Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Why Romance Rules
by Emma Bryson - The Read, Booksellers NZ
There’s a New Zealand publishing hierarchy that starts at, perhaps, winning the NZ Book Council’s weekly #rāmereshorts competition on Twitter, and ends at those who win the Ockham New Zealand Book Awards. It’s a hierarchy that includes binary considerations of the publishing marketplace – multinational vs indie, traditional vs self-publishing, print vs digital. It is often debated at literary events and within publishing circles with provocative session titles like: ‘Are print books dead?’ ‘What’s the value of an editor in an age of self-publishing?’
Romance writers have tended to hang out at the beginning of that publishing hierarchy. Romance writers and romance publishers inspire a bare minimum of mainstream media attention, aside from the odd condescending ‘human interest’ story. But the slight of romance rides further than this still, with traditionally little to no coverage in national or even local bookish circles. After attending my first ever Romance Writer’s of New Zealand conference, I’m beginning to think that the somewhat toxic relationship between the wider publishing world and romance needs to be re-negotiated. Not for our sake, but for yours. Read on