Alarmists have been pointing to New Zealanders being ‘ripped off’ by overseas websites, but most Kiwis ask around and find studios in New Zealand that know the ins and outs of self-publishing. Kim Dovey, founder of Smartwork Creative, has been designing and producing New Zealand books for more than 20 years. Dovey points out that we don’t have to take the risk of using overseas resources, when accountability can be had so easily here on home soil. ‘We also collaborate with major publishing houses to design books by some of New Zealand’s most notable authors.’
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
New Zealand self-publishing better than overseas
Hidden away in downtown Auckland lies a well-kept secret for New Zealand self-publishers. You may not have heard of Smartwork Creative but you’ve probably heard of some of the authors that have worked with them, such as Joy Cowley, Craig Smith, Melinda Szymanik, Des Hunt and Gavin Bishop.
In 2013 Kevin Chapman, then president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, remarked, ‘This is an industry that has shown remarkable resilience through change over more than a century.’ It’s precisely because New Zealanders look out for each other. ‘That’s why New Zealanders should look to New Zealand first when considering publishing,’ says Dovey.
For independent authors Smartwork Creative offers a comprehensive suite of tools – from helping people to evaluate the commercial viability of a proposed book to connecting people to printing and distribution services for both print and ebooks.
As part of a new initiative to help self-publishers in New Zealand, Smartwork has just launched a new website http://bookdesign.co.nz/ that covers topics helpful to independent authors, ranging from editing, cover design, and page design to production, printing, marketing and budgeting. The site also connects people to manuscript assessors, editors, distributors and marketers.
The truth is that any author has spent a lot of time bringing their work to the point where they are ready to publish. Dovey points out that even then it is important to check the commercial viability of the book: ‘Overseas websites are often not interested in whether a book is actually viable. At Smartwork Creative that’s one of the first things we need to check. We don’t want to be tipping any author’s money down the drain.”