Friday, October 17, 2014

Frankfurt Book Fair 2014: Energising times in a difficult market

For the fifth year in a row Libro International books have been on display and on the negotiating table at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s leading publishing trade show, which concluded last weekend.

There’s always a buzz in the air at Frankfurt – it’s a huge gathering that concocts a mix of fresh writing, ideas, business and conviviality. 

Libro International at the front of the New Zealand collective stand in Hall 8
Still there was a little less bustle in the aisles this year, reflecting a slowdown in publishing and bookselling globally. Visitor numbers to the fair were an estimated 270,000, down slightly on 2013.

Once again there was a good position for the New Zealand stand, and lots of meetings had. Children’s and young adults books continue to be a strong point in an otherwise tricky market that has been dampened by bookstore closures and the move to digital information. ‘Difficult’ was the word I heard most often when asking people how business was faring.

A Trabant parked discreetly on a German publisher stand 
But it’s not a bad time to be a young independent publisher. Libro International celebrated its new distribution relationship in North America with International Publishers Marketing, and I attended the glitzy IPM party on Friday night at the penthouse level of the Intercontinental Hotel.

Gallipoli on the stand
On Thursday we joined our UK coedition partner Frontline Books to launch Gallipoli, the new edition of Christopher Pugsley’s classic, and received considerable interest in this and other military history titles (the First World War centenary has produced a wave of new books). There was encouragement too for some of our new book concepts – all will be revealed in due course.

Finland had a somewhat subdued presence as Guest of Honour, I felt, though following the exuberant Brazilians in this role was never going to be easy. A lot of press focus was on Finland’s educational achievements. We had our own press moment too, featuring in The Bookseller’s Show Daily with a report on how the 2012 Guest of Honour programme had benefited New Zealand publishers.

Browising at the Finland pavilion
But it’s the global reach of Frankfurt that makes it special. In the course of four days I had meetings with publishers, agents and distributors from countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, Taiwan, the US, the UK – even San Marino and the United Arab Emirates. Not all of these encounters will bear commercial fruit, yet each offers international exposure for our authors and learning for the future.

With Ambika Goel of Tushar Publications, New Delhi
Peter Dowling manages independent publisher Oratia Media ( and is publisher of its books programme, Libro International (

Crowds moving between the halls during the weekend, when the fair is open to the public 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Gallipoli The New Zealand Story, by Christopher Pugsley

M E D I A    R E L E A S E

Frankfurt, Germany
9 October 2014

The New Zealand Story

Christopher Pugsley

Classic account of Gallipoli campaign published in new NZ and UK editions today

Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story is out today in a revised edition in New Zealand, and in a separate UK edition from leading military history publisher Frontline Books.

The book is also being showcased this week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world’s premier publishing event.

Charles Hewitt, Managing Director, of Frontline Books joined with Libro International’s Peter Dowling at Frankfurt to toast the new book.  

“We recognise Gallipoli as one of the essential accounts of this campaign and are receiving an enthusiastic response from booksellers in the UK,” Hewitt said.

Fully revised and with many new photos, Gallipoli is a brilliant and moving account of this defining campaign of the First World War, told through the eyes of those who fought and died in the unsuccessful effort to seize the Dardanelles from Turkey.

Release Date: 9 October 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-64-7  |  RRP $49.99
Paperback with flaps, 240 x 170 mm, 400 pages b&w

To arrange an interview with Chris, images or a review copy, contact:
Peter Dowling   027 614 8993 or
Libro International, a division of Oratia Media   |

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Doctor Grundy's Undies hits the shelves today

Doctor Grundy lost his undies.
His best ones, supersized!

When a strong wind blows past Doctor Grundy’s clothesline, away fly his undies.

They land on a pirate ship, are blown on to Scotland, get a mend in China – but will they ever find their way back home?

Doctor Grundy’s Undies is a funny, colourful picture book for primary age kids from Thames author Dawn McMillan and Auckland illustrator Ross Kinnaird – whose previous works include the bestselling I Need a New Bum! and Why Do Dogs Sniff Bottoms?

“The idea for the mischievous undies came from the Dad’s underwear in I Need a New Bum!” remembers Dawn. “What if Doctor Grundy had a pair of equally outrageous boxers?  Anything could happen … and it does!

“The book has had a great response at recent school readings, and I hope everyone has a lot of fun with this one,” she says.

Release Date:  25 September 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-73-9  |  RRP $19.99

Paperback, 230 x 215 mm, 32 pages colour

Friday, September 19, 2014

I Need a New Butt! Libro bestseller goes to US and Canada

Dover Publications has just published the North American edition of Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird's I Need a New Bum! The enlarged edition comes to the US as I Need a New Butt! with the necessary cultural adjustment on the title.

Dover is a leading children's publisher based in New York. Thanks to Jason Schneider, Steven Sussmann and all at Dover, and here's wishing you the success that Libro International has had with the book in NZ.
For more on the US edition, visit:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

North American distribution kicks off through International Publishers Marketing

The first Libro International books are now available in the US and Canada with the beginning of our distribution partnership with International Publishers Marketing (IPM).

Based in Dulles, Virgina, IPM is a well-known distributor with strong channels to market through bookstores, libraries and academic institutions. We're delighted to be working with Jane Graf and her fine team at IPM.

Follow this link to see more: IPM - Libro International

IPM is starting with 12 of our titles in its Fall 2014/Winter 2015 catalogue, and will follow up with a further 10 in March 2015. Here's what's available now:

The Story of Sir Peter Blake - Tessa Duder
Bullies & Warriors - Tim Tipene
Kura Toa - Tim Tipene
Patu - Tim Tipene
He Puna Iti i te Ao Mārama - Pā Henare Tate
From Silence to Voice - Paola Della Valle
Polynesian Navigation and the Discovery of New Zealand - Jeff Evans
Waka Taua - Jeff Evans
The Musket Wars - Ron Crosby
The Treaty of Waitangi - Ross Calman