And we continue to be a place for reviews of local work. Dionne Christian (former deputy editor of Canvas and Arts/Books Editor for the New Zealand Herald) is the Reviews Editor for Kete. She is always keen to hear from people with a specialist interest in or knowledge of Aotearoa books who are keen to review or compile helpful articles directing readers to our country’s books.
Kete aims to translate approximately 25% of its reviews into te reo Māori, a service which may be of interest to library users.
The Coalition for Books – which manages Kete – is an organisation formed in 2019 encompassing a number of key organisations in literature in Aotearoa. As such, the Coalition has been successful in accessing funding to continue review work for Kete in the first half of 2021 (at least), which means that reviewers are remunerated for their work. Prospective reviewers should contact Dionne Christian at firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief background paragraph, outlining relevant qualifications or experience, specific interests or expertise (e.g. specific genre of interest, science fiction, young adult fiction, etc.) and – if available – a sample (or link to a piece) of their written work. She is especially keen to hear from those with an interest in Young Adult and science fiction/speculative fiction.
The Coalition has an agreement with Stuff that means reviews from Kete are reproduced in print and online by Stuff, and therefore all reviewers are asked to sign a contract outlining the standard fees for 400-600 word and 1000+ word reviews, along with acceptance that the copyright of reviews belongs with the Coalition, the moral right is the reviewers, and that the Coalition may share
the Review with other publishers, in which case the Coalition will require the Reviewer be attributed, but the Reviewer will not be entitled to further payment or royalty.
The parties acknowledge that there may be re-publication on social media and accept that the Coalition has no responsibility for the adequacy of attribution in those circumstances. All reviewers are paid on acceptance of the review for publication by Dionne Christian.
Reviews can be submitted in a variety of forms – personal response is welcome (see examples here: https://www.ketebooks.co.nz/all-book-reviews/nouns-verbs-etc-fiona-farrell and https://www.ketebooks.co.nz/all-book-reviews/navigating-the-stars-witi-ihimaera-www.ketebooks.co.nz/all-book-reviews/navigating-the-stars-witi-ihimaera-lmz9z ) and a positioning of the work in question within the NZ literary landscape is always welcome. Kete is designed for the average reader of New Zealand books – we aim to highlight new publications on a regular basis, and list all recently published books in New Zealand as per data from Nielsen. We will also add in details for self-published works if authors/publishers contact us but encourage everyone to ensure they list details of their work with Nielsen for accuracy and completeness.
The search function under New Books is worth playing around with as we try to tag books with as many useful identifiers as we can.
You can also subscribe to the Kete weekly newsletter which highlights new publications, new reviews on Kete, and new reviews elsewhere in the media of New Zealand books. Kete also publishes the latest bestseller lists for New Zealand books on a weekly basis, and this is included in the newsletter on a Thursday lunchtime.
Kete also houses a calendar of literary events which may be of use to local libraries.
We are always open to suggestions from users and contributors – and we look forward to hearing from the libraries of Aotearoa!