Friday, July 31, 2009

This piece was written by Kevin Chapman, CEO Hachette NZ, and was first published yesterday on the Book Brunch website.

The New Zealand book industry looks set for some shake-up after the Booksellers New Zealand conference last weekend.
Unusually, there is no traditional booksellers association in this country. There is an association for publishers, and also an association for both publishers and booksellers (Booksellers New Zealand), but no separate organisation for booksellers alone. This asymmetrical structure has bothered some in the industry since it was adopted around twenty years ago.

In 2008 a grouping of larger bookseller and multi-national publishers began meeting to discuss industry issues. During these meetings, where items such as reducing the cost of returns and national promotions were discussed, the participants decided that change was needed. So a motion was drafted for consideration at the Booksellers New Zealand AGM, held last Sunday.

In brief, the motion proposed that the board of Booksellers New Zealand write a new constitution for the organisation, making membership limited to retail booksellers, and that they hold an Extraordinary general Meeting to consider adopting that new constitution.
The motion was passed with overwhelming support, and it is hoped that the EGM will be held later in the year. If BSNZ turns into a normal booksellers association, then the next step planned is for the publishers and booksellers to form an umbrella organisation for the planning of industry promotion and dealing with government.

In other news from the weekend, the membership of Book Publishers Association of New Zealand (BPANZ), adopted a new name for the organisation. They voted to drop the word “Book” from their title in a move that aligns them with their colleagues in much of the English language world, and henceforth will be known as the Publishers Association of New Zealand.

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