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.
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.