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Book & Print in New Zealand : A Guide to Print Culture in Aotearoa


In this guide, 'publishing' encompasses the factors which influence the decision to produce a work at a particular time, and the editorial activities which are required to produce a work. Dennis McEldowney's overview of publishing in New Zealand expands the definition:

. . . how the works . . . came to be published, in books and periodicals and . . . the electronic media. . . . how patrons, mainly the State, came to assist both writers and publishers. . . . Printing, as the mechanical multiplication of copies, is but one step in the process of publishing, which selects and edits the text before it is printed and sells or otherwise distributes it after.(McEldowney, 1991, p.545)

To this definition should be added the question of financial responsibility, for the publishers' financial risk is normally a central issue which shapes all aspects of the publishing process. Printing and distribution are covered elsewhere in this guide: note, however, that there is inevitably some overlap between these sections and this chapter.

This guide, as the Introduction indicates, 'may be regarded as a report on the state of research' into print culture in New Zealand. Readers will quickly discern this to be the case for this chapter, especially as they note the large number of references to areas and topics for further study, and the unevenness of coverage for aspects of the publishing field.

This chapter is divided into four main sections: the process of publishing, the publishers, general and regional studies, and categories of publication.