Why I don’t sell any books in New Zealand (yet most of my writing is set there)

To me the New Zealand publishing industry is somewhat a closed shop. And the people who influence what is published and read there are traditionally closed minded and judgmental in their tastes.

As I said previously, most of my books sell in the US, the readers appearing to like my open-minded, honest style of writing.

Here is an example.

In 2007  I contacted Tina Shaw, at the time programme manager of the NZ Society of Authors, in an attempt to get my novel The Fake Celebrity in China reviewed and promoted.

This is how the communication went:

NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager wrote:
Hi there

I think it would be good to review. I’m just concerned about how people might buy it if they want – can they buy it direct from you? If that’s possible, then yes do send us a copy (address below).

cheers”

Tina Shaw
Programme Manager
NZ Society of Authors
Mt Eden, Auckland.

http://www.authors.org.nz

—– Original Message —–
From: Robert black
To: NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 2:49 PM
Subject: Re: The Fake Celebrity In China

NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager wrote:
Hi Robert

Thanks for the copy of your book. Not sure yet when I’ll run it, but perhaps in the October ezine.

cheers”

Tina
—– Original Message —–
From: Robert black
To: NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager
Sent: Wednesday, July 25, 2007 8:07 PM
Subject: Re: The Fake Celebrity In China

—– Original Message —–
From: Robert black
To: NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: The Fake Celebrity In China

“Hi. Just wondering if you managed to get this reviewed.

Regards, Robert Black.”

—– Original Message —–
From: Robert black
To: NZ Society of Authors – Programme Manager
Sent: Saturday, October 13, 2007 7:39 PM
Subject: Re: The Fake Celebrity In China

“Hi Robert

Well, I sent it out to a reviewer, but I’m afraid she disliked it so much she couldn’t review it!
So sadly, and regrettably, it doesn’t sound like the kind of book we can run.

Sorry

Tina”

Surely the writing style would be more important to a reviewer for the NZ Society of Authors than her personal preference as to content? Why didn’t they just give it a bad review?

Not only did they refuse to review it, the NZ Society of Authors refused to print a letter of mine mentioning it in their E-zine publication.

Then in that same publication they had dramatic articles about banned writers in China and how disgusting it is to restrict the basic right of freedom of expression.

Hypocrisy, Kiwi style.

Here is what an American reviewer wrote about the book recently:

“The Fake Celebrity In China” is superbly written. Character definitions are excellent throughout. They jump off the page. And the author’s picture of Shenyang makes you feel that you were there in his protagonist’s skin.”

Here is what is written on the NZ Society of Author’s website:

Welcome to the New Zealand Society of Authors

Our mission is to actively and responsibly support and represent the interests of all New Zealand’s writers and the communities they serve.

Am I justified in feeling slightly let down?

This isn’t helped by the fact that Kiwis don’t read a lot via Kindle. Hence most of my sales are in the US and the UK.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s