Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa
Many trade publications are essentially ephemeral in nature. This makes them hard to find, but they are a central documentary source for any study of the publishing business. Substantial exceptions are the annual volumes of New Zealand Books in Print, issued under varying imprints from 1957. Catalogues issued by publishers, usually annually and usually midway through the publishing year, include announcements of recent titles, advance notices of new publications, and often a comprehensive backlist. Intended to be circulated to the trade, and in limited quantities for public consumption, their obsolescent character means that they are often discarded, even by their publishers. Some of those that have survived may have been conserved for extraneous reasons: the Turnbull Library catalogue lists a few, including A Caxton Catalogue (1938), and some Reed and Whitcombe & Tombs catalogues, but the best collections are probably to be found in library acquisition departments. Government organisations are more likely than commercial publishers to issue consolidated lists or bibliographies of their publications (for example Elaine Marland and Keith Pickens's NZCER, 1934-84, 1985), although Reeds proudly included a comprehensive listing of their output in their two house histories. Whitcombes and Reeds also issued regular newsletters, Whitcombes from the 1930s until about 1970 under the title Books of Today. A trade journal, the Book Trade Monthly, appeared between 1979 and 1983 under various titles, latterly as the New Zealand Bookseller and Publisher. Some larger publishers have regularly or occasionally produced in-house newsletters: Longman Paul's Scuttle Butt is an example. Even more evanescent are publishers' advertisements, fliers, book promotions, and press releases, but any of these which can be found will provide evidence of value to the study of publishing.