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.
I'm a Wellington (NZ) student looking the changing face of publishing. Do you think that the web networking of readers will enable NZ books to enjoy a far larger audience without overseas publishing deals? I know that literary awards have a huge impact on sales - but maybe positive feedback of readers will be the next biggest marketing tool for auhtors.
Also, I haven't actually seen Britain's Richard and Judy Bookclub show. What do you think about the impact it has had on booksales and Publishers' uneasy reactions to thier influence?
Thanks for this.
Richard & Judy have a similar, although not as powerful an influence as Opray Winfrey, on book sales.
I guess those publishers whose books are chosen for featuring on these programmes are pretty pleased and thoes that miss out are pretty unhappy. Overall I think there is an uneasiness about one person, or one programme, being able to exercise such influence.
I think your first point about electronic feedback from readers is very definitely already proving to be a big influence and the ability for authors to promote their own titles electronically is pretty exciting for them.
I think that even though the internet technology has the ability to 'take over' books, many readers will always want a pysical copy to take home, flick through, walk around with, read in bed and bend out of shape. In the same way that couples enjoy travelling to a cinema for three times the price of a DVD, I hope physial bookshop browsing will remain as popular.
Read 'Mr Pip' by Lloyd Jones? I liked the way he wrote in the voice of very young island girl, and pulled it off almost completely.
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