Potton & Burton (formerly Craig Potton Publishing) is New Zealand’s largest independent publishing house, and in 2015 was awarded the New Zealand Publisher of the Year. The original publishing focus was on photographic and outdoor books, however this has broadened over the last decade and we now have a diverse list of New Zealand non-fiction publications, all produced within a strong ethos of quality and care.
These have included such natural history titles as the landmark New Zealand’s Native Trees, the NZ Post Book of the Year in 2012, and other seminal natural history books like Ghosts of Gondwana: The history of life in New Zealand. In the area of New Zealand culture some noteworthy books have included Edmund Hillary: A biography, Mauri Ora, Barry Crump: Collected Stories and Field Guide to New Zealand’s Native Trees. Photographic books have always been a strength, especially the work of Craig Potton, Andris Apse and Rob Brown. Historical themes have been well covered through such titles as the bestselling Shelter from the Storm and Great Walks of New Zealand. An important offshoot of its publishing has always been an interest in contemporary issues, with perhaps most prominent being the work of investigative writer Nicky Hager, including the highly controversial books Dirty Politics and Hit & Run.
Over recent years Potton & Burton has also developed a strong focus on good quality children’s books, which have included classics such as the bestselling Herbert the Brave Sea Dog, which has sold over 40,000 copies in New Zealand and has been translated into Te Reo Maori for it’s 10th Anniversary, and the hugely successful Explore & Discover series.
From the beginning the company has controlled its own sales and distribution, and that remains a key component of the company’s success. This has also enabled Potton & Burton to provide distribution services to other publishers, currently including Lonely Planet and Hema Maps products.
Potton & Burton is proudly independent, and actively values the freedom to publish books that inspire and matter, and to maintain a committed and hands-on involvement in every book that is published.
Craig Potton Publishing was started in 1987 by photographer and conservationist Craig Potton, whose original motivation was to create a vehicle to publish high-quality photographic books. In 1990 Robbie Burton, who now co-owns the company with Craig Potton, joined Craig Potton Publishing as Managing Editor and Publisher. Since 1987, the company has grown to the point where it now publishes more than 20 new titles per year, maintains a strong backlist of New Zealand books, and also publishes around 20 calendars annually. The company is based in Nelson, and changed its name to Potton & Burton in March 2015.