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 

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   |

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