Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
An elephant in the writers' room - Felicity Price
Today at the Christchurch Writers' Festival I was able to enjoy the rare experience of being a writer for a whole day, and the feeling will continue over the weekend, talking to other writers and editors and publishers and booksellers. But the elephant in the room that no one has mentioned so far is the future of publishing under the onslaught of the internet.
That aside, the festival represents a bit of a turning point for me, being an accepted writer now compared to my first writers' festival when I'd just had my first novel published by a small local publisher and was overwhelmed by all the famous literati. Now I feel I can stand among them, at least to some extent. Now I have an online presence, a website, a twitter account, and this blog.
Now I am part of the onslaught of the internet. Outside the writers' hall (well, it's actually a giant blow-up igloo), in the coffee shop, they're keen to ask how the books sales are going, how I did it, was it difficult to publish online, to get copies printed too. Inside the writers' hall, ebooks aren't part of the conversation - not yet anyway - and they aren't mentioned in the programme. They weren't even mentioned during the special session yesterday on how traditional books