Wednesday
Aug082012

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy your books?

NEW ZEALAND: Our books are available through all New Zealand bookstores and lots of great designer giftstores, children's shops and galleries. You can find your nearest bookstore in New Zealand here: booksellers.co.nz 

ONLINE: and of course you can buy direct from us - Shoppers from anywhere in the world can head along to our online store: dreamboatbooks.com. We ship worldwide, and offer free shipping to NZ and Australia.


Our books are also available around the world from these great publishers

AUSTRALIA: HarperCollinsPublishers

GERMANY: Carlsen Verlag & Lappan Verlag

FRANCE: Milan Editions

SOUTH KOREA: Bookgoodcome Publishing Co

 

Can I get a book signed?

Yes, you can. When you buy a book from us online just include a message in the notes field when you are checking out with the name of the person you would like the book/s signed to. Or send us an email after you have placed your order. 

 

Do you do school visits / in-class skype chats / events?

Yes. Mark loves to get in front of an audience and occasionally (when she's not feeling too shy) Rowan does too!

SCHOOL APPEARENCES & IN-CLASS SKYPE CHATS:
Contact us directly or you can go through the Book Council's ‘Writers in Schools Programme’

EVENTS & TOURS:
Contact us directly - mark@dreamboatboooks.com

 

What books have you done?

2013 
THE BOY AND THE CHERRY TREE
Storylines Notable Book Awards List 

2012 
I LOVE LEMONADE
Highly Commended, PANZ New Zealand Book Design Awards

2011
TWO LITTLE BUGS
Winner of Gerard Ried Award - Book of the Year, PANZ New Zealand Book Design Awards
Winner of Best Children's Book, PANZ New Zealand Book Design Awards
White Raven Award 2012

2010
BAA BAA SMART SHEEP
Winner of Children's Choice Award, New Zealand Post Children's Book Awards

2010
THE SILLIEST DREAM
Mark did this book with a different illustrator, Ingrid Berzins, who also lives on Waiheke Island.

2008
CORK AND THE BOTTLE

2006
CORK ON THE OCEAN

 

Who Publishes your books?

NEW ZEALAND: We do! 

AUSTRALIA: HarperCollinsPublishers.

GERMANY: Carlsen Verlag & Lappan Verlag.

FRANCE: Milan Editions.

SWEDEN: Glimra Forlag

SOUTH KOREA: Bookgoodcome Publishing Co.

 

So you self-publish in New Zealand then?

You could call it that. We like to call it 'independent-publishing' - in the same way that the movie and music industries have thriving independent scenes. 

 

Why have you chosen that process?

We genuinely love being involved in all parts of the creative and business process of publishing. We've tried several options along the way to see what would work for us, but it was our vision from the outset to create a niche business in New Zealand with a view to working with international publishers overseas to bring our books to the rest of the world. 

When we first started we were in the fortunate position of having a few key skills between us that made the prospect of independent publishing somewhat less daunting. The experience of running our own design agency (which included account and print management as well as copywriting, design and production) gave us a bit of a head start. 

 

Would you publish my book?

Sorry, but we are soley focused on producing our own creative work for now.

 

Can you give me some advice on self-publishing?

The prospect of independent publishing is an exciting one and we are contacted regularly about how we go about making it work. We don't believe there is one ‘right way’ of doing things and our experience is limited to the picture book genre which is very different to say that of young adult fiction. That said, here's some links that tell some of the story and answer some of the common questions we get asked. Hope it's of some help ..

DESIGNERS GAMBLE PAYS OFF: New Zealand Herald, July 28th, 2012

SELF-PUBLISHING: THE PROS AND CONS IN PRACTICE
New Zealand Author Magazine, Issue 282, August/September 2011

And if self-publishing isn't for you but you have a manuscript or book idea you want to show a publisher, hop along to the PANZ website for some info and suggestions on how to get your work in front of the right people

 

How did you start writing picture books?

(Mark) I had been singing and playing in a band through my early 20s and started writing my own songs – acoustic, somewhat folkie sort of stuff. I spent hours and hours playing with melody and rhythm but it was the craft of lyric writing that I enjoyed playing with the most. I’m not sure if I had ever seriously considered writing picture books but, just short of turning 30 I spontaneously wrote a short story over a couple of hours about a young boy trying to find the courage to cross a river to reach a beautiful tree.

Although at the time I wasn’t entirely sure why, it was a very powerful experience for me, leaving me both exhilarated and emotionally drained all at once. It dawned on me over the coming months that I had quite unconsciously written my own story – essentially a boy with a strong desire to be somewhere else, doing something different, only to be held back by my own fears. I was already hooked on the beauty of words but the way in which this story revealed to me my own state of being really captured my imagination. I personally love stories that can be interpreted on a number of levels: symbolically, emotionally, spiritually and literally. Striking a balance between these interpretations is a fascination I enjoy experimenting with in almost all of my writing.

 

In a husband and wife partnership how has it worked … who has the ideas, is it illustrations first or text first?

(Mark) Like any marriage, Rowan tells me what to do and I do it (lol). But seriously, it’s a process of total collaboration which usually starts with a completed first draft of a story idea I've had. Rowan then edits it – we argue, we laugh, have lunch, laugh and argue some more – then make changes as need be. We repeat this process when Rowan comes to illustrate the book. For me it is a real gift having Rowan to share my writing with, not to mention the opportunity to be so involved in all aspects of book design and illustration. I trust her inspirations and consider her an excellent editor of my work. On those rare occasions where we find ourselves knocking heads harder than usual over a particular concept or idea, a better idea inevitably squeezes out the side. It’s a fun, fully collaborative process that is easy most days, only occasionally difficult, and one I wouldn’t wish to change for anything.

 

What advice would you give an aspiring author?

(Mark) Well, writing is an incredibly personal thing but if I was to offer any advice to aspiring authors it would be these two things …

1. Don’t set out to please everyone. Truth is, when I write, I set out to please no one but myself! I do this not because I'm a self-absorbed bore but because I want to have fun with my writing and to feel completely free when exploring whatever is on my mind. By not giving a hoot about what other people might think I also have a chance of finding a clear and authentic voice, which I believe is necessary if your writing is to resound in the hearts of others.

2. Don’t be afraid of the editing process. I was pretty precious about my writing when I started out – what do you mean it’s too long? Why don’t you like that idea? I’m not changing that! No way! Nowadays, I’ve learned to enjoy the editing process for the creative opportunity it represents and have a real appreciation the refinement it brings to my writing.