The last blog on this subject, posted on 18/12/17, was titled: History in the Making in Children’s Books Soon to be Published. The legend, as a reminder, has been published in both English and in the Dravuni dialect.
Much has happened since then. Publication, dated 2017, was done through the Institute of Education (IOE) of the University of the South Pacific (USP). Dr Ruth Toumu’a of the IOE was the books’ Editor. Quality Print of Suva, Fiji was responsible for printing.
The books’ launch was on 13 October 2018. My co-author, Ema Tavola, was in Fiji for that. She also curated a pop-up exhibition to mark the launching, which was well attended. The exhibition was kindly hosted by the USP’s Oceania Centre of Arts, Culture and Pacific Studies. The exhibition remained open for a week.
The Fiji Times ably covered the event. An article: ‘Children’s book launch’ was published on the same day as the launch. Two more articles about Ema’s work were published subsequently: ‘Art reflects who we are’ on 19 October 2018, and ‘Showcasing Pacific Art’ on 28 October 2018. The latter touched on Ema’s production of ‘A Maternal Lens’ planned for the 4th international Biennial of Casablanca in Morocco from October to December later that year. All the articles were penned by Ms Ana Madigibuli.
Sale and marketing of the books started before the launch. The IOE, at first, was selling the books from its premises in the USP campus. The IOE has now arranged with the USP Bookshop to stock and sell the books. The authors have their own means of marketing: privately, through art-related events domestically and abroad and through their own arrangements on Dravuni Island to cater for cruise tourists who visit the island regularly. Another point of sale locally is under discussion.
All sales presently are geared towards the recovery of publication costs by IOE. However, that will end soon after the sale of all the copies currently being held by the authors. A future sale and marketing arrangement has been proposed by the IOE. The authors will take this up soon with the Institute.