PaperPlus showcases Bay authors

By Genevieve Helliwell


Local authors are being showcased alongside some of the world's best thanks to an initiative launched in the Western Bay, with sales of local authors increasing by 40 per cent at one bookstore.

All seven PaperPlus stores in the Western Bay have teamed up with Oceanbooks publishing to promote local writers who have their work featured on dedicated display shelves in-store.

The idea was Te Puke PaperPlus owner Stuart Gunn's.

Mr Gunn said sales of local authors increased 40 per cent and awareness of local authors rose 100 per cent since the books went on to shelves a month ago.

Until now, it was a bit "hit-and-miss" for local authors to get recognised, Mr Gunn said.

"We are locally owned and run by people in this community so it was a natural collaboration for us to work with Oceanbooks and let the public know about the work of our local authors," he told the Bay of Plenty Times.

"The idea behind is that we are trying to connect the community with the community. It's been something I've been thinking about for a while ... because we have some very talented writers here and it's a bit hit-and-miss as to whether they'll get noticed alongside the world-leading authors so now we have a vehicle for exposing local work to locals."

Oceanbooks managing director and local author Bryan Winters said the initiative allowed local authors to compete for shelf space with books from world-leading authors like Jodi Picoult and John Grisham.

It had a positive response in its first month and was gaining traction in other regions.

Mr Gunn said the initiative was good for authors and the business, and he hoped PaperPlus would become known for the one-stop shop for local books.

"From children's books to fiction and non-fiction and novels and health and poetry - there's a whole range of quality works out there and we are encouraging people to take a look at our local writers."

Mr Gunn and Mr Winters are investigating plans to host "meet the writer-type" functions where local readers can meet Oceanbooks writers.

- BAY OF PLENTY TIMES

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