Thursday, October 10, 2013

News from Frankfurt Book Fair - PANZ Report

From Sarah Ropata:

Just a quick note from the Book Fair to say lots of people are asking after all the New Zealanders they met last year – sending warm wishes and saying how great we were to work with! Turns out Brazil have been a little "chaotic".
However, I went to their Pavilion opening last night and think they have done a really lovely job – it's bright and open and a complete contrast to us last year. A nice space to visit but will be interesting to see if captivates the audience in the same way that we did. 

I caught up with lots of familiar faces last night including Peter Volkner – his company has been nominated for the top German stand prize for their work on the NZ Pavilion. It's a big deal over here and he was very excited – they find out at a grand gala dinner in November if they have won.
The PANZ stand is looking great – a slightly smaller and re-configured version of last years’ – it is much more open and has been getting a good flow of traffic throughout this first day. The stand had all been packed away with German efficiency and was easy to re-erect.

Today kicked off with a breakfast for our Te Manu Ka Tau guests from Taiwan who were in NZ earlier this year. After four officious security guards at four different gates, we finally negotiated passage of our weapons of mass destruction – aka croissants and smoked salmon – to our stand… Some things do not change!

Upstart Press is new Chapman imprint

Make that Chapman and Chapman: Kevin Chapman is joined by Pat, his publisher wife, as the team operating from smart new offices on Auckland’s North Shore.

They have plans for a first year list that will essentially build on the program Kevin developed at Hachette: best selling sports books and innovative children’s picture books.

“We’re looking to sign some big books,” Kevin says. “Currently there are about 15 on the planner and we may do up to 20 in the first year.”

Donovan Bixley, the author of the current bestseller in the children’s market The Weather Machine, is one who has books being signed to be published by Upstart.

In something of a surprise move, Upstart Press will also publish two to three fiction titles a year in commercial or the crossover literary/commercial area.

The decision to set up professional offices from the get-go was something Kevin was comfortable with for the new company. “Given the amount of money we are investing in books, the office was not costly. We are a serious professional publishing company.”

And the choice of Upstart as a company name? Hapimana, the transliteration of Chapman into Maori, was considered, and discarded. As for Upstart Press “It just felt right – we want to publish good books and have fun doing it.” The first titles from Upstart Press will be released March or April next year.

“It is an exciting time to launch a publishing business but this is undertaken with some trepidation, as the market is tough” Kevin acknowledges. “However we have been pleased at the reactions from the industry community which have been really supportive.”

Kevin is currently at Frankfurt to follow up on New Zealand’s 2012 Guest of Honour year for which he headed the PANZ effort – but he also has a few Upstart projects in his briefcase.

PANZ welcomes newest member Upstart Press.  For full contact details see the members directory on the PANZ website.

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