Name: Tom Rennie
Company: Bridget Williams Books (BWB)
My role on the PANZ council is: I lead the work on the copyright portfolio and, of course, securing a good outcome from the Review of the Copyright Act is PANZ’s top priority. It’s very much a team effort (Sam Elworthy at AUP continues to contribute a huge amount) and we still have a long road ahead.
My first job in publishing was: I was actually an intern at BWB! Bridget provided me with a wonderfully generous introduction to New Zealand publishing (as she has done for many in the industry today), including arranging work experience stints for me with Robbie Burton and Allen & Unwin in Sydney. I’ve been absolutely hooked ever since.
I’m currently reading: I’ve finally got around to reading Capitalism without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel & Stian Westlake. It’s a dry yet intriguing analysis of how intangible assets – including, of course, intellectual property – have been under-appreciated in how we assess economies around the world. Importantly, this includes the value we place on copyright (and, essentially, ‘knowledge’). I know it’s been an influential book with some New Zealand policymakers, so I’m partly reading it in the hope it will be of use for the Review work…
My biggest career highlight in publishing has been: As publisher for the BWB Texts series, seeing lots of young New Zealand non-fiction authors write these little books has definitely been a highlight. I’m now working with a growing number of them on full-format ‘big’ books, which is exciting for the future of our publishing at BWB.