What has happened to the Great New Zealand eBook project?

Copyright Licensing Limited (CLL) has announced that, following the completion of the conversion of 400 New Zealand titles from print to digital, the services of its company – Digital Publishing NZ (DPNZ) – will be discontinued.  CLL has been engaged with the New Zealand publishing sector to energise digital in New Zealand since 2008.  Over the past 2 years, DPNZ has worked alongside independent publishers and authors to up-skill the sector and invest in conversion and distribution of e-books.

The board of DPNZ has, over the last year, worked with people within the industry and outside consultants to investigate the commercial feasibility of DPNZ. As a result of those investigations on how the local industry might advance the original objectives it is now clear that the level of investment required to develop a home grown NZ solution to achieve these initiatives would outweigh the ability of the industry to invest and earn revenue from these projects.

Paula Browning, Chief Executive of CLL says, “It has been an eventful couple of years and in the short time since DPNZ was established, the digital publishing world has gone through some exciting changes.  With the increase in demand for books in electronic formats, we are now seeing some of the big names in the publishing world step into the local market in search of content for distribution”.

 One such distributor is Faber Factory which was set up 18 months ago by the reputable independent publisher Faber & Faber.  Much like DPNZ, Faber Factory was established to assist independent publishers in the UK to convert, store and distribute titles through their existing network of international retailers. Recently, they partnered with The Perseus Books Group in the US to use its Constellation Digital Services infrastructure.  Faber Factory has been successful in providing these services to independent publishers in the UK and now they have teamed up with Allen & Unwin (A&U) in Australia who will also offer this service in NZ. 

The past few years have been a rollercoaster for publishing worldwide. DPNZ and its shareholders believe that the investment and support Copyright Licensing Ltd has made into digital publishing in NZ has given the sector a comprehensive step-up that will enable NZ publishers and authors to actively participate in evolving the e-bookworld.