13 November 2020 at 9:00 am
Future Focus Programme helps Publishers Association go digital
Education New Zealand’s Future Focus Programme (FFP) is supporting the Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) in breaking new ground by developing a digital rights platform to promote and showcase education resources to international buyers.
October usually sees many from the book industry depart Aotearoa’s shores for the biggest and most prestigious event on the publishing calendar – Germany’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Travelling to large, international book fairs has long been a standard part of selling New Zealand stories to the world. But with publishers, authors and agents unable to leave the country, and book fairs like Frankfurt increasingly going online, this year called for a new approach.
With support from Education New Zealand and Creative New Zealand, PANZ worked with its publishers to make the most of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s online offering. Central to this is the creation of a digital rights platform to promote and showcase New Zealand books across a breadth of publishers’ lists.
In addition to the Frankfurt fair last month, the platform will be used for other upcoming events, such as the Guadalajara Book Fair in December and the 2021 Bologna Children’s Book Fair.
“PANZ is delighted to be partnering with ENZ and Creative NZ to find new, innovative and effective ways to take New Zealand stories to the world. We know that our writers, illustrators and publishers are producing excellent books across all genres; we anticipate that this new initiative will help us to spread the word even further”, PANZ Director Catriona Ferguson says.
Rights sales in international markets are an important revenue stream for many in New Zealand publishing. In 2019, export rights sales accounted for $22.3 million across the sector. For publishers, book fairs have long offered the chance to network and find buyers in new markets as well as to buy rights to new works to bring home to New Zealand readers.
“Educational publishing is an important part of New Zealand’s international education sector and ENZ is pleased to support PANZ and help create the digital rights platform. We want to help the international education sector look at new approaches to the way they operate in a vastly changed global marketplace. The platform provides a way to promote education products and services digitally and ensure New Zealand products continue to be seen by global markets,” ENZ General Manager – Partnerships and Marketing Paul Irwin says.
The FFP was set up earlier this year in order to provide support to the international sector at a time of great challenge. It provides $1.2 million of funding to help sectors develop new approaches to strategic challenges or opportunities, through grants to peak bodies of up to $200,000 per sector. For more information, head to the FFP webpage.