I had the pleasure of meeting the passionate and bubbly Louise de Varga at a speaking event by Joanna Penn last year. Since then, I’ve met her a few times and we’ve become wonderful friends.
Louise is the lady behind the NZ Independent Book Fair (NZIBF), and is here to discuss the ins and outs of this event. I’ll be there, and I think it will be a fantastic opportunity for indie authors in NZ to learn lots, find out about business services, network with other writers and, of course, sell some books!
Over to you, Louise:
I’m passionate about people and books. It was after getting my own New Zealand themed children’s picture book rejected a number of times that I decided to get it independently published. It was then, with new book in hand, I realised the hard part had only just begun. I discovered getting my book into stores down-right frustrating. I then had the idea of the NZ Independent Book Festival to get Kiwi readers and authors connecting directly with each other.
The first festival was held in August 2014 in a couple of historical buildings in Devonport, not far from where I live. I expected only 30 authors to take up a stall so was surprised and pleased to welcome over 90 exhibitors. They came from all over New Zealand and were not only authors with books covering a huge range of genres but also literary businesses assisting writers to become published authors. Over 750 visitors attended the event.
The festival gave us lots of positive feedback but also some constructive criticism which in turn has helped to make it work better for more people. So in October 2015 the NZ Independent Book Festival has been shifted to the better suited North Shore Events Centre. It offers easy accessibility to the motorway, bigger exhibitor space, plenty of parking and an onsite cafe’. Other advantages are the separate room for seminars, speakers and workshops as well as an outdoor area for rides and entertainment for all ages.
More and more people are now understanding the advantages of independently or self-publishing their own books using this type of publishing platform, be it in printed format or eBooks. The festival offers a great way to connect enthusiastic readers with enthusiastic authors. Thinking about selling books. Who is the best person to promote and sell their book than the author themselves? The plan for the NZIBF is for it to continue to grow and become the premier book event of the year, catering to readers and writers of all genres. With the support of independently and self-published authors and private literary businesses many more manuscripts will become the books found under readers’ noses.
A bit about Louise…
I’m a married mum of two teenage boys. I wrote my first story for my youngest boy over 10 years ago. Since then I have written many other stories with my Kapowai the Dragonfly character as well as short stories and poems. I won a creative writing scholarship in 2013 which gave me the courage to independently publish my first book.