Recent publications - Bougainville and Leadership

posted 4 Dec 2020, 17:46 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 4 Dec 2020, 17:52 ]

Two books we recently published are already making sales. The first, "THE TREASURY OF TEAPU: Discovering the real gold in Bougainville",  has been a very exciting project over a number of months. Here's the advertising blurb: 
1969 was a turning point in Australian Accountant Ray Grindley's life. As a Christian volunteer working with the United Church in Bougainville, Papua New Guinea, he meticulously recorded details about the life and culture of the people of Teapu in northern Bougainville. Now, 50 years later, he has combined the stories, along with his own experiences living there, into one record. Traditional oral stories, conversations with people in the community, experiences travelling the island of Bougainville, historical backgrounds, kinship systems, initiation ceremonies, archeological artefacts, spiritual beliefs, the growth of the church, missionaries and their ministry, aspects of practical life such as gardening and fishing, all supported by many photographs, make this an amazingly valuable anthropological insight into Melanesian village life at that time. What makes this such a valuable record is that much of this information was lost to the people during the civil war of the 1980s, when an estimated 20,000 people died in a protracted confrontation over the Panguna open cut copper-gold-silver mine. It is information Bougainvilleans are keen to rediscover and Ray's modern day contacts, some who were children when he was there, are keen to propagate it. Ray's diligence has in fact resulted in him being the repository of otherwise lost cultural data. Each chapter also takes the reader on a personal journey with Ray, who arrived in a state of despondency following the death of his girlfriend, and left a year later transformed having discovered what he calls the real gold in Bougainville - the love and acceptance of a people previously unknown to him. This makes it such a delightful read because the anthropological and cultural information, while scholarly in its own right, is presented in the continuing context of his own journey of self-discovery and healing with the people of Teop. This book will appeal to anyone with an interest in modern Christian missions and the rise of the indigenous church in Melanesia. As a fascinating accumulation of anthropological information written in layman's language, it will be an invaluable reference to life in Bougainville fifty years ago, before the civil war led to widespread destruction and loss within the society. As such it is an amazing contribution to the forgotten history of Bougainville. As a personal interest story, of how one man found love to be real and found his faith in people and his God reinvigorated, it is an inspirational read.

The second, "LEADING TO EMPOWER, Biblical perspectives on the art of leading and managing people", written by Michael Jelliffe, looks at principles of leadership coming out of biblical narratives. Drawn from the author's experiences in management, and conducting frontline management training, it seeks to relate principles focused on an empowering model of leadership and the practical implications for managers.

Another exciting book project underway is the story of a PNG highlander warrior in the time before first contact with the outside world. Told by his grand-daughter from stories he shared with her, it is a graphic story of life in the highlands of PNG when life beyond their own valley was hardly known. Written in a lovely readable style which captures all the emotion of life then, POMBEROEL is expected to be released early in 2021. A must read for anyone interested in traditional PNG life.

Order them at our PUBLICATIONS tab above.

Workshop follow up

posted 4 Dec 2020, 17:18 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 4 Dec 2020, 17:29 ]

The Workshop at Toormina Library was a great success and I had opportunity to share with over 15 attendees. Invited to make a presentation to the Indigenous elders in Coffs Harbour in March, it was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID restrictions. However that invitation has now been resurrected for 7th December. I am expecting that opportunity to discuss possibilities for assisting indigenous elders and authors to record their stories in published form will result.

Writing/Publishing Workshop in Coffs Harbour NSW 12 Feb 2020

posted 10 Feb 2020, 21:24 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 4 Dec 2020, 17:13 ]

Wednesday 12th February  we will be conducting a workshop on writing and publishing your story, focused on the local Aboriginal community in Coffs Harbour NSW. Sponsored by the Coffs Harbour City Council, Libraries, 30 people have registered to attend. The publication of Gumbaynggirr elder Aunty Wendy Craig's book, In the World Alone, last year has opened the door for us to be invited to conduct this workshop to encourage and hopefully facilitate publication of more local stories. The Workshop will be preceded by a panel discussion with a group of local people who have already written stories. This is a wonderful opportunity to extend the scope of our multi-cultural publishing work into the local Aboriginal community.

New books - 30 books now published

posted 10 Feb 2020, 20:58 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 10 Feb 2020, 21:15 ]

We've been pleased to be able to publish a number of new books which meet a demand in a particular focus area. Several autobiographies have been published in the last year, some authors just wanting to have their history available for family member, not for public distribution. Our print-on-demand process makes that easy as, once initial set up and publication costs are met, they only pay for the number they want printed, even as few as 10. They do make fascinating reading as everyone has such interesting stories even if they don't realise it! 

Our PNG focus collection includes reprinting of literacy primers for the Pole (Poh-lay) language group in the Southern Highlands of PNG, and several church related books including topical teaching and even a Gogodala language hymn book from the Western Province (in proof mode at the moment - what a challenge to type it up in another language!). We have also published a number of Christian teaching books with a focus on inductive Bible study and discipleship training guides. At least one is a diglot in Pidgin English and English. 

Several general interest books have also been published, overlapping with biographies. Auntie Wendy's story as an aboriginal growing up in white institutional homes but reconnecting with her family and finding her gift in dot painting is challenging and inspiring. Myo's story as a refugee to Australia is similarly confronting. 8 year old Ethan wrote and illustrated a story expressing his own journey when his dog died. Stories of hope from Sherwood Cliffs Drug Rehab centre are inspirational. These are the kind of life stories that showcase the reality of life at its painful worst yet take us beyond that to hope.

With around 30 books now published and demand to keep going, we are pleased that our small operation is growing to meet a niche market - people who want to publish (often in small numbers but not limited to that) but cannot find a cost effective way to do that. That what we are specialising in, with a growing multi-cultural focus.

ebook version of The People of the Bird

posted 16 Jan 2017, 01:38 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 17 Jan 2017, 17:29 ]

We've been working on the ebook version of "The People of the Bird" and happy to announce that it will be released early in 2017. It should be available on the regular outlets, such as Amazon and iBooks, but as a special to encourage PNG readers, we are offering it as a free download for PNG readers who email in to request it (email to nengebooks1 [at] We'll send you a free copy - advise what device you want to use it on so we can send you the right file extension (EPUB or PDF).

2016 review - 8 publications.... a period of growth

posted 15 Jan 2017, 22:28 by Michael Jelliffe

2016 has been a good year of unexpected growth for Nenge Books. It has included:

- reprinting of the first of a series of literacy language primers in the Pole (pronounced Po- lay) language of the Southern Highlands of PNG. Friends have generously donated to cover the cost of publication to enable us to provide the primers to the Pole community at no cost. This followed a visit in June 2016 to the area by Mike, where high illiteracy rates are experienced, especially among women and young people. One of the blockages to literacy classes was the lack of availability of the primers as current stocks, printed in the 1970 and 80s, had run out. 100 primers were delivered personally by Mike in October 2016 during a return visit. 4 or 5 more books in the series are in the process of being prepared for printing during 2017.

- reprinting of a Pole language book used for baptism classes by the Evangelical Church of PNG. This book also has been out of print and out of stock for some years. 100 copies will be delivered personally by Mike early in 2017.

- publishing RISING SMOKE, an inductive bible study booklet which has been a joint collaboration between Mike (as publisher) and Doug Parrington (the author - Mike's  father in law). This is available now for purchase and is also being distributed selectively in PNG.

- publishing THE CROSS / DIWAI KROS, a study text and inductive bible study book based on studies in 1 Corinthians. It is written (by Mike) in English and PNG Tok Pisin on facing pages, and several hundred copies are being distributed in PNG for use as a resource for pastors and church leaders. Mike has also used it as a text for pastor inservice training conducted in PNG.

- publication of Melanesian versions of the NewLife Discipleship Training material initially produced in the Philippines. Two of four books in the series have now been published. This material was used in PNG by Mike previously and has now been published with a Melanesian cultural bias as a recourse for the church in PNG where it is being distributed and used.

- Publication of a colour Information Booklet for the BFO ministry for orphaned and abandoned children in Mt Hagen PNG. Copies were printed in Australia and USA for distribution to friends and supporters of this project in Australia, USA and in PNG.

- Publication of a private autobiographical booklet with colour pictures for a customer who wanted a small booklet to share their life story with friends. After an initial order of 40 , they have already ordered another 40!

Outlets now in PNG

posted 20 Sept 2015, 02:35 by Michael Jelliffe   [ updated 20 Sept 2015, 02:36 ]

The People of the Bird has sold over 300 copies and I'm getting great feedback from PNG and international readers. In PNG, Christian Books Melanesia (CBM) is now stocking it in their outlets around PNG, and Theodist and Gateway Bookshop in Port Moresby are also stocking it. Expect to pay K40. For those who are waiting for the sequel, expect it next year... I'm still writing it!

Review in and sales have started

posted 13 Dec 2014, 22:57 by Michael Jelliffe

Phil Fitzpatrick and Keith Jackson of PNG Attitude and Crocodile Prize fame have kindly posted a review of "The People of the Bird" on their site today. There's a link on the Reviews tab above. I've already had some online sales as a result and appreciate their willingness to make the book known to the wider community. Making the book available and at a reasonable price in PNG is still a challenge but I'm hoping negotiations with a bookseller chain in PNG will be finalised soon. At the moment its available for sale only in Australia with postal charges, which are more than the cost of the book! I'll post news here as soon a a PNG outlet becomes available. 

Proof copy received

posted 8 Nov 2014, 03:59 by Michael Jelliffe

2 Nov 2014 - I received the final proof copy hardcopy today after months of editing and re-editing, and then getting the manuscript into final form electronically for the printer. Its great to receive it and it looks and feels great! So its all ready now for to receive orders. A bookshop chain in PNG is willing to sell it and I'll post details as soon as available, but I'm hopeful it will be in bookshops around PNG by new year. Will be great to see people reading and enjoying it!!

Final edits almost complete

posted 5 Aug 2014, 03:08 by Michael Jelliffe

5 August 2014 - Have received really helpful review feedback from several people and am doing final edits in preparation printing and publication. Current schedule should see first proof copy in hand by the end of August, and publication in September. Books will be published under NENGE BOOKS. I'm learning heaps about being a self-publisher printing on demand (POD). WIll put more detail on the blog site.

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