NZ publishers struggling after lockdown ‘obliterated’ April sales
The Publishers Association of New Zealand/Te Rau o Tākupu (PANZ) reports that the country’s book publishers ‘are struggling to regroup after seeing sales obliterated in April’.
Under New Zealand’s month-long Level 4 lockdown booksellers were not able to trade online, as well as being required to close their physical stores. ‘Unlike in most countries, in New Zealand books were not classed as essential items during Level 4,’ said PANZ.
The organisation said its members were ‘reporting zero or minimal sales for the month of the Level 4 lockdown’ and said the risk to its book industry was ‘at its greatest since the Global Financial Crisis’.
PANZ President Julia Marshall said, ‘While New Zealand publishers have remained at work remotely, preparing books for 2020 and 2021, they couldn’t sell print books until Level 3 permitted online and click & collect sales.’
In contrast, Marshall said ‘online sales of books made a massive difference to sustaining publishers in many markets, including Australia’.
Marshall encouraged New Zealanders to support local booksellers and authors: ‘This is the year to buy New Zealand books, if you want to be sure our books are still around in the future.’