Friday, October 26, 2012

New Zealand Tattoo is launched

Yesterday was a memorable evening as Libro International launched New Zealand Tattoo at a huge event at Real Groovy in central Auckland.

Many of the tattooists and models featured in the book were there to celebrate the launch of this, the first book on contemporary New Zealand tattooing in almost 20 years. Our thanks and appreciation to all who supported the book, and especially to tattooing legend Merv O'Connor who spoke on behalf of the tattooists to support the launch. 

Photographer Chris Hoult and writer Steve Forbes were kept busy signing books after the formalities, with a great response to the book. Cheers to Marty O'Donnell and his team at Real Groovy for hosting the event - they have the book on special for $65 for a limited period. 

@ Real Groovy
the authors, Merv and Peter Dowling
what a wonderful book!
busy signing

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: An honour to be there - Peter Dowling reports from Frankfurt

With Francesca Ferrua of LiberLab (Italy) and Markus Voss of Abera Verlag (Germany) at the New Zealand party on Friday 12th (photo by Lisa Gardiner)

Frankfurt Book Fair 2012: An honour to be there
Peter Dowling reports from Frankfurt

New Zealand’s role as country of honour defined this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair for any Kiwi in attendance. From the banners proclaiming the Why You Were Sleeping motto to the many reports in German media, our presence was inescapable. This was a week in which to be a New Zealand publisher was to be accorded respect, asked about our books and country, and get invites to some of the better parties …

The public focus of the Ehrengast year was the New Zealand pavilion in the Frankfurter Messe, where Creative New Zealand based its cultural programme (there were also events across Frankfurt and other parts of Germany). Responses to the programme and the space were highly positive, with large crowds pressing to get in during the public days on the weekend, and compliments flying from book people I talked with.

But Hall 8 of the massive Messe, where the New Zealand publishers stand was housed, is a long way from the pavilion, and there was business to be done. After the Tuesday opening ceremony I managed to get into the pavilion just once, to hear our author Paul Tapsell taking part in a standing-room-only discussion with other Maori artists and writers.

With a far bigger collective stand and better position, Oratia Media enjoyed a busy and productive period at the fair. Thanks to our marketing specialist Isabell Zitzelsberger we had secured many appointments with German publishers, and I spent considerable time in the German and illustrated books halls. And thanks to being here for the third year running, I was able to solidify key relationships with publishers from Italy, Germany, the US and Brazil.

This year’s standout title for us was New Zealand Tattoo, which attracted a lot of passing traffic to the stand. We have competitive foreign-language rights offers on the table for this large illustrated book, and requests for direct distribution of the English edition into many countries. Children’s books also generated considerable interest, with Dawn McMillan and Ross Kinnaird’s I Need a New Bum and Woolly Wally leading the charge along with Tim Tipene’s Patu and Bullies and Warriors.

As always, the work starts now to close the deals, agree terms, and develop our next coedition proposals. But I’m leaving with the feeling of real progress. We’ve showcased that New Zealand has a vibrant publishing sector – I was one of three publishers who introduced our market at the annual Business Breakfast on the Thursday – and hugely advanced international understanding of what makes us tick. I look forward to next year when it’s Brazil’s turn in the spotlight.

Peter Dowling manages independent publisher Oratia Media ( and is publisher of its books programme, Libro International (

Monday, October 15, 2012

Snaps from Frankfurt

A really fantastic fair this one - Frankfurt 2012 has been the best yet for Oratia Media. Here are a few views from our corner of the New Zealand collective stand in this Guest of Honour year. 

Friday at the Oratia Media corner of the New Zealand stand - capped off by
a memorable party in the evening

Doors opened to the public on Saturday and New Zealand Tattoo proved a popular read

Paul Tapsell, author of Libro International books Te Ara: Maori Pathways of Leadership and Pukaki: a comet returns, who received a lot of reader interest following his presentations at the New Zealand pavilion

Linda Cassells of Calico Publishing, who along with the irrepressible Benny Thomas of Exisle were great stand companions this year - here's to our fellow independent publishers!

Peter Dowling

Friday, October 12, 2012

First photos from Frankfurt and an extract from PANZ News #3

First photos from Frankfurt and an extract from PANZ News #3

Day 2 of the Frankfurt Buchmesse was again action-packed, both on the publishers’ stand in Halle 8 and with events across the fair grounds.

While business continued, PANZ News sought an overview of the publisher event highlights.

8am: Heart of New Zealand Publishing Business Breakfast

Peter Dowling, Alison Brook and Sam Elworthy (chaired by PANZ President Kevin Chapman) impressed their audience with good-old Kiwi flair at the Thursday morning publishing business breakfast.

Over croissants and coffee the publishing trio – representing independent, multinational and academic aspects of the publishing market – led a ‘very informative and very informal’ discussion on the publishing industry and book market to foreign publishers and agents at the Book Fair.

A lively question and answer session followed, and the general feeling in the room was that the speakers presented information in a relaxed and convivial environment while remaining professional and knowledgeable, and producing plenty of laughs.

Read the full article here 

Peter Dowling in front of Oratia Media/Libro International Stand

For more news and updates on the Pavilion programme check out NZ Book Council Catriona Ferguson's blog:

And for all the latest updates on New Zealand Guest of Honour:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PANZ News from Frankfurt #1

Frankfurt Book Fair Setup,
and Opening Ceremony!

Tuesday 9 October 2012

The first two days on the collective NZ publishers’ stand at Frankfurt were jam-packed. With a steady flow of jet-lagged publishers arriving to set up their panels, an energetic team of volunteers helping with all the fiddly but necessary details, and a very small but incredibly efficient stand-build team on the go at all times, the NZ stand was completed just in time for the 5pm Opening Ceremony.

It’s hard to believe that we have made it to this point in such a short time. The NZ collective stand, managed by PANZ, almost tripled in size this year with 35 publishers represented. And the stand design by the Auckland-based Designworks added a brand-new, sophisticated dynamic to the look – a bright-white set to contrast with the dark of the Pavilion in the day/night While You Were Sleeping theme of NZ Guest of Honour at the Fair.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Te Ara launch in Germany

The German edition of our book Te Ara was launched at the Museum of Ethnology on Sunday 7 October as part of the opening of the Te Ara exhibition and the major  rededication of the wharenui Rauru. 

Die deutsche Ausgabe von unserem Buch "Te Ara" wurde am 7 Oktober im Museum fuer Ethnologie im Rahmen der Te Ara Ausstallung in Hamburg veroeffentlicht. 

Published in German, English and Maori, the book accompanies an exhibition of photos by Krzysztof Pfeiffer, curated by Paul Tapsell and Merata Kawharu, that explore Maori leadership and identity in the past, present and future. 

Die Texte sind in Deutsch, Englisch und Maori und begleitet die Foto-Ausstellung von Krzysztof Pfeiffer, Paul Tapsell und Merata Kawharu und handelt von der Identitaet und Herrschaft der Maori in der Vergangenheit, Heute und in Zukunft.

Paul Tapsell is among the featured New Zealand authors at this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, where the book will also take pride of place on the Oratia Media - Libro International display, in Hall 8, stand M950. 

Paul Tapsell wir bei der Neuseeland Autoren Woche in Frankfurt dabei sein, auf der das Buch ebenfalls stolz am Stand von Oratia Media - Libro International in Halle 8 am Stand M950 ausgestellt wird.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Te Ara comes to Germany

Te Ara is now on in Hamburg. On Sunday 7 October the exhibition opened at the Museum of Ethnology to coincide with the rededication of the wharenui Rauru. Te Ara features photos by Krzysztof Pfeiffer, and was curated by Paul Tapsell and Merata Kawharu.

Photos by Peter Dowling ©

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Zealand Tattoo coming soon

Just a couple of weeks to go until we will release our new book New Zealand Tattoo - in the home of the tattooist's art - for more information about the book and the content visit us on facebook:

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