You may have noticed that the NZBC has a shiny new website! They have some fantastic new free online resources to promote New Zealand books and writers, and to keep you up to date with latest industry news, events and opportunities.

Aotearoa Reads (www.aotearoareads.nz) is a new hub for Kiwi readers. Alongside original NZBC published articles and podcasts, readers can enjoy the latest reviews, commentary, interviews and book recommendations from around the web, all in one central location. If you have articles, interviews, reviews or new title information, please email it to the Book Council’s Marketing Communications Manager Steph Soper steph@bookcouncil.org.nz . She’ll link it to Aotearoa Reads, and will push it out through the associated fortnightly Aotearoa Reads enewsletter, as well as Book Council social media channels. There has been a lot of chatter on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using #AotearoaReads  – we’re encouraging everyone to use this hashtag to join in the conversation and promote NZ books and writers.

The Book Council’s industry hub is the NZ Book Scene (www.nzbookscene.nz). Browse directories of national book organisations, awards, festivals, residencies, grants, magazines, journals and writing courses – and stay up-to-date with the latest industry news with the NZ Book Scene news blog. Let Steph know if you have anything to add to the directories, and feel free to send her news, events and opportunities for the blog and associated fortnightly NZ Book Scene enewsletter.

A resource that’s already generated much buzz and excitement is the Book Council’s new book calendar – it’s full of events organised by bookish groups throughout Aotearoa. Whether it’s a festival, book launch, poetry reading or live storytelling event, never miss a book event in your community again! The brilliant part about this calendar is that any person or organisation can add an event. Readers can also apply regional tags to easily see what’s going on in their area. http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/events-calendar/

The Book Council has revamped their Writers Files. The files are now searchable by region and genre. Looking for a poet from Dunedin? A crime writer in the Waikato? A Pasifika writer who’s also a slam poet and musician in Auckland? This resource of over 650 bios is the most comprehensive online collection of information about Aotearoa writers.  If you provide Steph with a list of your NZ authors, she’ll cross reference the ones the Book Council already has on file and get the Book Council’s writers’ files intern to work with you and your authors to check for updates. You’re also welcome to send her a list of authors you’d like a bio for.  The Book Council has limited staffing and budget for new files (they publish between 10-15 new files a year), so there is a wait list. If publishers/publicists have time to draft up the new bios for Steph, this will help speed up the process. http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/writers-files/

For those of you that publish books aimed at primary and/or secondary school students, the Book Council’s School Library blog publishes reviews by their member school librarians and teachers of the latest books for children and young adults. Post the books you’d like reviewed to the Book Council (with Attn: Kathryn Carmody, Programmes Manager) and the Book Council will get them out to their school members. The reviews are rounded up and sent out as an enewsletter once every two months. Last year the average open rate for this enewsletter was 55%  – and will a database in the thousands, this means your books are reaching a tonne of keen book buyers and readers.  http://www.bookcouncil.org.nz/schools/school-library/

As well as these five free resources, the Book Council has a new Book Council Associate Friend ($300 a year) subscription. This is designed for publishers, booksellers and other bookish organisations. Support the work we do on behalf of Aotearoa writers to raise their profile and to increase their audiences and sales. You will receive two free articles per year in Aotearoa Reads (e.g. we can do author interviews, write several reviews of your new books, or write a feature on the subject of your choice) and two free advertising slots per year in each of our enewsletters (we have four). We also acknowledge your generous support on our website and in our annual report.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Steph.