Audiobooks New Zealand
This week we’re lucky to be joined by Craig Gamble of PANZ and Victoria University Press. (And yes, it was another Zoom so sorry for the screen snap..and showing off your room Craig.)
PANZ, otherwise known as The Publishers Association of New Zealand Te Rau o Taakupu,
represent 80 trade, educational and digital publishers, and suppliers and consultants to our literary industry. The members range from local independents to large international publishers, educational and trade publishers, publishers for adults and for children. Collectively they create more than 2600 new, locally produced titles a year.
Craig is the Vice President of PANZ and holds their communications portfolio, which really means he’s the guy who deals most with the way they’re perceived, and how they’re doing at achieving their goals. Chris has always loved books and is an avid reader and writer himself. His favourite audio-read is Penguin’s ‘Travels with Charley: In Search of America’ by John Steinbeck, narrated by Gary Sinise.
Representing the publishing world in government, he is actively working to make a more diverse and sustainable literary industry. He and his colleagues advocate for a range of voices and authors to have their voices heard, and strategise ways in which we can be more responsible for our carbon footprint - when it comes to what we print, and how it gets distributed. He works in the nitty gritty space of where we’re actually at, and looks for patterns and trends in people’s reading preferences to inform the decisions about what should be in print through annual Market Sizing Reports.
He mentions the plateau in eBook sales, how everyone imagined them to take over the world of reading. Well, they did, till they didn’t. Educational and trade and ecommerce material embraces digital, but there need to be better ways to digitise all of our other literary resources if we’re to be able to sustainably continue to print books for future generations. It’s areas like this, as well as Copyright Law that he and his partners (Booksellers NZ, NZ Society of Authors, Read NZ, Copyright Licensing NZ to name a few,) work in advocacy for, to support the sector’s economic wellbeing, and the wellbeing of our authors.
The Covid pandemic impacted most publishers, authors and book shops from the first lock down. While there was a big pick up once stores reopened and people were allowed to emerge from their living rooms, Craig predicts most entities would have been operating at less than 30% based on their previous years. With scientific evidence telling us that reading is good for our physical and emotional wellbeing, it’s something he believes links us all in a societal way. He is even working to get books deemed as essential items/services that need to retain production despite changing Covid conditions. Pretty timely given we’re now in the midst of weeks at alert level 4 thanks to Aunty Rona inviting Aunty Delta to cross the ditch for a visit. And, a pretty epic boss in my opinion.
Craig treats every new relationship as a creative exercise, because the process of publishing is. The editorial relationship you have with the author is special, and you’re working very closely on all aspects like book design, font choice, artwork, review quotations. It’s as creative as the writing of the story itself. He recommends for anyone keen to get involved in the publishing world to look at Whitireia as a course option to hit the ground running, (check out this link for more info: https://bit.ly/2VxEidL)
Otherwise PANZ love being dropped a line, head to their website publishers.org.nz or visit this link: https://publishers.org.nz/contact/
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Romy Hooper, Audiobook Narrator, Actor, Writer and Podcast Host