Friday, March 12, 2010

New New Zealand  Book Trade Action Group Formed

A new book industry action group, the New Zealand Book Trade Liaison Committee,  has been formed by New Zealand publishers and booksellers to co-ordinate book promotions and represent the trade on common issues.

The committee has been formed by the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) and Booksellers New Zealand (BSNZ) as the latest step in a series of moves over the past twelve months designed to strengthen the New Zealand book trade’s focus on key issues.

Hamish Wright, of Wright’s Bookshop in Cambridge and Chairman of BSNZ, (pic right), is to chair the committee.  Other members representing booksellers are, Peter Kalan Managing Director of Red Group Retail in NZ and Rob Smith CEO of PaperPlus Group.
PANZ representatives on the committee are Kevin Chapman, Managing Director of Hachette NZ, (pic left), Tony Fisk Managing Director of HarperCollins NZ and Sam Elworthy, Director of  Auckland University Press.

“Publishers and retailers have both been members of Booksellers NZ since 1992 but it was a mutual decision last year to restrict the membership of BSNZ to retailers and allow publishers to focus their activities on their own membership organisation, PANZ,” explained Mr Wright.
“The formation of the liaison committee will allow both groups to co-ordinate activities when there are common interests,” he said.
“There are some key issues facing the trade such as the impact of digitisation, tax avoidance by offshore online retailers and the level of literacy in New Zealand. The liaison committee will be able to combine the efforts of bookseller and publishers in dealing with these effectively to the ultimate benefit of readers in New Zealand.

“This is a time of great change but great potential for the book trade,” said PANZ representative Kevin Chapman. “Our ability to take advantage of the opportunities open to us is greatly enhanced by the creation of this liaison committee, and both publishers and booksellers see it as a major step forward in strategic planning for the trade.”

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