After 10 years at the helm of Booksellers NZ, Lincoln Gould has announced his retirement at the end of October.
Booksellers NZ chair Juliet Blyth says the association has been “immensely fortunate” to have had Gould as its chief executive.
“Lincoln has been a true champion for our members and for the wider book industry. Notably Lincoln was a key driver, in lobbying successive governments to implement the charging of GST on international online purchases, and this will be in place from October 1 this year.”
Among Gould’s other achievements is forging strong relationships with the American, Australian and British Booksellers Associations as a founding member of the English Language Booksellers Association, “bringing the world” to New Zealand booksellers.
He was also behind NZ Bookshop Day, and the establishment of the Winter Institute Scholarship.
“Lincoln’s achievements are many, and tough as it will be to see Lincoln go, with membership numbers on the rise and Booksellers NZ safely ensconced in their new premises across from Book House in Boulcott St, the Association is well positioned to engage in a new future,” says Blyth. “Lincoln came into Booksellers NZ from a background in change management and leaves with a demonstrable passion for the industry in the form of Messines Bookshop, his own bookshop in Featherston. Once again, the magic of bookselling does its thing.”
Gould says book retail in New Zealand has seen great change over the 10 years he has led Booksellers NZ, and he feels fortunate to have been able to contribute to “such an important part of the cultural fabric of the country.”
“The financial crisis of 2009, the year I started, also saw the beginning of the e-book phenomena, which some predicted would be the end of printed books. It was also the time when Amazon was attacking bricks and mortar bookshops around the world with cut priced on-line selling. However, New Zealand booksellers rose to the challenge, with our agreement with Kobo offering the opportunity for member bookshops to sell e-readers and also consolidating their positions as important social and cultural hubs within their communities. Booksellers NZ and our members also quickly utilised the new tools of social media to promote and sell books online. The e-market has now plateaued, new bookshops are opening in communities across the country and real-book sales are increasing.”
Booksellers NZ will engage with recruiters for Gould’s role shortly, and aims to select a new association head by the end of August.