The New Zealand publishing industry is set for the biggest week in its history as Kiwi authors and their works take centrestage at the world’s largest book fair.
The Frankfurt Book Fair opens on Wednesday morning New Zealand time. Over four days it is expected to attract 300,000 visitors to its 7500 exhibitors.
This year New Zealand is Guest of Honour, a role that has enabled New Zealand culture to be showcased in a 12-month programme throughout Germany which culminates in this week’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
Kevin Chapman, president of the New Zealand Publishers Association, says New Zealand’s Guest of Honour status is incredibly exciting.
“The most important thing about Frankfurt is that we get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to show a massive number of people how exciting our creative economy is in New Zealand,” Mr Chapman said.
Organisers, led by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, are promising a spectacular opening of the 2500sq m New Zealand pavilion, which will feature a performance by national kapa haka champions Te Matare I Orehu and a showreel on giant screens showcasing New Zealand’s literary and cultural heritage set under a starry Southern Hemisphere sky.
Deputy Prime Minister Bill English will deliver the main speech at the opening which will also be attended by Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Chris Finlayson.
Throughout the book fair the pavilion will host writers’ discussions and readings from the 65 Kiwi authors present.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is essentially a trade fair and Mr Chapman says there is no doubt New Zealand publishers will sell more rights than ever before.
“It is always hard to know in advance but I think it is already a success. We are going to reach or succeed or targets.”
“I believe we have enhanced our reputation as an industry, and our contacts with international publishers. Those will continue to grow so we will see more sales as an industry and more of our writers being published internationally.”
This year 83 New Zealand books are being translated into German, compared to a previous annual average of 10.
Mr Chapman said he was particularly looking forward to the opening ceremony and the large collective stand featuring New Zealand publishers and authors.
“We want our hosts to see our writers and see how good they are and then say: ‘what have left at home?’ If we generate curiosity about all our talented authors that will be great.”
NOTE TO EDITORS
Key Frankfurt Book Fair Events in New Zealand time:
Opening of NZ Pavilion: Wednesday morning 6am-8am
NZ Is Cooking opening: Thursday morning, NZ celebrity chefs showcase their skills at the Frankfurt Book Fair’s Gourmet Gallery.
Cosplay: Overnight Saturday, hobbits is the theme for this year’s Cosplay with the best-dressed being awarded prizes by Sir Richard Taylor who is also the keynote speaker at the Storydrive Conference on transmedia.
Handover Ceremony: Monday morning, NZ hands Guest of Honour status to Brazil.
Updated on 23rd July 2015