IDRC Pan Asia Networking sponsorship

Local and Regional Book Publishing for Local and Regional Information

By:  Linda Crowl,
Publications Fellow, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, presented at 1997 Waigani Seminar

This paper reflects research in progress (through documents, interviews and surveys and which is by no means complete) and years of experience in publishing in the South Pacific and in the United States. First, I give a brief history of book publishing in the Pacific Islands. Then I discuss the mana of books and book publishing as a profession and as an industry. I follow by addressing the ‘resource gap’ and the ‘knowledge gap’. Finally, I offer some conclusions and support for book publishing ventures.


I analyse book publishing in five phases, which have overlapped. None of these phases has ended or is likely to end. These phases are publishing by religious organizations, colonial governments, independent governments, transnational agencies (regional and international governmental and non-governmental organizations), and individuals and firms.

Religious organizations

Member of the London Missionary Society began publishing in the Society Islands in 1817; the first publication was a spelling book. Soon afterward, publishing by the LMS and other religious orders occurred in other islands: 1822 in Hawaii; 1831 in Tonga; 1834 in the Cook Islands; 1837 in the Gambier Islands; 1839 in Fiji; 1844 in Wallis; 1848 in Vanuatu; 1852 in the Loyalty Islands; 1854 in New Caledonia; 1856 in the Caroline Islands; 1860 in the Marshall Islands and 1863 in the Gilbert Islands (Lingenfelter 1967).

Many church histories contain references to their publishing activities. Because churches were involved not only in religious proselytizing but also, as importantly, in teaching literacy and numeracy, then later subject matter, they produced grammars, readers and textbooks. (Note above that the first publication was a spelling book). Contrary to what might be expected for early efforts among small, semi-literate populations, the print runs of these early books were quite large: e.g., from 1817 to 1822 Ellis printed 20,000 books (Lingenfelter 1967:24).

The first book published in Suau was intended to be "a general invitation to the fathers and mothers of New Guinea to send their children to Kwato to be taught" (F.W. Walker quoted in Smith 1987:12). Books worked in two ways: not only did missionaries want to persuade people to their way of life, belief systems and government but also Pacific Islanders wanted the knowledge associated with books. Kilage (Kilage nd: 49-51) wrote about the importance of learning to read and to write, about the handicap of illiteracy and about the need for educated people to help underprivileged people. All was not tedious lessons: hymn books were much sought after, given the oral tradition of Pacific Islanders (Lingenfelter 1967:22).

Religious groups remain the largest publishers with the best networks in the Pacific Islands. Kristen Press in Papua New Guinea has printed tens of thousands of copies of single books and has a list of thousands of titles. Three thousand copies of the history of the Catholic Church in the Cook Islands sold out in months, in a country with a population of 18,000, meaning 1 in 6 people bought this book! In the Pacific Islands where aid dependency levels are high and expectations of handouts equally elevated, it is significant that religious organizations have no trouble selling their publications.

Bibles and other religious works set standards for written and printed languages (Garrett 1982, 1992 1997). Literacy came through the Bible for many Pacific Islanders, until colonial government schools replaced mission schools, but generally not until late in the colonial era. Church schools are still a major source of formal education.

Colonial Governments

The attraction of books helped the missionaries exert influence, which in turned paved the way for commercial and political interests (Lingenfelter 1967 : viii-ix). Colonial governments were not slow to see the advantages of publishing; laws circulated on paper were less vulnerable to interpretation than laws passed orally from one person to the next. The field of education was no different:

Within the colonial context the type of education provided for subject peoples can be seen more as serving the requirements of those who provided it rather than those for whom it was provided. … The knowledge, skills and attitudes considered appropriate, and thus the organisation of schooling,, the methods of instruction, the resources allocated and the extent to which schooling was made available tended to depend on the attitudes of those possessing political and economic power. ... Education, then, was a means of political, economic and social control in the colonial state" (Smith 1987:vii).

No doubt, "resources allocated" referred to books as well as other things. For example, the Papuan School Reader pointed out the savagery of former times and the safety and industriousness of the colonial era (Smith 1987:70-71). Many of the books produced during colonial times emphasized the status of natives versus colonizers, loyalty to the colonial flag and civilization of the colonizer. The same is equally true of any government – city, state, centralized: it pushes its interests, its agenda, its self-justification.

Independent Governments

On one hand, as socialist governments in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdompushed countries toward independence or as conservative government in Chile, France, Indonesia and the United States reinforced dependency, they continued to use books to convey their messages and to persuade their audiences. The methodology differed as did the goals of statehood.

On the other hand, Pacific Islanders agitated for self-government, and with it press freedom. Speaking of newspapers, Raraka emphasized

the greater need in Melanesia for the development of a Melanesian press as an essential priority. … for the creation of genuine national unity and self-identity among Solomon Islanders.

… The gaps in the differences of outlook, and judgement in value differences, could very well be remedied by the introduction of a truly Melanesian press (Raraka 1973:437).

Press freedom remains as much as issue after independence as it was before, and it does not correlate with any political status, as some dependent territories have much greater press freedom than do some independent countries in the region. "Differences" are not remedied, though perhaps they are reduced. Nevertheless, as tangible evidence, the printed word helps to legitimise human action. Melanesia would be more Melanesian and Solomon Islands would be specific and united if documents, newspapers and books said so. Not to over-rate the role of publishing, it does contribute to this process.

Independent governments in the Pacific Islands have inherited theories of communication and development as well as systems of publication and have continued them. It has been in the interests of those in power to promote the idea of nationhood through publications. Independent governments took over colonial government printers and began publishing their own textbooks for schools. They have also supported other publishing projects, such as coffee-table books about their countries, but published beyond the Pacific Islands. E.g., the Fiji Visitors Bureau sells copies of Children of the Sun and the Uncharted Sea, but does not sell any other books - not even those published locally by Fiji authors. Visions of the Pacific and Destination PNG - Papua New Guinea’s 25th anniversary book were published at the requested of the Cook Islands and Papua New governments, respectively, beyond the Pacific Islands for vast amounts of money (See Crowl 1996: 39).

Regional and International Organizations

As some colonial governments left the Pacific and as other remained, they established regional organizations and participated in projects in the Pacific Islands sponsored by international organizations. Both governmental and non-governmental agencies use printed paper to spread their messages. For example, the South Pacific Commission is one of the largest publishers in the Pacific Islands. It objectives have been educational and informational; it has published schoolbooks, technical papers, health reports. Relative to the number of publications, those by Pacific Islanders are few.

This does not pertain to every regional and international organization in the Pacific Islands, and the number of Pacific Islander authors published by these organizations is increasing. Over the past 20+-years, the Institute of Pacific Studies, the South Pacific Creative Arts Society and the South Pacific Social Sciences Association have published over 2,500 Pacific Islander authors in more than 500 books.


Although Europeans began publishing in the Pacific Islands, indigenous people have been involved in press work since its inception, and over time they have taken over more management and marketing. Availability of personal computers, machinery, and how-to manuals means that the mechanics of producing books are no longer the craft of a single guild but a tool of interdisciplinary nature. Access to technology and to information reduces the hierarchy of book publishing: writer, typist, typesetter, layout artist, graphic designer, photographer, proofreader, publisher, salesman can become one. Individuals can publish for niche markets. Personal computers have increased the production of local authors and local publishers and their control over the printed page.

Individuals in the Pacific Islands have been publishers:

Grace Molisa founded Blackstone Publications of Vanuatu.

Pesi Fonua founded Vava’u Press of Tonga.

Liufau Saulale, also of Tonga, has published his own sermons.

Kauraka Kauraka founded Sunblossom Press in the Cook Islands (which may cease publishing

In view of his recent untimely death).

Emma Kruse Va’ai has published her own books in Samoa.

There are many others.


The persuasive power of the written and printed word has been apparent from its inception in the Pacific Islands, as elsewhere. Mariner (Martin 1991:91:94) described how Finau and other Tongans were amazed that Mariner and other sailors know one other’s thoughts by reading. Missionaries in the Society Islands believed operating presses would increase their status, and Ellis wrote, "there is no act of Pomare’s life … that will be remembered with more grateful feeling than the circumstances of his printing the first page of the first book published in the South Sea Islands" (Lingenfelter 1967:8, 13). Book publishing, since its inception in the Pacific Islands, has been a powerful means of communication (Maretu 1983:58). Buck (1994:19) wrote that Christians were called kai-parau (book-eaters, from Tahitian parau) and the children stole from plantations in order to be taken to the police in Christian settlements, where they were punished; then they attended school. They took school books and hymn books home with them and formed their own classes in the valleys. Other people ordered and paid for New Testaments by waving fishing nets and making arrowroot (p.22).

Rev Dr John Carrett has also spoken about the tangible evidence of mana, that people could see the word of God, the Bible. Not only is knowledge powerful but as symbols of knowledge – like sceptres, crowns, feather girdles and national flags, books themselves are powerful. Books are status symbols. In the Pacific Islands, books are kept on shelves, carried, even hung on string from the ceiling by illiterate or semi-literate people. This is no different from people in Washington, DC, who buy Henry Kissinger’s latest book and keep it on the coffee table. They don’t read the book cover to cover, but they can display to their visitors that they have the book, Books are bought in friendship and esteem, even books that people don’t understand. Books are academic currency; they are used for research, for raises, for promotions.


Role of the Publisher

The publisher’s tasks include generating manuscripts, production and marketing. Generating manuscripts requires listening to what people have to say to figure out their research interests, then helping to formulate research questions and to write an outline. It also requires constant follow-up, badgering people for drafts and sending the drafts back with thorough comments in a timely manner. Production demands attention to detail and methodical approaches to the same text over and over again. That is, substance, grammar, spelling and punctuation have to be checked at the written stage, in word processing, typesetting, layout, page proofs, indexing. Covers have to be composed and checked. Printing has to be monitored. It is difficult to catch mistakes after seeing so much copy. Bills have to be paid all along the way, and mistakes in billing are common. Marketing takes homework and initiative. I want to address the last because it is least known aspect of publishing.

Many,. many years ago in Papua New Guinea, Benjamin Danks said, "The creation of a literature is no light task. When created, there still remains the equally difficult task of inducing the people to avail themselves of it" (quoted in Smith 1987:11).. This statement is no less relevant today. There is little point to printing books if they do not leave the warehouse, but, contrary to popular opinion, books do not sell themselves. For marketing, publishers have to create their audience. This aspect is often overlooked - particularly by writers who think they have written a bestseller or academics who think no further than their resumes. Distribution is as important as production, if not more so. Good relationships with bookshops, curriculum advisers and hotel managers are essential to keep books in the marketplace. No one knows a book better than its author; therefore, enlisting the author’s assistance in selling the book is a must. However, the onus falls on the publisher, for, having made the financial investment in producing the book, he must sell it.

The State of Publishing Today

Statistics about book publishing in the Pacific Islands are few and far between. Most of the tables in the UNESCO Statistical Yearbook (UNESCO 1996) had only Fiji listed, with the note that data for Fiji referred only to books published by the Ministry of Education and the government printing department. There was so little information that I could hardly compare it.

TABLE:  Books exported and imported by some Pacific Island countries US$ millions.
COUNTRY Exports Imports Exports Imports Exports Imports
Fiji 0.0 2.7        
French Polynesia 0.0 2.8        
New Caledonia 2.7 63.4 3.9 87.4 9.3 99.2
Papua New Guinea     0.0 5.1    
Samoa   0.3   0.3    

Source: UNESCO 1996.

So, I have tried to obtain statistics produced a little closer to home. However, record keeping is not thorough in the Pacific Islands. For example, I checked allocation of ISBNs to get a rough idea of the number of new books being published. An International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a unique number assigned to a book which identifies the group (e.g., Papua New Guinea or the South Pacific), the publisher, the title and a checking number. These numbers assist the book trade and librarians with order, stock control and accounting..

TABLE: ISBNs issued by USP Library

Year Number of ISBNS issued/number of publishers

  1. 320 / 13
  2. 68 / 3 1,488 /18 and 19
  3. 878 / 8 627 / 7
  4. 265 / 9 285 / 8
  5. 219 / 11 170 / 7 new publishers (old not given)
  6. 367 /11 361 / 10
  7. 671 / 18 620 / 12 new publishers (old not given)
  8. 317 / 5 new publishers (old not given)
  9. 164 / 14 new publishers (old not given)
  10. 16 new publishers (old not given)
  11. 461 / 14 new publishers (old not given)

Source: USP Library nd-a, nd-b, 1988-1997

My analysis was put off by the disagreement in figures from one annual report, to the next annual report, to notes in the ISBN Register. Obviously, this merits further awareness of the methodology I collecting the date. There may have been attempts to straighten the records in later years and to publish new facts. I am not blaming librarians for the state of these records. Publishers do not always request ISBNs from the USP Library. Numbers are given in batches, with little knowledge of when the numbers are used because the publishers do not report when they have assigned a number (USP Library nd-a, nd-b)..

The file reflects that, by and large, ISBNs are given to organizations; thus, although technological changes enable individuals to publish and create more information, public awareness about new publications and about support mechanisms for new publications may be slim. The ISBN Registry involves bureaucratic red tape, but it does help book sales. It might work better as national registries, though.

In the course of my research, I am compiling a directory and bibliography of Pacific Island publishers. I have done this in libraries, bookshops and offices as I have travelled in the region and the work is nowhere near complete. However, I can draw some useful information and pose interesting questions based on this research:

  • Publication has been greater since independence for the Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.
  • However, my data shows similar correlation over the same periods in dependent territories - such as American Samoa, French Polynesia, Guam, New Caledonia and Tokelau, as well as regional organizations. This leads me to believe that publication growth may not be so much dependent on sovereignty as technology – despite what is written about the push toward independence fostering creativity and productivity.
  • My data is scare on Micronesia excluding Kiribati and Nauru because I have not had the time to research there lately and because, until a few years ago when the Marshall Islands joined USP, the USP Library would not have given priority to collecting material from the area. However, based on what I have seen, the number of published non-Micronesian authors is greater than that of Micronesian published authors in the area.
  • My initial thought, that Papua New Guinea as a country would have fewer publications than other Pacific Island countries, has been swamped by evidence to the contrary. This makes me ask whether publication correlates with population more than education percentages. Papua New Guinea’s population is equal to that of the rest of the Pacific Islands combined. Or if perhaps, because Papua New Guinea is an anthropological, botanical, and linguistic bonanza, much publishing has been driven by hordes of expatriate scholars.
  • In all cases, the number of publications by individuals as distinct from organiztions has grown. This may neglect education levels and technology changes.

Despite the popular image of few books to buy, and perhaps a corollary assumption that books are not being published in the Pacific Islands, publishing is thriving. Williams (1986) estimated that 30,000 new publications appeared annually in the Pacific Islands; that was 11 years ago. The volume has increased since then. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t hear about a new publication somewhere in the region. These are books by tertiary institutions, government curriculum units, churches, advocacy groups and individuals. I hear about these books because I am in the book business. Although I do see more advertising, such as launching announcements and newspaper coverage, more could be done in this very important aspect of publishing.


Is there really such a thing? The myth is that more resources will necessarily result in more research, writing and publication. ANU Press had a staff of 10 whose sole responsibility was to prepare and sell books. They received manuscripts written by top academics and typed by trained secretaries, both working in their native language. ANU Press published 12 to 15 books per year – at a loss of over $250.000 per year and closed. ANU Press had resources, and plenty of them. The problem was bureaucracy (Crocombe 1984).. In order for publishing houses to persist, the publishers themselves must be allowed to make the decisions.

The most spectacular resource that Pacific Islanders have is their knowledge about the Pacific Islands. Publishing is much more dependent on people, than on equipment and money. Publishing can be done with minimal equipment. Books can be hand lettered on stencils, typewritten and photocopied, typeset and bound. All these methods count as books in my analysis. The only real resource gap is knowledge of publishing.


I address impediments to, and opportunities for, closing the knowledge gap. I look at local, national regional and international factors and overlap among these aspects.

The Positive Side of Niche Markets

Low literacy rates, complex linguistic situations and unclear language policies among small populations complicate publishing but need not impede it. The Institute of Pacific Studies has had some spectacular and unexpected successes in selling its books. For example, more than 10,000 copies of Kiribati: Aspects of History and its translation Kiribati: Taraan Karakin by I-Kiribati authors have been sold to a population of 80,000. IPS has printed 4,000 copies of Atiu: An Island Community as well as 500 copies of its translation Atiu: E Enua E Tona Iti Tangata. Therse are by Atiuan authors and Atiu has a population of 2,000. The books mentioned here are used by schools and universities in various places around the world. Books by authors indigenous to the place being written about generally sell better than those by outsiders.

Knowledge Creation

Education starts at home and continues through school and into the workplace. Education is a question of attempting new things and learning from them. This process creates knowledge. Knowledge does not come without trial, error and practice. If society ridicules those who fail, then its members will rarely be tempted to jeopardize their position by embarking on an unknown course with unpredictable results. Impeding knowledge is a common problem.

Publishing does not happen without trial, error and practice. People have to begin somewhere – anywhere – to get into publishing. The effort of local, Third World or developing country publishing houses should not be ridiculed. If we look back in history, Asians, Europeans and North Americans had many failures before they ‘got it right’ : faulty presses, transport problems, disagreements about spelling and grammar, church versus state versus private interests, etc. Knowledge is cumulative; it does not strike like lightning. We cannot wait for knowledge to come; we must participate in creating it, and that includes experiments in publishing.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a perfect book. In any publication, every single letter and every single space count – some mean more than others – and are potential errors. Academic degrees and/or familiarity with publications do not necessarily mean that fewer mistakes will occur. For example, I routinely receive publications from the UNESCO office in Japan; they have plenty of mistakes. Letting fear of making mistakes inhibit book publishing is a great impediment to closing the knowledge gap.


Publishing involves outreach: searching for quality manuscripts, recruiting skilled labour, creating an audience for the product. If publishing is carried out by civil servants who are interested in just a pay-cheque, then it will not be dynamic, it won’t fulfil needs, it won’t produce information and it won’t create knowledge. Outreach means not bringing people to the centre, but serving the public at large. This means getting information to people. It is part of the publisher’s job to teach the public (to echo Kilage’s call for the educated to help the underprivileged, see above). This includes informing people about ISBN registry, and legal deposit where applicable. The USP Library became the designated agency for registration of International Standard Book Numbers (ISBNs) in 1987. Publishers in Fiji are required by law to deposit a copy of their publication with the National Archives of Fiji and the University of the South Pacific (Chapter 109. Libraries (Deposit of Books). An Act to Make Provision for the Deposit and Preservation of Copies of Books Printed in Fiji. P.3-4.)..

Achieving higher standards

International expectations of high ‘standards’ can inhibit people from publishing. Critique is good and helpful for publishing houses. However, let it not be confused with criticism that deters people from trying new things. If we are constantly held to standards set elsewhere, that may mean non-local information, little personal work experience and unaffordable products (See Crowl 1996:45-47). Our job as Pacific Islands publishers is to do the best we can with what we have and to stimulate and to work with participants in the process to do the best they can, i.e., typists, typesetters, photographers, graphic artists, printers and bookshop owners. It is not in anyone’ interest for Pacific Islands publishers to subsidize consistently poor performance. This is patronizing, unproductive, a bad reflection on authors as well as production people and, in the end, harmful for the image of the Pacific Islands. Rather, it is our job to foster improvement at all levels within our means.

Competition and politics

Competition can be dangerous if it leads to tunnel vision and throwing obstacles in the path of publishing. Holding (1991) discussed how slight disagreements about glottal stops kept books off store shelves in Samoa, one of the poorest countries in the region, where people are desperate for reading matter in Samoan and about Samoa. A town council in Fiji recently began a writing project; however, because the council was asking for back taxes at the same time, one of the school principals told his teachers not to participate in extracurricular activities, meaning the writing project. Nevertheless, competition among publishing houses can be healthy as it spurs people to try new things.


Corruption, lack of leadership, poor ordering of priorities and conservatism by those in power represses initiative and speeds the vicious spiral of declining quality of life for the majority of Pacific Islanders. Politics is far greater than technology in inhibiting proliferation and development of publishing.

At the Pacific Science Inter-Congress held in July in Suva, Ieremia Tabai, Secretary-General of the South Pacific Forum, said that Pacific Islands governments were neither living within their means nor being transparent and accountable. Politics, conservatism, fear of freedom of speech keep us from doing the best by our societies. It is long past time for us to re-evaluate priorities, to put more government resources into education, into sharing information, into teaching people how to create knowledge.

Duty on books

The duty of books entering Samoa is 25-50 per cent. This comes on top of the publisher’s price, shipping costs, and the overhead costs and profit of booksellers. As Samoa has one of the lowest per capita incomes of the region, the cost, relative to income, of purchasing books is prohibitively high. In a country that aspires to a higher standard of living, education is key. It people cannot afford books, education will suffer. Even institutions such as the Nelson Memorial Library, Le Univesite Aoao o Samoa, the Teachers’ College and the USP Centre and School of Agriculture cannot afford books sufficient to meet demand. I am all for importing books, as they bring knowledge from beyond the Pacific.

At the same time, I am all for producing as many books as possible within the Pacific Islands, for local consumption and for export. The costs for publishing in the Pacific Islands are substantial as all paper must be imported. Other materials are expensive also. For example, in Samoa, the duty on newsprint is 20 per cent and 60 per cent on plates, film and ink.

Governments can implement supportive policies such as business loans, no customs duties on publishing materials, subsidized postal rates, national book development plans and training opportunities. Governments can encourage freedom of the press, private sector enterprise and public libraries.

Perpetually learning and sharing information

We publishers in the Pacific Islands have much to learn, and it is very exciting to be on such a steep learning curve. We can learn from each other while choosing solutions applicable to ourselves, our organizations, our countries. Calls for a Pacific Book Council have been repeated throughout the years; we are still talking about forming such a group. This would not be a governmental organization; its members would be publishers. Its aims would include:

  • Sharing information among persons involved in publishing from authorship to distribution;
  • Lobbying Pacific Islands governments for favourable consideration of credit facilities, export incentives, training opportunities, postal rates, customs duties and freedom of the press; and
  • Making the public as well as policy makers aware that the Pacific Islands need to negotiate for concessions in global matters, such as intellectual property rights.


On this last note, I would briefly like to address copyright. This is a very complicated and disputed area of law. Few Pacific Island countries have signed copyright conventions; even fewer have enforcement measures to carry out agreements of this kind. Pacific Islanders gave benefited enormously from copyright and patent laws, e.g., for electricity, planes, computers. On the other hand the amount of piracy done in the Pacific Islands is impressive. Now, the Pacific Islands are under enormous pressure from international forces to join the World Trade Organization. By concentrating on agricultural and industrial products, the WTO is purposely obfuscating the issue of intellectual property rights. Like sugar and other commodities under Lome, the Pacific Islands must have special concessions under intellectual property rights agreements and laws. Pacific Islands peoples are far greater consumers, than producers of copyright material – as the definitions stand now. New definitions might include:

  • Oral tradition
  • Folklore
  • Provision for training lawyers in intellectual property rights.

Only if these things are included, can the Pacific Islands hope to negotiate on a somewhat leveled playing field.


Publishing is an information industry. Information, unlike other natural resources that can be mined or legged away, is infinite. As such, it can provide a greater base - thus greater potential for income - than agriculture or industry. The majority of economic reports about the Pacific Islands continue to concentrate on finite resources in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and industry. The Pacific Islands breed information, because they are so vastly different and relatively unexplored in comparison with the rest of the world. It is up to people of the Pacific Islands to get control of the process, thus to get the proceeds of the process.

Also at the Pacific Science Inter-Congress, Professor Futa Helu of 'Atenisi University said that all new ideas had been imported into the Pacific Islands. Publishing was a new idea in 1817, but it is now firmly in practice throughout the Islands. Publishing is an agent of change, and cultures, organizations, nations would be very different without publications. Nevertheless, publishing is dependent on interested and enthusiastic participants. Publishers are first and foremost people, with the same ability to make mistakes and to achieve successes that others do. Because they are often the middlemen between authors and the public (though this is becoming less the case with changes in technology), publishers have an amazing tool with which to cull the best of society and to project it back to society.

My advice is: Just get on with publishing with any resources to hand. People and agencies (they are managed by people) generally are willing to help projects already in motion. The Pacific Islands are full of projects that never surpass conversation. If stories and essays are collected, written, typed, typeset, laid out, photographed and illustrated and if markets are identified, then funding agencies are more likely to believe a publication will eventuate and are more willing to invest money in the project. Evidence of publication must to be tangible. If no funds are available, look at other avenues of getting on with it anyway. It is amazing what can be done on a self-financing basis if everyone is keen.

There is no dearth of manuscripts worth publishing in the Pacific Islands by Pacific Islanders. Opportunities abound; it is up to (potential) Pacific Islands publishers to make the most of the opportunities.


I am grateful to publishers, librarians and booksellers throughout the Pacific Islands, Professor Ron Crocombe and Professor Ted Wolfers for their time and conversations with me.


Crocombe, Ron. 1984. Memorandum to the Vice-Chancellor, USP, and the Institute of Pacific Studies Advisory Committee from the Director of IPS, regarding work in Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Australia. 27 July.

Crowl, Linda. 1996. Book Publishing in the Pacific Islands. Fiji Library Association Journal 35.35-55. July.

Garrett, John. 1982. To Live Among the Stars. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies and Geneva: World Council of Churches.

Garrett, John. 1992. Footsteps in the Sea. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies and Geneva: World Council of Churches.

Garrett, John. 1997. Where Nets Were Cast. Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies and Geneva: World Council of Churches.

Hiroa, Te Rangi (Sir Peter Buck). 1994. Mangaia and the Mission. Rod Dison & Teaea Parima, eds. Rarotonga & Suva: Institute of Pacific Studies.

Holding, Robert. 1991. 'O Tusi I le Gagana Samoa: The Needs, Problems and Opportunities Confronting the Development of Quality Samoan Language Books. A Winston Churchill Fellowship Report.

Kilage, Ingatius. Nd. My Mother Calls Me Yaltep. Institute of Papua New Guinea Studies.

Lingenfelter, Richard E. 1976. Presses of the Pacific Islands 1817-1867: A history of the first half century of printing in the Pacific islands. Los Angeles: The Plantin Press.

Maretu. 1983. Cannibals and Converts: Radical Change in the Cook Islands. Marjorie Tuainekore Crocombe, trans, annot, & ed. Suva: Institute of Paicif Studies.

Martin, John. 1991. Tonga Islands: William Mariner's Account 5th ed. Nuku'alofa: Vava'u Press.

Raraka, Henry. 1973. The Melanesian Press. IN Ronald J. May, ed. Priorities in Melanesian Development. 6th Waigani Seminar. Port Moresby: UPNG and Canberra: ANU. P.437-439.

Smith, Peter. 1987 Education and Colonial Control in Papua New Guinea: A Documentary History. Melbourne: Longman Cheshire.

UNESCO. 1996. UNESCO Statistical Yearbook. Paris: UNESCO

USP Library. Nd.a. Handwritten notes in the ISBN Register.

USP Library. Nd-b. Wordprocessed notes in the ISBN Register.

USP Library. 1988-1997. Annual reports 1987-1996. Suva: USP

By:  Linda Crowl,
Publications Fellow, Institute of Pacific Studies, University of the South Pacific, presented at 1997 Waigani Seminar

e-mail author:  c/o John Evans evansjoh3@email.com
Papua New Guinea © 2000

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