Publishing Now

Nov 2014

In November 2014, the Michael King Writers' Centre held a residential workshop on publishing, Publishing Now. The workshop was made possible because of the support of the ASB Community Trust (now Foundation North).

Publishing is in a state of flux. This three-day live-in workshop was designed to help writers learn to navigate the maze that is the publishing business today.

The workshop involved more than 50 writers and publishers, either as participants or presenters. There were 25 participants. Some of the best talent in New Zealand publishing was represented at the workshop, leading to a feast of discussion and a stimulating exchange of ideas. 

The Michael King Writers' Centre is grateful for the support for the workshop by New Zealand publishers and also to Foundation North for assisting with funding. 

The workshop overed:

  •  What’s happening in publishing in New Zealand and the world;
  • What’s happening to book sales;
  • International markets and where you might fit;
  • Digital developments and ebooks;
  • How does self-publishing work and what you need to think about;
  • What your publisher can do for you and what you can do for your publisher;
  • Contracts, marketing, sales and distribution

The final session was a publishers’ lunch, with representatives from the country’s leading publishing houses. Participants had the opportunity to meet the publisher and to pitch their ideas.

The workshop provided a valuable opportunity for writers to meet publishers and experienced publishing professionals. 

Speakers and panellists included Michael Moynahan, Kevin Chapman (Upstart Press), Fergus Barrowman (Victoria University Press), Tom Rennie (Bridget Williams Books), Geoff Blackwell (PQ Blackwell), Nicola Faisandier (Random House), Jo McColl (Unity Books), Nevena Nikolic (Nielsen Bookscan), Linda Cassells (Calico Publishing), Mary Egan (Mary Egan Publishing), Chris Else (TFS Literary Agency), Geoff Walker (publishing consultant) and Rick Shera (Lowndes Jordan Law).

Among the publishers at the publishers’ lunch were Fergus Barrowman, Nicola Legat (Random House), Debora Millar (Penguin), Melanie Laville-Moore (Allan & Unwin), Sam Elworthy (AUP), Finlay Macdonald (HarperCollins) and others. The publishers' lunch will be held at the end of the workshop, on Monday November 3.

The residential workshops are aimed at published authors and mid-career writers. 

Where: Vaughan Park, Long Bay, Auckland

When: Saturday November 1 to Monday November 3, 2014

Fee, including accommodation and meals:

$595 incl GST for single accommodation

$550 incl GST for twin share

The residential workshop is offered with the support of the ASB Community Trust.

About Vaughan Park Retreat Centre

Vaughan Park is a beautiful retreat and conference centre, a short walk away from the beach at Long Bay on the northern outskirts of Auckland. 

The centre has park-like surroundings and a lovely setting, with sea views. The accommodation is modest, but pleasant, well-appointed and well-maintained. The bedrooms are single or twin rooms within four lodges and an accommodation wing. Each room opens to a courtyard or garden and has a desk, comfortable chair, hand basin and wardrobe. Bathrooms are shared between a small number of bedrooms. The lodges also provide a lounge, kitchenette and quality bathroom facilities.

Transport to Vaughan Park

For writers flying in from other parts of New Zealand, a mini-bus will leave Auckland airport at approximately 11.30 am on Saturday November 1, returning to the airport about 1.45 pm on Monday November 3 (a small charge will apply). There is a bus route to Long Bay that stops right outside Vaughan Park or transport can be arranged from the Albany bus station.