCat, the poet shared the unique problems poets face when self-publishing. For years, this poet has built her Susie’s Pet Care business while writing poems about the furry, funny creatures she works with every day.
DeFord reflected on her choice in the interview: “I probably wouldn’t wait so long to consider self-publishing. I paid to submit to first book contests for almost two years, so I lost money and time trying to do it the old-fashioned way. I suppose that time spent revising/ editing/ swearing/ and feeling rejected made for a better book and some character building, but there are so many cool easy ways to self-publish and get your work out there from blogs to books.”
The complete interview here.

7 Surprisingly Optimistic Books

Posted on by Alison

Even the toughest knocks can ultimately lead us to greater happiness—so writes Amy Spencer, author of “Bright Side Up.” Bookish asked her to spell out the sunshine in seven books that offer unexpectedly life-affirming lessons.
I’m a professional optimist. Which means I seek out the positive in human experience and help others do the same—because, as I write about in my newest book, “Bright Side Up: 100 Ways to be Happier Right Now,” if you can learn to view some of your negative experiences from a more positive perspective, you’ll feel happier today and more hopeful about tomorrow.
That’s what optimism is, after all: a belief that your life is going to work out for the best. However sad or challenging an experience might feel in the moment, there is a benefit to be gained. Centuries of literature have taught us this lesson over and over. I’ve even come across this brand of optimism in books that may not seem so positive on the surface—everything from Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction to young adult novels to straight-talking dating books. Here are seven of the most positive life messages I’ve found in some pretty surprising books.
Link here at Bookish for the seven optimistic titles

Check out these exciting new covers from Penguin Books

And this title is one of my favourite novels of all time.
Check out the new covers for some old classics here.

Pan Mac snaps up Kindle bestseller, Kerry Wilkinson

In a three book deal Pan Macmillan has acquired the next three crime novels (and the print and ebook rights to his first three books) from Kindle bestselling author Kerry Wilkinson.  Think of the Children, the fourth in the Manchester-set Jessica Daniel series, will be published in mass market and ebook in February 2013.

Kerry Wilkinson is the first self-published author to beat top sellers including Lee Child and Stieg Larsson to become the bestselling ebook author on Amazon for the last quarter of 2011.

Kerry, a 31-year-old sports journalist from Lancashire, published his first e-book, Locked In, the first in the Jessica Daniel series of crime fiction novels, in July 2011 after which it shot up the iTunes and Amazon charts making it the No 1 Amazon Kindle bestseller without any formal advertising.  He sold its 100,000th copy on Christmas Eve.    His second and third novels, Vigilanteand Woman in Black, were published in September and November 2011; all three have now sold over 250,000 ebook copies.
Editorial Director, Trisha Jackson comments,
“We are delighted and excited to be the publisher to be taking Kerry to a wider market in the physical format and in ebook. His storytelling skills, the plotting and his characters plus his enthusiasm and energy are a recipe for success. I am so looking forward to working with him editorially and developing the Jessica Daniel series.”
Kerry Wilkinson adds,
“I am thrilled to be linking up with Macmillan. Their enthusiasm and dedication to Jessica Daniel as a character has blown me away and I feel very privileged that I will now be able to work with such talented people.
“The fact they have committed to publishing six books in a series that didn't even exist a year ago shows the faith they have in both me as an author and the world I have created.
“I look forward immensely to working at my new home and cannot wait for readers to find out what happens next.”
About the author:
Described by the Daily Express as "The Hottest New Author In Britain", Kerry Wilkinson was born in Bath, Somerset but currently lives in Lancashire.
He has a degree in journalism and is a full-time production worker for a national media organisation in the UK. He has lectured in journalism, volunteers as a magistrate and plays a lot of computer games while he's supposed to be writing.

Mole and Rat meet the horned god Pan in British Library summer exhibition

Wind in the Willows – and forgotten chapter The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – in Cultural Olympiad exploration of landscape
Detail from Arthur Rackham's illustration of Pan from The Wind in the Willows, which is in the British Library summer exhibition Writing Britain. Photograph: British Library
Detail from Arthur Rackham's illustration of Pan from The Wind in the WillowsIf you can't remember the bit in The Wind in the Willows when Mole and Rat go searching for a missing baby otter, only to find him asleep in the hooves of the muscular, horned god Pan, then you're not alone. "It is the chapter that everyone forgets about it," said Jamie Andrews of the British Library. "For most editions it's left out."
Kenneth Grahame's handwritten version of the chapter, together with illustrations by Arthur Rackham, will though be part of a summer exhibition at the library called Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands, details of which were announced on Tuesday.
The chapter – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn – is normally dropped because it jars, seems so strange compared to all the others and, to some, is vaguely homo-erotic. Grahame thought it essential.
The library said The Wind in the Willows would be one of more than 150 literary works to feature in a show that aims to explore how writers in Britain, from Geoffrey Chaucer and William Shakespeare to Angela Carter and Hanif Kureishi, have been inspired by and helped shape our understanding of landscape and place.
Full piece at The Guardian

Hank the Wrestling Shark

Words and Music by Gerry Paul; illustrations by Tom Armstrong

Published by Wacky Tales Publications, distributed by Bookreps NZ Ltd, available in bookshops nationwide and at from 05 March 2012, RRP $24.99
Imagine wrestling the fiercest, fastest, most frightening creature of the sea . . . and then, with some nifty thinking, outsmart him to win the coveted title of ‘Ocean Wrestling Champ’!
That’s exactly what cartoon hero Gerry does in Hank the Wrestling Shark – the hilarious, rhyming tale about a pint-sized boy who takes on the strongest, most fearsome creature of the ocean deep, and defeats him.

Think ‘David and Goliath’ meets Spike Milligan meets Johnny Cash and you’ve got the measure of this zany picture book by debut author and major new writing talent, Gerry Paul. Written for kids and grown up kids alike, Gerry Paul’s quirky story is inspired by his lifelong fascination with sharks and his encounters with them while body surfing and free diving New Zealand’s coastline, including his early years on Wellington’s Kapiti Coast.

Hank the Wrestling Shark is a lively, engaging and inspiring story to read and sing along to, with obvious appeal to anyone who’s ever felt small and weak, and overcome the odds to feel strong and powerful. It encourages children to free their imaginations, nurture their creativity and believe in themselves as they face life’s challenges.

For every book purchased via Gerry Paul’s webbsite,
$1 will be donated to the Child Cancer Foundation
Best known as an award-winning songwriter and musician, Gerry Paul’s first picture book is accompanied by a three track CD, which includes title song Hank the Wrestling Shark. The song was awarded the 2010 Grand Prize in the prestigious international ‘John Lennon Songwriting Contest’, a coveted award among songwriters. This features on an album of ten children’s songs called ‘Tales from the Sea and an Elephant Tree’, to be released by Rhythmethod/Ode Records  alongside the book in March 2012.
About the author:
Born in Dublin in 1979, Gerry Paul grew up in Lower Hutt, where he still takes a couple of months out of his busy touring schedule each year to write songs and wrestle sharks. He has spent the past 13 years living in Ireland, playing and touring with the Irish band Gráda, which he co-founded in 2001. Gráda have gone on to release four albums with Nashville based Compass Records, have toured extensively in the States and played at prestigious venues worldwide.  
Gerry Paul has collaborated and played with some of the top musicians in Ireland, America and New Zealand. He will be touring with Ireland’s best known traditional musician Sharon Shannon in New Zealand this March, performing at WOMAD, the New Zealand Festival of the Arts and the Volvo Ocean Race in Auckland. Recently Gerry has been playing electric guitar and banjo with iconic New Zealand songwriter Greg Johnson.
About the illustrator:
Illustrator Tom Armstrong was born in England in 1987 and raised in Nelson. He now resides in Melbourne. He has been drawing on anything he could get his hands on since he can remember! Tom is a self-taught artist with a passion for drawing wild and slightly mad cartoons. This is his first children’s book. 

Best Translated Book Award finalists announced

February 28, 2012 |LA Times

Organized by the publisher Three Percent at the University of Rochester, the annual Best Translated Book Awards recognize the best works of fiction published in English but originally written another language.
Founded in 2007, the BTBA is notable in recognizing both author and translator in tandem. The 2012 BTBA longlist features authors from 14 countries writing in 12 languages. The author of the original work will receive $5,000 and its translator $5,000.
The BTBA will also recognize works of poetry in translation; the poetry finalists will be announced later this spring, on April 10, when the fiction shortlist is announced. The BTBA winners will be announced during the PEN World Voices Festival, which takes place April 30-May 6 in New York.

The longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards

E-book deal's the steal of the century; 4000 pirated books

February 29, 2012 - Sydney Morning Herald

A screenshot of the deal page on screenshot of the deal page on
An Australian group-buying site owned by Microsoft and Nine sold e-book readers bundled with a treasure trove of thousands of pirated books including the full Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings series.
The matter has prompted a rebuke from the NSW Fair Trading Minister, Anthony Roberts, who claims group-buying sites cannot simply blame vendors when they are caught running dodgy deals.

The book industry has reacted angrily and HarperCollins, publisher of some of the major titles contained on the CD including those by J.R.R Tolkien, said its corporate solicitor ''will be ringing them today''.

Read more:

SFWA is redirecting links

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America takes action:

In recent days, decided to remove more than 4000 e-books from its website after a pricing dispute with IPG. The Independent Publishing Group is one of the largest independent distributors in the United States.
While Amazon has the right to decide with what company it does business, its removal of many of our authors’ books from its ordering system will have an economic impact on them. Our authors depend on people buying their books and a significant percentage of them have books distributed through IPG. Therefore, SFWA is redirecting links from the organization’s website to other booksellers because we would prefer to send traffic to stores where the books can actually be purchased.
To that end, our volunteers are in the process of redirecting book links to, Powell’s, and Barnes and Noble.
Many authors will be hit hard by this, so we encourage you to seek out new places to find their books.
It is worth noting, that if a book is only available on Amazon, we are leaving the link in place. Our goal is to make sure that it is possible to order our members’ fiction. Hurting authors to make a point about a publishing model is not a good practice, for anyone.
For further reading:

Jackie Collins enters digital self-publishing

Jackie Collins is going into self-publishing, with plans to release an e-book version of The Bitch, "a complete rewrite of her previous version of the novel", in the US.
Collins is published by Macmillan in the US, and Simon & Schuster in the UK. S&S has already published the new version of The Bitch as an e-book in the UK.
According to US site GalleyCat, Collins wanted to experiment with the format "just to be innovative and as a gift for my fans. It's a total experiment. It might sell two copies or it might sell 200,000. Who knows?".
She added: "If it does well, I probably will continue to e-publish, because I have a book of short stories and my publisher says short stories don't sell."
S&S released Collins' backlist in digital format at the end of January. 

Colman Getty look back at February

lead image 1
One of Colman Getty’s mantras is that our role is to manage, not feature in, the news agenda. Our primary objective is to promote our clients, and not ourselves.

So February has been an unusual month, with Colman Getty in the media spotlight not just once but twice.

Most significant was last week’s report that we are joining forces with Four Communications. It’s big news and it’s terrific news, for our clients and also for all the talented people who work with us.

Left - Colman Getty CEO Dotti Irving

Read more

February highlights

A Tribute to Adonis, the great Syrian Poet, at the Mosaic Rooms

ADONIS-Torstein Blixfjord-1
We had the honour of working this month with Adonis, the Arab world’s greatest living poet, critic and essayist, whose work was being celebrated in a two month exhibition and a series of events. Hosted by the Mosaic Rooms in west London, a venue dedicated to delivering high quality, contemporary and progressive cultural programme from the Middle East, A Tribute to Adonis attracted a huge amount of attention from the UK, international and Arab media.

Action on Addiction’s Valentine’s date with the Duchess

Clouds House best view
Clouds House Treatment Centre
In January 2012, HRH the Duchess of Cambridge became Patron of Action on Addiction, the only UK charity working across the addiction field. Colman Getty has been working with the charity since the New Year to help them capitalise on this terrific opportunity to build the profile of the organisation, raise awareness of addiction and create discussion and debate about the myths and stigma attached to the illness.

Bookstores on the rise at local libraries

Library director Harry R. Williams III looks over the titles at the bookstore that opened last fall at the Thomas Crane Public             Library in Quincy. Used books are priced between 50 cents and $2.

Kathleen Pierec, The Boston Globe
QUINCY — It’s Saturday afternoon, and the bookstore is buzzing. Young mothers snap up picture books for less than the price of a cup of coffee. A health coach thumbs through the latest book by Andrew Weil. The arms of an avid fiction reader sag under a stack of paperbacks.

Pic right - Library director Harry R. Williams III looks over the titles at the bookstore… (Jonathan Wiggs/Globe staff)

“The price is perfect. This place is a gift,’’ said Ellen Murphy, 60, of Quincy, as she perused selections of gently used books at the shop that opened last fall in the Thomas Crane Public Library.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores are closing faster than you can say “Kindle Fire.’’ But from Worcester to Truro, bookstores are resurfacing in an unexpected place: the town library.

It might seem incongruous that people would purchase books in a place where they’re accustomed to borrowing them for free. But in the past few years, a dozen or so libraries across the state have opened bookstores with dedicated staffs. In doing so, libraries have found a new source of income to finance programs.
Storage closets, refurbished basements, and forgotten areas of library buildings are now home to little shops with hundreds of used books, many of them in tiptop condition, available for sale. For less than the price of a shipping charge from Amazon, readers are helping their libraries buy museum passes, screen films, put on lectures, and offer other programs.
Link here for rest of story.

Make a Kindle Case Out of a Vintage Hardcover [Video Tutorial]

Make a Kindle Case Out of a Vintage Hardcover [Video Tutorial]

Chris Walters from Booksprung, a wonderful blog with ebook tips, has prepared this simple guided tour on how to make a vintage cover for a Kindle.
If you have access to an old hardcover, which you can destroy, or preferably – is already destroyed – you can turn it into a simple ereader case in around an hour, using some cardboard, fabric, elastic bands, thread and glue.
Source: Booksprung on YouTube.
 35+ Coolest Ereader Covers, Cases & Sleeves [Pictures] 

How to Counter Amazon: Create a One World E-Book Alliance

Publishing Perspectives
The aeronautical industry, once dominated by Boeing, managed to develop Airbus. The publishing industry should aspire to create its own "cultural Airbus." 
As a showcase of new ideas and trends in tech, SXSW Interactive is simply unsurpassed. And we're looking for all the wild, weird and wonderful it has to offer. 
International News:

No, Murakami's 1Q84 didn't make the list of 25 titles for the Best Translated Book Awards for fiction, but every one that did is well worth seeking out. 
Editors and agents can spend a free week touring Germany and meeting top publishers before attending the Frankfurt Book Fair--here's how to apply.  

Jan Berenstain obituary

Children's author and illustrator who created the famous bear family with her husband, Stan
The Berenstain Bears' Trouble With MoneyView larger picture
The Berenstain Bears' Trouble With Money, 1983. The books became increasingly message-driven. Photograph: AP/Random House Children's Books

Jan Berenstain in 2011The children's author and illustrator Jan Berenstain, who created the Berenstain Bears books with her husband, Stan, has died aged 88. The pair worked on more than 200 of the books about a family of pleasingly homely and disarmingly simple bears, which have been breakthrough titles for generations of emerging readers. The style was set in their first title, The Big Honey Hunt (1962): simple storytelling with a strong narrative core and a certain amount of familiarity and predictability, written in easy verse making good use of repetition, rhyme and rhythm. The stories were matched with vigorous cartoonish illustrations. With a nod of knowing sophistication between the storyteller and the reader, the books were witty and stylish rather than babyish.
The Berenstains had already created many cartoon stories for adult readers, including It's All in the Family, which ran in McCall's and Good Housekeeping magazines. Watching their son's enjoyment of the Dr Seuss books, they decided to try their hand at a children's title. They chose a family of bears partly because they found them easy to draw and partly, Stan said, because female bears are "terrifyingly good mothers" while the males are "lousy fathers".
Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Geisel, was the editor of the highly successful Beginner Books series published by Random House in the US. The Berenstains took their book to him, and he encouraged them to modernise their folksy art style, make it look more commercial and rework the text extensively.
He published The Big Honey Hunt, but when the Berenstains proposed a whole series about a bear family, Geisel said: "That's the worst thing you could do! It would be like having a millstone around your neck. Do something as different as you can!" They took the advice and worked on a book about penguins. But before they had submitted it, The Big Honey Hunt had sold well and Geisel was now enthusiastic about a series.
Read the full obituary at The Guardian.
Photo above right - Jan Berenstain in 2011. After Stan's death, she worked on the books with her son Michael. Photograph: AP

Batman named greatest comic hero

Caped Crusader bests Spider-Man and Superman in Comic Heroes magazine's ranking

Batman ... knocking out the competition Photograph: Jerry Robinson/AP

Batman's utility belt doesn't really compare to the superpowers of Spider-Man and Superman, but Gotham City's caped crusader has nonetheless been named the greatest comic hero of all time.

The readers of Comic Heroes magazine voted for Batman, the alias of billionaire Bruce Wayne, as their top comic hero, ahead of the second-placed Spider-Man and the third-placed Superman. The magazine is not the first to rank heroes from the world of comics: in 2008 Empire magazine put Superman top, followed by Batman and John Constantine, the exorcist created by Alan Moore, while the Man of Steel also topped a list from IGN.

But Comic Heroes editor Jes Bickham said it was "no surprise" that Batman came in at No 1 as the character, created in 1939 by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, was, "quite simply, the coolest and most interesting superhero ever created". He even, pointed out Bickham, has a butler.

Batman "doesn't have superpowers; he gets by with his mind, his wit and his physical abilities. He's dark, conflicted and tragic, yet never less than the best of us. He's got the best costume and the finest gadgets," said the editor. "His rogues' gallery is the most frightening and freakish collection of villains ever assembled; a cavalcade of criminality unmatched in modern comics. He's also strong enough to fit almost any story, being constantly remoulded by writers and artists since his creation in 1939."

Wolverine, the adamantium-clawed mutant from X-Men, comes in fourth in Comic Heroes' top 10, followed by Judge Dredd. Tintin makes a surprise appearance in sixth place, with the list rounded out by Captain America, a token woman in the shape of Wonder Woman, The Spirit and The Thing.

Comic Heroes' top 10 comic heroes of all time are:
1. Batman
2. Spider-Man
3. Superman
4. Wolverine
5. Judge Dredd
6. Tintin
7. Captain America
8. Wonder Woman
9. The Spirit
10. The Thing

THE GOOD WORD - all new series starts this Friday 2 March

Presenter Emily Perkins and panellists Jennifer Ward-Lealand, Steve Braunias and Carol Hirschfeld review book of the week Bligh: William Bligh in the South Seas, by Anne Salmond; ex-publisher and book blogger Graham Beattie reveals his favourite book and Finlay Macdonald investigates the story behind Pounamu Pounamu by Witi Ihimaera. 

This Friday 2 March, 2012 at 9.05pm on TVNZ7 and Sky 77.


I am currently playing about with the design and layout of my blog presently,  actually I have little idea what I am doing (!), so apologies for any convenience or confusion that may arise in the interim! Bear with me.
And of course feel free to comment if you wish.
Right now it all seems too hard so I am going to go out for a coffee and to buy some spring onions and pumpkin seeds needed for tonight's dinner.
PS For the life of me I can't see how to change the font size. Anyone using Blogger out there able to help me?

Central North Island crime: BUCKINBAH WEIR by Wayne Brooking

Crime Fiction specialist critic Craig Sisterson introduces us to a new NZ crime fiction writer who has set his novel in the central regions of NZ's North Island.

Read Craig's interesting comments about the book on his blog Crime Watch.

Blogging and Tweeting without Getting Sued

Blogging and Tweeting without Getting Sued

This is a book I must read! Coming from Allen & Unwin NZ in April. Can't wait!

Blog visitors

2464 visitors yesterday which I think is the biggest daily number so far in 2012.
Might have been something to do with this headline I suspect?!
Authors second book recalled on suspicions of plagiarism.

FREE eReader Class at Auckland's Birkenhead Library

ebook reader. Did you receive an eReader device for Christmas? Need a little assistance with your new digital friend? Help is at hand!

Wednesday 14 March 2012 10.30am - 12.00pm
On Wednesday 14 March, Birkenhead Library will be running a FREE class demonstrating how to download eBooks from Auckland Libraries’ digital library to an eReader device. 
Simply bring your laptop, your eReader device and your USB cable to class, and we'll talk you through the process of downloading eBooks clearly and concisely.
Registration is required for these classes. Please call 486 8460 (ext 8095) or email Shirley Reyno.

This is How You Lose Her - Junot Diaz - NZ pub date announced

I reported on the forthcoming publication of this new title yesterday.
 Clearly the title is causing huge advance interest. Allen & Unwin has advised me this morning that they will release the title in New Zealand in September. Yay, bring it on!
Here are some of the mentions for This Is How You Lose Her.

Circus Ronalds's Circenses opening night postponed

The 2012 New Zealand International Arts Festival announces that, due to circumstances beyond its control, today’s opening night performance of Circus Ronaldo’s Circenses at Waitangi Parkhas been delayed by a day.
“A Wellington City Council irrigation contractor failed to turn off the Waitangi Park automated sprinkler system overnight as they were instructed, making the performance area unworkable until tomorrow,’’ says Festival Executive Director, Sue Paterson.  “There has been no serious damage but the area needs time to dry out.’’
“The New Zealand International Arts Festival will put on an entirely new show on Monday 5 March at 7.30pm for those who were due to attend tonight’s performance,” Ms Paterson says. “We are taking every step we can to ensure that no-one misses out on this fantastic show.”

Poet Laureate Rides Again

Ian Wedde,(photo right by Oliver Read), in Poet Laureate guise, is back on the road again, this time to Matahiwi marae in the Hawkes Bay, where on 10 March he will receive his Laureate tokotoko. 
On the same day at the Hastings City Gallery Ian will be joined by Cilla McQueen, John Newton, Robert Sullivan, Hinemoana Baker, Marty Smith and Amy Barnard in an event organised by Creative Hastings. An extravaganza of poetry and with musical interlude is anticipated, and not to be missed if within coo-ee.
A 7.30 for 8pm start, tickets are available through Ticketek.

New Zealand Poets on the Poetry Archive (U.K.)

In a new initiative from renowned New Zealand poet and editor, Jan Kemp, one of the foremost online poetry and teaching resources, the Poetry Archive (U. K.) ( is hosting a project which aims to draw more attention and focus to classic and contemporary New Zealand poetry and poets.
Commissioned to record a selection of her own work in 2007, Kemp joined the Poetry Archive Poet’s Pages and fellow New Zealanders Fleur Adcock, Allen Curnow, Bill Manhire and Vincent O'Sullivan (right). In November 2010 the Archive's Joint Directors, Sir Andrew Motion and Richard Carrington invited Kemp to showcase the work of another 25 New Zealand Poets on the Poetry Archive. From then on, Kemp selected the poets, set up and coordinated with them and a team of expert New Zealand literary editors, including David Eggleton, Siobhan Harvey, Professor Mac Jackson, Drs. Gerri Kimber, Dr. Simone Oettli, Professor Vincent O'Sullivan, Associate Professor Hugh Roberts and Professor Dr. Dieter Riemenschneider, and with them compiled a list of featured poets' recorded poems, analyses of their oeuvres, bios and web links. In this, Kemp and her editors were able to draw upon the invaluable New Zealandpoetry resources, The Waiata Archive (1974) and the Aotearoa New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive (2004) (
The Poetry Archive (U.K.) showcases the spoken and printed works of poets from around the world, including U.K., U.S., Australia and Europe. Each poet featured on the Archive has a Poet's Page which offers a number of recorded tracks visitors to the site are able to access, as well as printed copies of each poem, and for poets online up till 2010 purchasable CDs of the recordings as teaching resources for poetry.  New poet additions to the PA will have the chance to be selected for MP3 downloads purchasable online.
Bringing such international attention to the depth and range of New Zealand poetry and poets is a wonderful and well-timed initiative given New Zealand's Guest of Honour status at the Frankfurt Book Fair, October 2012. The 25 New Zealand Poets featured on the Archive are having their Poet Pages launched in stages throughout the first half of 2012, and it's envisaged that there will be readings by a selection of the featured poets in London, Auckland and Frankfurt even as the poets go up on the Archive. Thus far classic and contemporary New Zealandpoets such as M. K. Joseph, Anna Jackson, Charles Brasch, Briar Wood, Alistair Paterson and Siobhan Harvey's Poet Pages are online. Their links are:

New Zealand poets whose work is forthcoming to the Archive include Alistair Te Ariki Campbell, David Eggleton, Riemke Ensing (left), Janet Frame, Denis Glover, Kevin Ireland, Michael Jackson, Andrew Johnston, Richard Reeve Elizabeth Smither, C. K. Stead (right),  Robert Sullivan, Hone Tuwhare and others.

More information will be released as further New Zealand Poet Pages come online at the Poetry Archive.

Anzac Day

With the greatly increased interest by young people in Anzac Day in recent years there has been a noticeable upturn in book publishing for this market.
This year for example Scholastic are releasing four books with war themes:
The Red Poppy by David Hill, illustrations by Fifi Colson, song by Rob Kennedy
Five minutes …
Two minutes …
One minute …
Young soldier Jim McLeod waits in the trenches of World War I for the order to attack the enemy. With him are his friends, and Nipper, the messenger dog. When they charge across no-man’s-land, Jim is shot … and finds himself face to face with an enemy soldier.
Invitation to attend book launch.
When Empire Calls by Ken Catran
It’s early days in the Boer War and the small farming community of Huia is gripped by patriotic fervour.
Men, young and old, are eager to join up and head overseas to fight the ‘evil scoundrel folk in Africa who opposed the British Empire and had to be taught a lesson’.
 When his two elder brothers join up, James is left to help his father run the family farm. He also helps old Croaky Fred in the local village store, a bad-tempered old codger who has nothing good to say about war.
 Through his brother Edward’s letters, James learns about some of the horrors of war … but will both his brothers come home?
 It is 1943 and Lillian is brassed off. Until now she was like any normal city girl – at least, as normal as you can be when there’s a terrible war on and your father is away fighting. Then a spot is found on Lillian’s lung – tuberculosis.
Before she knows it, Lillian is packed off to recover on her grandparents’ farm in Whangateau, near Warkworth. With no friends, and only her preening older sister Joyce and their grandparents for company (and Grandad’s a miserable blighter at the best of times), Lillian feels like a duck out of water. That is, until the day a US Marine Division moves in down the road. That afternoon, four Marines turn up on their doorstep wanting to buy milk.
Life in Whangateau is about to get a LOT more interesting ...
Lest We Forget by Feana Tu'akoi, illustrations by Elspeth Alix Batt
Tyson doesn't understand why Mum and Poppa would want to go to the Anzac Day Dawn Parade.
But then he hears stories about soldiers in his family and decides perhaps he should go to the Dawn Parade after all.

Turnbull's chief librarian an awards finalist - JODY O'CALLAGHAN - DomPost -  28/02/2012 -
Chris Szekely

CHRIS SZEKELY: New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards finalist.

If anyone knows which kinds of books fly off the shelves, it is librarian Chris Szekely – one of the New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards finalists announced yesterday.

The Alexander Turnbull Library chief librarian is among six Wellingtonians whose books have caught the attention of judges, among 130 New Zealand books published in 2011.
Both the Maori and English versions of Mr Szekely's picture book, Rahui, will go up against four other authors in the picture book category.
Mr Szekely said Rahui was "warm and joyful, but at the same time a wistful reflection" drawn from pieces of his childhood and set in a rural Maori community.
The book is about cousins' holidays at a beachside community and the rahui – temporary ban – placed on the beach after a death.It was published in October, 20 years after he and illustrator Malcolm Ross produced the content but "put it to one side".Mr Ross died years ago and never lived to see the final product.
"I'm very much aware that there still is a relative lack of Maori language material, for both kids and adults," Mr Szekely said.
Full report at The DomPost

Free eBooks on Pinterest & Male Writers Continue to Outnumber Female Writers at Literary Journals

On Galley Cat, 28 February, 2012

How To Find Free eBooks on Pinterest

The Pinterest social network may still be closed to the general public, but that's not stopping readers and writers from using the site as a resource. Currently, anyone can use these Pinterest boards for eBook fans to find free digital books. The site lets users create virtual "pinboards" by pinning images of their favorite things. It includes a host of pages dedicated to books, including a number of pages dedicated to free... 

Male Writers Continue to Outnumber Female Writers at Literary Journals

VIDA: Women in Literary Arts have releaseda report entitled "The Count 2011," revealing that male writers outnumbered female writers in many publications last year. Picking up on wherelast year's report left off, this report tracks the statistics of gender balance among writers published at literary magazines, includingThe New Yorker (overall: 165 women, 459 men), Poetry (overall: 134 women, 179 men) and The Threepenny Review (overall: 19 women, 37 men). They also looked at... 

CWA Daggers Awards Deadline

Dear Publishers: CWA Daggers Awards Deadline

Just in case you're all a bit busy making/receiving proposals of marriage tomorrow, here's a reminder that 29 Feb is also the deadline for submitting for the CWA's 2012 Daggers.  From rule 1: The final deadline for submitting a novel is February 29, 2012. All online forms must be completed, and processing fees paid, by ......

THE RED POPPY - a very special NZ World War 1 story

Scholastic  & The Children’s Bookshop
invite you to the launch of
The Red Poppy
... a NZ soldier in World War 1
Written by David Hill & illustrated by Fifi Colston, with song by Rob Kennedy
The powerful story of one young man’s fight in the trenches ...
and the little messenger dog who saved him.
Wednesday 14thMarch at 6pm
The Children’s Bookshop
Shop 26, Kilbirnie Plaza
Kilbirnie, Wellington
Come and meet the author, the illustrator and Nipper, the brave little messenger dog!
Original artwork for The Red Poppy will be displayed, and wine, juice and rations served.
Nipper (Molly) will be available for patting and photo opportunities!
 Children welcome.
RSVP: The Children’s Bookshop Ph: 04 387 3905 or email

When the Publishing department at Scholastic received a copy of a CD of the haunting, lyrical song The Red Poppy from Canadian musician/teacher Rob Kennedy, they just knew they had to do something with it and approached David Hill to see if he’d be interested in writing a war story for a picture book – his first.
 David was very interested in the subject matter and came up with a sensitively written, poignant story that shows the similarities between soldiers on both sides. Scholastic then approached Fifi Colston to do the artwork. “All along, we knew we wanted this to be an absolutely beautiful production – a really special book,” says Scholastic’s Senior Editor, Penny Scown. Fifi produced some stunning and evocative illustrations, which meld seamlessly with the text to portray a grim story with a positive outcome. She then worked with designer Penny Newman and Scholastic to get just the right cover and feel for the book, which is available in hardback with gorgeous endpapers and which includes the CD of the song The Red Poppy – the inspiration for the whole project.
An utterly gorgeously illustrated, superbly designed book, that tells a moving story, and includes  the haunting song on the CD that started it all. This book should be in every New Zealand home and in multiple copies in public and school libraries. Watch for it next year when book prize time comes around. It is a winner in every way.