Scoop Review of Books

Book Television Is Coming

Book television, aka The Book Show, is coming to Aotearoa New Zealand, on screen at FaceTV, now on the Sky platform, as well as online.

Carole Beu and Graham Beattie in a promo video for their upcoming show.

Carole Beu and Graham Beattie in a promo video for their upcoming show.

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. The Book Show will feature “author interviews, reviews and great reads from both NZ contributors and visiting international book people.”

Faith says the show will screen at prime time (no day set yet), with a daytime repeat. It will also be available online at FaceTV’s YouTube channel, Beattie’s blog and Carol Beu’s bookstore website.

Book lovers may remember Lindsey Dawson’s show Let’s Talk, that featured books and authors, among other things, and ran on FaceTV for two years, ending with last year’s digital switchover.

Dawson told Scoop Review of Books that the show had NZ On Air support, but that ended because funding can only cover shows on free-to-air platforms, and since the switchover, FaceTV has only been available on Sky, which requires a paid subscription. The show was something of a labour of love for Dawson, who said the pay barely covered petrol to get the studio.

“I do miss it, as I met some great creative and gifted people, and it kept me up with the play on various fronts.”

Dawson says she’ll still do the occasional interview for the show “if authors pop up in whom I’m really interested or have a previous link with”.

“It would be great if there was a well-resourced local book show on free-to-air TV, but mainstream TV is simply not interested,” Dawson said. “For them it’s all about how much advertising they can sell around shows, or how much corporate sponsorship is available, and with books/arts/ culture in general, that is thin on the ground in NZ.”

“However, Carole Beu and Graham Beattie will be great on the new show at presenting the best of what’s on offer in print, given Carole’s long history in book selling and Graham’s prominence as an all-round publishing expert,” she said.

– by Alison McCulloch