29 November 2007

Private Detective/distribution via Trade Me/Kilmog Press

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Trade Me, letting me know that there was an item for sale that I might be interested in. And indeed I was – it was a newly published book of poetry by my friend Mark Pirie: Private Detective.

I’ve seen second-hand books and remaindered books for sale on Trade Me, but this is the first time I’ve come across a just-published book. I’m quite fascinated and think this could be the way of the future: distribution direct to readers via Trade Me (and other similar sites).

Distribution is always hard for small presses and especially small press poetry publishers like myself (can you hear the violins?) In general, the independent booksellers are the only ones who will stock our books, and even then only some of them (big thanks in particular to Otago University Book Shop, Canterbury University Book Shop, Parsons in Auckland, The Women’s Bookshop and the extra-fabulous Unity Books in Wellington). But more and more people are buying things on Trade Me, and with online payment you’ll never even need to leave your room.

I think Seraph Press might have to try it.

Back to Private Detective – it’s a hand-printed, hand-bound, limited-edition book published by Kilmog Press, about which I know nothing except that it hails from Dunedin and it produces gorgeous books. I’m basing the latter assertion on the pictures of Private Detective on Trade Me and on the two Kilmog Press books I’ve seen in real life: In the Dragon Cafe by Peter Olds and When Muldoon was King by Bob Orr. I had to buy In the Dragon Cafe – not only was it beautifully produced – hand-printed, hand-bound, beautiful paper – but it had a dragon on the cover. Who could resist!

I very much enjoyed the poetry in In the Dragon Cafe - a poem that has particularly stayed with me is ‘Letter to Hone Tuwhare (the Count of Montecillo)’, which describes a visit to an unwell but still feisty Tuwhare.

Several of Kilmog Press’s other books are also available on Trade Me: Isadora’s Shroud by Sandra Bell, Parable of the Sea Sponge by Stephen Oliver and a reprint of James Joyce’s first poetry collection Chamber Music and Other Poems. Worth a look.

Despite my new interest in Trade Me as a distribution vehicle, I’ve decided to wait and buy my copy of Private Detective at the HeadworX Christmas party, where it will be launched along with two new HeadworX collections: L E Scott’s Speaking in Tongues and Dream Boat: Selected Poems by Tony Beyer.


harvey molloy said...

Thanks for this Helen as I'm not familiar with Kilmog books and I haven't heard of selling new books on TradeMe before either. Good idea. I'm enjoying the blog.

peajayar said...

I am interested in the idea of selling new books on Trademe too, as I am self-publishing a novel. This is a great blog for anyone like me, interested in all aspects of publishing and writing.
Pat Rosier

Anonymous said...

thanks for your comments Harvey, could you help out a new blogger and mention my blog? There are images and sample poems of some of my recent publications, and will be putting most up there over time.



Helen Rickerby said...

Oh wow! Pleased to see you've got a website now. I'll definitely mention it when I get back to blogging.