Thursday, January 30, 2020

Taking pride in our publishing services

While it is Oratia's successful trade publishing programme that has built the company's profile and reputation in recent years, custom publishing and communications services have always been at the core of its business. 

Peter Dowling and Alessandra Zecchini founded Oratia Media in August 2000 to help organisations and individuals create the best possible books and communications. 

From a small base of clients in Japan, Europe and New Zealand, the company has expanded over almost 20 years to provide companies and authors around the world with a wide range of services. 

Recent book projects undertaken for public policy advocate Owen Gill and Archetype Book Agents 

Book projects have spanned full-colour, hardback company histories to short-run, black & white paperbacks for self-publishing authors.

Books for individuals, charitable societies, clubs and companies

We now advise widely on best options for production and marketing domestically and internationally, drawing on our decades of collective experience in the book business. 

That includes representing books from other publishers and authors at international book fairs, brokering the best print or digital options, and advising on rights and distribution. 
Our own and clients' books at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2019

Annual reports, magazine supplements and articles, special editions and media planning form a further arm of the Oratia Media portfolio.

Having a multicultural staff and network of contributors enables work across cultures in a range of languages, with particular demand for Māori, Italian and Spanish work.

An English-Spanish supplement produced by Oratia in 2016
As a small team we work closely and collaboratively to create the optimal outcome for our partners, making the often complex business of publishing easy to manage. 

So while it is the Oratia Books list that is more visible these days, it is services work that underpins our business. 

Oratia provided all editorial services for The Tindall Foundation's Annual Report in recent year, including 2018/19 (pictured above)
Indeed, we are just as proud of products finished to the requirements of clients as we are of our own books. 

Please get in touch with Peter (, 027 614 8993) to find out how we can help you achieve your publishing and communication goals.

Here's what Owen Gill, author of Turning Point Auckland (published February 2019) had to say about working with us:

"Peter Dowling and the team at Oratia made what could have been a dry policy book into a creative tour de force, mostly by bringing outstanding design and editing to the book. The book was published on-budget and on-time, and to a good reception in the media, which was also arranged by Oratia. I strongly recommend Peter and Oratia for private publishing projects like mine."

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Remembering the irrepressible Dick Scott

Dick Scott, who passed away on 1 January, was a courageous voice for justice and righting historical wrongs throughout a long and original writing career. 

It was Dick who first brought to light the appalling treatment of the Parihaka community led by Te Whiti o Rongomai and Tohu Kakahi, in The Parihaka Story in 1954. 

That book was later published as Ask That Mountain, widely regarded as among the most important New Zealand books of the twentieth century. 

Dick on the Kaipara Harbour during the Seven Lives on Salt River project
It was in working on a revision of that book in 1998 for Reed Publishing that I came to meet Dick, and we formed a strong friendship through two other new editions (his seminal works 151 Days and Seven Lives on Salt River) and his autobiography Dick Scott: A Radical Writer's Life

The latter was his last book, and Dick happily retired in this eighties to pursue his varied interests and spend time with his wife Sue. 

Not only an historian, Dick was also a publisher of note, having a hand in his own books through his Southern Cross Books and founding the country's first wine journal, Wine Review. 

A collection of his writings with photography by Marti Friedlander, whom Dick had employed early in her career, made up another Reed book, Pioneers of New Zealand Wine.

Dick recalled that winemakers on occasion paid for ads in early editions of the Review in kind, with crates of wine delivered to his home office. 

Consuming what was often not the highest-quality vintage had its hazards, but Dick survived and thrived. 

He lived to be 96 and received honours including the Prime Ministers Award for Literary Achievement and an honorary doctorate from Massey University. 

- Peter Dowling

Click here for the New Zealand Herald's item about Dick.
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