Monday, November 17, 2014

Gallipoli makes the Top 100

Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story is one of the New Zealand Listener's top 100 books of 2014 - and one of only five listed in the Science, History & Social Issues category.

Congratulations to author Christopher Pugsley for this well-deserved recognition, and all the team who worked on the new edition of this great book.

The New Zealand Listener is also giving readers a chance to win this and the other 99 books; just click on the link below to enter:

Friday, November 7, 2014

Out on the Water is launched!

Congratulations to Tessa Duder on the launch of Out on the Water last night at Takapuna Library. With over 80 guests in attendance, Tessa's long-time nautical consultant John Duder officially launched this collection of 12 tales of the sea, with lovely illustrations by Bruce Potter. (Thanks to John, all of the stories and illustrations should be spot on in sailing terms!)
Tessa reads from the story 'Crossing the Ditch'
A dedicated writer, writing dedications
Our appreciation to Helen Woodhouse, Lisa Dam and the Friends of Takapuna Library for hosting the event, Whitcoulls Takapuna for selling books on the night, and all those who came out to help get Tessa's book on the water.

Helen from Takapuna Library gets her copy
Yvette and Tim from Whitcoulls Takapuna
Follow this link for more about Out on the Water

Monday, November 3, 2014

Out on the Water launches this Thursday 6 November

Monday, 3 November 2014

Out on the Water
Twelve Tales of the Sea
Tessa Duder; illustrated by Bruce Potter

New collection evokes the adventure of sailing and the sea for younger readers

Renowned children’s author Tessa Duder and illustrator Bruce Potter have combined to produce a stirring collection of twelve stories about kids out on the water around New Zealand.

The stories in Out on the Water range from a girl’s experience of her first Optimist regatta to a boy learning the ropes on a tall ship from Sydney to Auckland in the 1880s.

Each story features a full-page line drawing, and weaves into the text a rich thread of sailing words and knowledge (helped by a glossary of language of the sea).

This is Tessa Duder’s first fiction for young adults in over ten years. Her most recent young adult non-fiction is The Story of Sir Peter Blake – and one of the new stories is a fictionalised account of Peter Blake and brother Tony on an after-school sail across Waitemata Harbour.

In the book’s introduction, Tessa writes how the book answers the request from a grandson for stories about children going sailing. “So here are twelve stories about young people having a wide range of experiences on the water – inshore as crew or skipper, or as crew on offshore voyages.”

Tessa, who lives on Auckland’s North Shore, is a keen sailor with a long-standing commitment to the sport in New Zealand, from tutoring Optimist sailors to her work for the Spirit of Adventure Trust.

Out on the Water will be launched in Takapuna, Auckland this Thursday 6 November. Bruce, who lives in Alexandra, will also be available for media, and will be in Wellington during this week.

Publication Date: 6 November 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-75-3  |  RRP $29.99
Paperback, 234 x 153 mm, 152 pages b&w with line drawings

Tessa Duder
Bruce Potter

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Takitimu: A History of Ngati Kahungunu

A History of Ngati Kahungunu

J.H. Mitchell

Handsome new edition of major tribal history
is available from tomorrow

One of the pillars of Maori tribal history will be published tomorrow in a new hardback edition.

Takitimu, which was originally published in 1944, tells the story of the Takitimu canoe’s migration from the Pacific Islands to Aotearoa, and of the descendants born in New Zealand who became Ngati Kahungunu – the peoples centred around the Hawke’s Bay and Wairarapa who now make up New Zealand’s third-largest iwi.

Author J.H. Mitchell (Tiaki Hikawera Mitira) died shortly after Takitimu was released, and bequeathed royalties from the work towards a scholarship for graduating students at Wairoa College.

Libro International publisher Peter Dowling worked with the trustees of the J.H. Mitchell Takitimu Memorial Scholarship Trust, led by Wairoa’s Deputy Mayor Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, on the new edition – and will continue to pay royalties to the scholarship fund.

The 2014 book is a facsimile edition that preserves the original contents, with the quality hardback binding and a brilliant new jacket that befit a work of this mana.

Takitimu will keep this important history available to a new generation of descendants. It is available through all good booksellers nationwide.

Release Date: 23 October 2014  |  ISBN: 978-1-877514-72  |  RRP $80
Hardback, 240 x 150 mm, 312 pages, b&w with photo and whakapapa sections

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

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