TO A large extent digital publishing through Amazon’s CreateSpace solved the problem of producing the Crocodile Prize anthologies at a reasonable cost.
It also led to the creation of Pukpuk Publications to publish books by Papua New Guinean writers. We have 37 titles now and still more in the pipeline.
There are still a few annoying problems however. The biggest is finding an efficient distribution system.
There are no wholesale networks for books in Papua New Guinea that we can easily tap into and we have had to fall back on direct deliveries using the unreliable postal service and a couple of freight companies.
This is a fraught process because our books have to run the gauntlet of inefficient, incompetent and occasionally kleptomaniac staff in these organisations.
We can get the books quickly and efficiently as far as Port Moresby but after that it is in the lap of the gods whether they make it to their intended recipients. At the moment one in five shipments goes missing.
That is a huge cost for a non-profit publisher being run on half a shoestring.
For those Papua New Guinean authors who buy bulk copies of their books and are lucky enough for them to survive the incompetents and thieves they still have no way of distributing them within their own provinces and wider into the country at large beyond doing it themselves.
How the problem of distribution might be solved is still an enduring mystery. Companies that distribute other goods countrywide are not interested in helping and neither is the government.
We are, however, taking another small step towards improving the system.
A new website has been set up dedicated to Pukpuk Publications using another bit of our battered old half a shoestring. The link is http://pukpukpublications.com/
We know this will make it easier for people outside Papua New Guinea to find our books and we are hoping it might also help people in Papua New Guinea too.
We also hope it might lift the profile of Papua New Guinean literature a half inch or so. We’ll see how it goes.
If you want to check out our new website try the link here and maybe order one of our books from Amazon.
We are also interested in what you think of the site and whether you encounter any glitches or problems.