FIRST CHAPTERS Shining a light on new New Zealand books in limbo

Thursday 9 April 2020

New Zealand publishers have had to delay the publication of many New Zealand books in recent weeks, most of which they anticipate releasing to fanfare in May 2020. So how do readers find out what’s coming from New Zealand publishers, and how do we keep desperate readers satiated in these days of lockdown and closed bookshops?

Melanie Laville-Moore, Chair of The Coalition for Books, is keen to see New Zealand publishers have a place to showcase the fantastic books that are waiting to burst onto the book scene as soon as bookshops open.

The Coalition for Books now has a dedicated page on its website as a home for First Chaptersnew New Zealand books that have been temporarily halted thanks to Covid-19, a place to go for people who are craving something fresh:

Yesterday I lucked out at a dairy with yeast, and now this house has a secure future in focaccia. And yeast’s shareability is handy in my wee street (careful wiped-down exchanges into neutral ground). It strikes me that First Chapters is yeast. As a reader and bookseller, my current stash of books is buoying me along, and of course I’m all for backlist and re-reading. But like so many readers, and definitely ALL booksellers, I do have an insatiable appetite for what’s on the near horizon. First Chapters will fulfil this hunger for a glimpse of the new stuff. It’ll keep us going until the book – the equivalent of a perfectly crusted sourdough – hits the streets. Tilly Lloyd, Unity Books Wellington

New Zealand publishers who want their books featured should send high resolution images including an author photo, book cover, blurb and PDF of the first chapter of their book, along with any pre-order information to

First Chapters will be launched on Thursday 9 April at

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