Penguin Random House New Zealand is the editorially independent subsidiary of the global publisher Penguin Random House and Aotearoa’s largest local publisher, based right here in Auckland. We have a full in-house editorial, production and design team, plus on-site publicity and marketing experts, and the largest sales team in New Zealand covering every chain and independent bookseller up and down the country.
We hold the largest overall market share in New Zealand and are proud to publish many of our country’s most celebrated writers of fiction, non-fiction, children’s and Māori books. We are actively seeking fresh voices, interesting ideas and great writers to bring to audiences across Aotearoa, Australia and the world — including through exciting international, translation, film and TV rights deals and in all formats, including ebooks and audiobooks.
What we're looking for:
Fiction, Non-fiction and Children’s Books
As you can see from our website, Penguin Random House NZ publishes a wide range of literary and commercial fiction and non-fiction for adults and a variety of books for children. We are open to submissions for most types of books for the general market, from biography to business to baby books, cookbooks to all sorts of other lifestyle subjects, adult fiction to Māoritanga, and much in between. However, currently we are not considering poetry, romance, adult fantasy, adult science fiction, crime novels, educational text books or scripts. Please note that we are not currently accepting manuscripts from outside New Zealand unless by a New Zealand author or of special relevance to this part of the world.
How to submit:
To submit electronically:
- Please email a Word file of your completed manuscript (for fiction and children’s books) or your book proposal (for non-fiction) to email@example.com
- You must include one of the following keywords (in bold below) in the subject line of your email:
Fiction — for fiction manuscripts
NF — for non-fiction submissions
YA — for young adult submissions
Children’s — for children’s picture books, children’s non-fiction, or junior fiction manuscripts.
If in doubt, don’t panic, just put your best guess and we can pass your submission to the right person to consider.
- Along with your submission, please include in the body of your email.
• Your name
• Contact details including phone number and address
• A rough word count of the work
• A brief summary (no more than 200 words)
• A brief author bio (two or three sentences)
• Details of any previous publishing history and/or writing awards you’ve received, details of any social media followers you may have, and for non-fiction submissions any expertise you may have in your subject area
• An indication of whether the manuscript has been sent to other publishers
• An indication of whether you’ve previously submitted a proposal to Penguin Random House (if so, give details).
- Also include the following:
• for fiction: a synopsis (i.e. a brief but full outline of the plot)
• for non-fiction: an overview, a contents list, a sample chapter, a list of possible illustrations (if applicable).
To submit by mail:
- Post the material detailed above to: Penguin Random House, Private Bag 102902, North Shore, Auckland 0745.
- Please note, once considered, your submission will go into the paper recycling unless you send a stamped, addressed envelope for return.
Note: at submission stage do NOT send original artwork (it is too precious to risk and might not be the ideal dimension, style or content for the final book). While we are happy to consider copies of sample work, we often commission artists, so do not think you have to supply illustrative material when you submit your manuscript or proposal.
Do you need an agent?
While we do of course welcome work from agents, you can submit your work to us directly. The majority of the submissions we receive come directly from their authors. We are always interested in hearing from brands and businesses looking for partners in their book publishing ventures.
There are no hard and fast rules but, as a guideline, the average novel is about 80,000 words.
What happens next?
You will receive an automatic acknowledgement of receipt of your submission the first time you send it to us — but you won’t get subsequent ones if you send further emails; however, our system will have received them.
Once we have read, considered and discussed your work, we will be in touch with either a rejection, a suggestion for further work to be done for reconsideration of the work, or an offer of publication. It can take up to four months to reach that point, particularly when we have a lot of submissions arriving at once. But, rest assured, we take each one seriously, so please be patient and don’t be disheartened if we turn you down — we publish a limited number of books each year so have to be selective.
Unfortunately, due to the large amount of manuscripts we receive, we are unable to provide detailed feedback. We strongly recommend that writers visit the New Zealand Society of Authors website for wide-ranging advice and information about writing and getting published in New Zealand. If you are interested in writing and need general advice on how to begin, browse the internet or your local library for books that will help you with your genre of interest. Writers’ groups can also offer assistance with the writing process and manuscript assessment. If your book is accepted, the following process will be followed:
- You will be sent a contract, then the publication date will be scheduled.
- Once the final manuscript is sent, there may be a request for some rewriting or major points to be addressed.
- Next, the manuscript is edited, usually by a freelancer out of house.
- We take in the changes and design the book into pages along with any illustrative material.
- We send the page proofs to the author for a read and another set goes to a completely fresh proofreader.
- Once that round of corrections is done, we send the next lot of proofs to the author again and also to yet another fresh reader.
- There is often another round of proofs and corrections after that.
- In the interim, we will have also consulted the author on cover designs, and sent the final design and blurb for approval.
- The book will go off to print and then the publicity and marketing departments start developing their strategies, our sales team sells the book to shops around the country, and when we have the rights our rights department pitches the book to film makers and other publishers offshore.