New Zealand publishers "have proved remarkably buoyant, despite the turmoil of bookstore closures, shipping delays and canceled author events," Booksellers NZ reported, citing the latest New Zealand Publishing Market Size Report 2020, completed by Nielsen Book Research for the Publishers Association of New Zealand/Te Rau o Tākapu.
The report highlights the NZ$302.2 million (about US$213.5 million) contribution the publishing industry made to the country's creative economy, an increase of 3% over 2019. All New Zealand-published content sold domestically grew 13% year-on-year, with digital formats for the general consumer market increasing 15% by units and the online sales channel up 60% by value.
Although digital revenue growth was accelerated by bookstore and library closures during the pandemic, "Kiwis still have a strong preference for physical print books," BooksellersNZ noted. In 2020, print book sales increased 6%, to NZ$135.3 million (about US$95.5 million), accounting for a 90% volume share of the total market. There was continuing growth in Māori-language publishing, with a 24% increase in unit sales during 2019.
The export market experienced a 13% decline in earnings from New Zealand content "as access to international markets, rights fairs and other routes to market were curtailed during the pandemic," Booksellers NZ wrote, adding that the drop "was particularly felt in the educational publishing sector which faced a reduction in exports to the U.S. and U.K., however exports to other markets grew in 2020, with content sent to Australia up 12% and Asia increasing by a significant 39%."
The Canadian Independent Booksellers Association showcased Hilary and Cliff Atleo, who launched Iron Dog Books, Vancouver, B.C., in 2017. "Their bookstore was based out of an 80 square foot renovated cube van, which they referred to as the 'food (for the brain) truck.' They spent two years travelling to events, markets, and festivals in BC's lower mainland before expanding to a brick-and-mortar location in Vancouver," CIBA noted.
Curation is key at the bookshop. "I don't believe in a hierarchy of literature, but rather a topography," Hilary Atleo said. "Each area of the map has highlights worth visiting."
CIBA noted that Iron Dog Books "has become a beloved community hub, and the truck still rides on. One of the unique benefits of the truck is being able to bring the store to new audiences. At events that are not about reading, the truck becomes a conduit of discovery or rediscovery--not only of a particular title, but of books and reading more generally."
Amazon plans to open a 600,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Parkland County, Alb., Canada that will be used to pick, pack and ship small items to customers such as books, electronics, and toys. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney called the decision "a vote of confidence in our economy, and will create over a thousand jobs for Albertans, right when we need them most."
Parkland County Mayor Rod Shaigec said, "The facility is a major investment and will create a significant number of jobs in the region." William Morin, Chief of the Enoch Cree Nation 135, added that the decision "means our young people have a real example of the future global economy they can be a part of."
"Did we mention that we've got more space?! Surprise!" British bookseller Drake--The Bookshop, Stockton-on-Tees, posted on Facebook yesterday. "We've expanded to the shop next door! If you keep looking through the photos you can see the progress of setting it all up.
"We are so thrilled to have a whole shop for children's books and the original shop will have even more fiction, nonfiction, etc. for adults! We're also excited to have more seating areas for customers to enjoy coffee or tea! We want to give a huge shout out to all of our amazing customers for making this possible! We wouldn't be able to do this if it wasn't for your amazing support throughout the pandemic. Thank you." --Robert Gray