This article by Annelies Judson, children’s book reviewer, is mainly focused on self-published children’s picture books, but much of the advice applies to any self-published work.
“What I don’t think any self-published author wants is to have boxes and boxes of books from the minimum-size print run sitting in their garage, or having to spend months or years selling one copy here and there to eventually break even. So if I have any advice, it’s this: do your research, accept critique, and pay for professionals.”
On Saturday Sep 30, 1-4pm, Manawatū Multicultural Council are putting on a Language Expo at the Central Library.
They say: “Join us as we celebrate some of the languages we have in Palmerston North. Perfect for school holidays as there will be lots to see and plenty to do! Language stalls, traditional language games, arts & crafts, reading & writing workshops, reading station and multilingual storytelling!”
On Wednesday the 4th of October, seven of the finest student writers from Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa will present a showcase of their work at the City Library. The writers represent a range of genres and literary styles, each with their own individual voice.
The showcase will be hosted by Doctors Gigi Fenster and Thom Conroy from Massey University. Massey’s creative writing programme has been running as an independent programme since the establishment of the Master in Creative Writing in 2011. Dr Fenster says it has “grown to be a flourishing part of New Zealand’s literary community. We offer papers for first year students trying out creative writing for the first time through to established writers undertaking a PhD. Our papers cover a wide range of genres and literary disciplines.”
Quizzed on the importance of creative writing in Aotearoa today, Dr Fenster responds: “I could say that creative writing is therapeutic, that it helps to alleviate stress, that it helps us make sense of the world, to make connections, to understand humanity. And all that would be true. But I wonder whether its real value is found not in any of these ‘goals’, but rather because, like any other art form, it makes our hearts sing. Good writing makes us feel something intensely, and to emerge from the experience unscathed.”
Palmerston North City Library is a proud supporter of making people’s hearts sing in this way. The creative writing project ‘Versions’ is in its fourth year now, and has more participation than ever before. Anyone can have a go at writing, and enjoy the experience of being published. As the Library’s masthead says, it’s all about Te Ara Whānui o te Ao: exploring all the pathways of the world. These opportunities are open to all, and who knows? A first-time writer might be encouraged to take it further. Maybe even study creative writing at Massey!
Come to the showcase and get a taste of the craft, the imagination, and the drive, that makes a great writer.
“We are so proud of our writers’ achievements,” says Dr Fenster, “and of the wealth of talent in the Manawatū region.”
Off The Page is a series created as a collaboration between Massey University Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa and Palmerston North City Library.
In the early years of Palmerston North one couple helped to forge the foundations of our city, earning a reputation as its mother and father.
George and Louisa Snelson are credited with founding and initiating many of the institutions and civic projects during the 1870s and 1880s in Palmerston North.
George emigrated to New Zealand in 1863, from his home England, travelling to Wellington on 21 February on the Earl of Windsor. In Wellington, he was employed as a clerk by E. W. Mills, an ironmonger and general merchant.
It was there that he met his future wife, Wellington-born Louisa Matilda Buck. The couple married on 6 July 1865.
In 1870 as the newly formed settlement of Palmerston was developed, the government began to make arrangements for the emigration of Scandinavians to the area.
E.W. Mills agreed that George Snelson, who was by then his business partner, should go to Palmerston to open a general store and ironmongery.
In mid 1871, the general store opened and Snelson was listed in the Wellington Almanac of 1873 as ‘Postmaster and Registrar’ and ‘ironmonger, general storekeeper, and land agent, Palmerston North, Manawatū ‘.
The Snelson’s general store and ironmonger, circa 1878. This building was owned by George Mathew Snelson, the first storekeeper, auctioneer and land agent in Palmerston North. It stood on the western side of The Square between Coleman Place and Main Street west, the site now occupied by the City Library. [Manawatū Heritage, 2009N_Bc47_BUI_2315]
Early settlers to the township were often poor and had limited English. To provide them with a better start, George offered credit on purchases while Louisa provided a letter-writing service at 6d. a letter. She also took in boarders and cared for children in the couple’s home.
As the community expanded, and the town grew, Snelson’s name became synonymous with a wide range of civic undertakings.
In 1876 he was elected to the Manawatū County Council, becoming its first mayor the following year. He served four terms as mayor between 1877 and 1901 and was also borough councillor for most of the 1880s.
His civic duties during this time increased as took on new roles, serving on the Manawatū Highway Board (later the Manawatū Road Board) and the Wanganui Education Board, he was Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages, and a Justice of the Peace.
Louisa was one of approximately 523 Palmerston North women who signed the Suffrage petition, submitted to Parliament in 1893.
While George’s success in local government is evident, his two attempts to be elected as a member of parliament, in 1879 and 1893, failed.
George Snelson was the first store-keeper, first Chairman of the Manawatū Road Board, first Chairman of the School Committee, first Chairman of the Hospital Board and first Postmaster but he is best remembered as the first Mayor of the Borough in 1877, and again in 1883.
Poster by George W Shailer, circa 1890, advertising George Snelson’s campaign for re-election as mayor. [Manawatū Heritage, 2007N_Pi1_PEO_0339]
During Palmerston North’s formative years, the Snelsons’ campaigned to have land set aside for a school. George served as the first chairman of the schools committee in 1872 and a committee member for some years afterwards.
As the need for a hospital grew, the couple led the charge for fundraising. The first hospital opened on 21 November 1893, George served on the Palmerston North Hospital and Charitable Aid Board from 1892 and was chairman for at least two terms.
While these activities alone would have consumed many people, George’s community spirit grew year on year. He was involved with the Palmerston North Volunteer Fire Brigade, spent time as the president of the town’s musical union, was a founding member of the Manawatū and West Coast Agricultural and Pastoral Association, held the vice presidency of the local acclimatisation society, was chairman of the domain board and an avid promoter of the establishment of the city’s esplanade.
George Mathew Snelson and wife Louisa Matilda Snelson are shown here in the garden of their Fitzherbert Street home. George was the first mayor of Palmerston North and he and his wife are known as “the mother and father of Palmerston North.” [Circa 1885, Manawatū Heritage, 2008N_Bur13_BUI_1838]
Supporting her husband, Louisa Snelson’s name was as closely associated as George’s with social and religious initiatives in Palmerston North.
In the early days of Palmerston North, Anglican church services were held at both their home and store, and on 29 September 1875 she laid the foundation stone for All Saints’, the first Anglican church in the town.
Of particular interest to her was the welfare and education of local Māori. Such was her involvement; she was believed to be fluent in Te Reo and developed close relationships with local iwi.
In 1907 she was invited by Erini Te Awe Awe to share in the unveiling of the monument of her brother Rangitāne chief Te Peeti Te Awe Awe, which stands in Te Marae o Hine / The Square, Palmerston North.
Following George’s death. Louisa Snelson moved to Australia in 1903. She returned to Palmerston North several years later and continued her community service and fundraising up until her death in 1919. Photo by Bunting Studio, circa 1914 [Manawatū Heritage, 2013N_Pi291_006926]
By the late 1890s, times of economic depression and poor health changed the Snelsons’ fortunes. Businesses and land holdings around Te Marae o Hine / The Square were sold, and the couple moved to Hokowhitu.
Reliant on income from his local government appointments as coroner, borough valuer, and secretary to the cemetery board, the couple struggled through harder times and occasionally sought relief from their rates charges.
In 1901 George campaigned and was elected to the office of mayor, however his return to public office was brief, presiding over only eight council meetings before passing away suddenly on 31 October 1901.
His funeral on 4 November was a major municipal event; all the shops were closed, special transport brought mourners from Feilding, and flags were flown at half-mast.
Following his death, Louisa was left in a difficult financial position which resulted in selling her home and moving to Sydney in 1903.
Returning to Palmerston North several years later, Louisa filled her remaining years fundraising for various community causes, giving art lessons, and selling her artwork. She lived in private hotels and with friends.
On 15 December 1919, she passed away while visiting friends in Whanganui.
George and Louisa Snelson are buried at Terrace End Cemetery in Palmerston North. George died 31 October 1901 and Louisa on 14 December 1919. [Manawatū Heritage, 2020P_IMCA-DigitalArchive_030234]
The passing of Louisa and George Snelson marked the end of an early chapter in the history of Palmerston North and the reign of a couple affectionally remembered as the Mother and Father pioneers of our city.
Kia ora! Someone just asked “why don’t the rating labels on this DVD match?” The spine says R18+ and the front says R16. The answer is that they’re labels from different countries. The only one we need to concern ourselves with is the one on the front – it’s from the Office of Film & Literature Classification (OFLC, now simply called the Classification Office), an official New Zealand body.
DVDs are usually released overseas before coming to Aotearoa. In the case of this one, it may have been a special import which was then given a New Zealand rating once it was here, and the new sticker overlaid.
Once you know what you’re looking for, overseas labels are easy to spot. For example, we do not have an ‘R18+’ in this country (at time of writing).
In this case, the ‘notes’ (Horror scenes & violence) actually form part of the official rating. It tells you why it received that age designation, and helps you decide if it’s something you want to watch.
Kia ora! Here at Palmerston North City Library there are still DVDs you can borrow, at time of writing. But the availability of new ones for purchase is continuing to dwindle. Here are some reasons why.
There are fewer DVDs being produced these days, worldwide. The companies involved make more money from having their work on terrestrial TV, in movie theatres, or on streaming services. It’s a gamble for them to create a physical product and hope it sells.
This is also why many of the big DVD manufacturers no longer distribute to Aotearoa. It’s a small market here, so it’s even more of a gamble.
A library can only legally lend DVDs which have a New Zealand rating label, which is why overseas purchases (and most of the ones on TradeMe) are not available to libraries. As an individual you can buy a DVD from overseas if you like, but a library can’t. This can cause friction, when someone says “the library is missing series 2 of my favourite show, but I saw it for sale online”. It’s usually not something the library can purchase.
Which brings us to vendors. The reason a library has approved vendors is because they must be able to do invoicing and order tracking a certain way. Libraries receive hundreds of titles every year, so the supplier must be able to work with the systems and processes in place. They also need to be a supplier that can be trusted to supply the DVD with the correct rating label (so, again, not TradeMe). Ideally, they would also provide a rudimentary catalogue record for each title and some basic processing. For books, there are library supply companies that do this, but for audio visual companies that’s not often provided.
Palmerston North City Library is committed to keeping the DVD collection going for as long as people want to use it. If you have any further questions, please contact us.
If you’re an author from Aotearoa, you can request an ISBN from the National Library of New Zealand here. There is no charge, although you may be asked to send a copy to the National Library once published. This will allow them to hold a copy for posterity, but also to create a catalogue record for your book, which can be used by libraries everywhere. So it’s actually a pretty good trade. Especially when you consider that in many other countries they charge for ISBNs. It could also potentially be used to prove your copyright claim if one ever comes up. Technically copyright is vested in a work as soon as you write it, but having a copy at the National Library can’t hurt.
Make sure you have all your book details organised before you apply for an ISBN. You can’t just say “book title to be advised”, or change the name of the publisher later. If you do want to do that you may have to create a whole new application, and they will still follow up on what happened with your original request.
Having said that, you will see that you only need basic information. They aren’t asking for number of pages or anything.
You can ask for an ISBN for various formats. Different formats of the same book will need different ISBNs. paperback, ebook, and audiobook being the main ones, but you will see that they differentiate between ePub and Kindle. Yes, you can get a Kindle ISBN to use with Amazon. If you don’t have one for Kindle, Amazon will supply you with a reference number that’s not an ISBN instead.
ISBNs help bookstore owners keep track of stock, and make sure they’re ordering the correct version. A customer needs to know if it’s the paperback or the more expensive hardback, for example. They also help people to search for your book online, if you aren’t a household name (yet) and/or if your book title is a common word. (Looking at you, “It” by Stephen King!)
Contact us if you have any ISBN questions and we’ll do our best to help.
With only about 50 birds, and only found along the Whanganui River, the Nankeen Night Heron is one of New Zealand’s rarest breeding birds. For the first time in 28 years, we have found nests, and been able to photograph them from nest building to chick fledging. Renowned NZ bird photographer and author Paul Gibson will present a highly illustrated talk about these local beauties that are very special to our area. He will also add a little bit about a godwit with the tag AJD, featured in his book Feats Beyond Amazing.
Paul will have some of his books for sale.
Photograph by Paul Gibson, courtesy of Unique Pictorials
Part of the monthly presentation series brought to us by Forest and Bird Manawatū branch.
Tuesday, 12 September 2023, 7:30pm – 8:30pm, Central Library. All welcome. More details here.