Kiwi authors on display in Germany
Wed, 10 Oct 2012 10:15a.m.
By Melissa Davies
New Zealand authors say they're undaunted by a turning point in publishing towards e-books, but many agree that if we are going to expand our market then authors need to start blowing their trumpet overseas.
So today they started to do just that at the official opening of the Frankfurt Bookfair, and thousands of Germans lined up to witness it crammed into a hall where they heard award-winning poet Bill Mahire call on New Zealanders to make the most of the exposure.
“I think NZ writers need to be challenged on the matter of their modesty and I hope that the friends we make in Frankfurt will encourage us to boast a little about what we can do,” he says.
E-books are a major talking point at this year's book fair. In America sales have increased 20 percent in just one year. Here in Germany the organisers seem to pride themselves that it's increased just 2 percent, but New Zealand authors say the digital era is nothing to be frightened of.
Joy Cowley says anything that encourages children to read is positive.
“When I was about 6 or 7 we didn't have a radio in our place because my parents declared the wireless as they could it would ruin family life. people would not talk in the evenings, they would not talk in the evenings… so they wouldn't have one. Those kind of dire predictions are around now about the digital age and I don't think we need to be negative about it,” she says.
Both traditional and digital print are in demand in Germany and with the high-tech show at the New Zealand pavillion, publishers are keen to show we can do both.
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