The Coalition for Books has been launched "to make a tangible difference to the literary landscape of Aotearoa, supported by seed funding from Creative New Zealand," Booksellers NZ reported. During its initial year, the coalition will be a collaborative venture under the umbrella of the Auckland Writers Festival; other founding organizations include the Booksellers Association, the Society of Authors, the Publishers Association, Tautai Pacific Arts Trust, the New Zealand Book Awards Trust, the Michael King Writers Centre and the Academy of New Zealand Literature.
The initiative's mandate is "to complement the work of existing organizations, identify gaps in activities and develop initiatives that serve authors, publishers, booksellers and festivals. Through strategic activity and by mobilizing the literary sector, it will enhance the visibility, sales and overall opportunities for New Zealand books and their writers."
Interim chair Melanie Laville-Moore commented: "A year in the making, the Coalition for Books feels like a watershed moment. It's the very first time that so many representatives from across the literary sector have come to the same table to initiate important change. The potential to enable greater success for all of our organizations is huge. We're immensely grateful to Creative New Zealand for believing in our vision and allowing us the opportunity to put plans into action."
Anne O'Brien, director of the Auckland Writers Festival, said, "The festival shares the Coalition's kaupapa of supporting and strengthening engagement for and with New Zealand writers and readers, and looks forward to working with sector colleagues to make a real difference to this country's literary well-being."
The inaugural meeting of the Coalition for Books will be held later this month during the Booksellers Association Conference in Auckland. A new incorporated society will be established immediately afterwards.