Australian publishers say the book is not dead

Last week, the ABC ran a very interesting article entitled “Australian publishers say the book is not dead, it is being redefined by new technology”. Here are a few snippets from the article. 

“Australians have always been in the top three book consumers, along with New Zealand and the Netherlands,” says Shona Martyn, publishing director of HarperCollins in Australia and New Zealand.“Really what we’re seeing is that, in terms of total numbers of books sold or downloaded, the number is actually up.”

“It’s just that . . .where they’re buying them from has changed.”

That change has involved redefining the very word ‘book’. In many cases, the pages of paper have been replaced by the screen of an electronic device.

It doesn’t look or smell or even feel like a book in the classic form, nevertheless it now qualifies as one.

“You know, people talked about the death of the book, but you’re still seeing a very vibrant market,” Ms Martyn said.

“It’s part of our cultural life, it’s part of what people enjoy.”

“Our challenge really is just to find different ways of connecting the author’s work, creativity and research with the people who want to read it.”

The article tells the story of one author who is releasing his book is serialised form — 120 parts daily. This is hardly new — Charles Dickens released many of his works in serialised form.

The article examines the growing appetite for eBooks, and claims that a quarter of Australians have downloaded an eBook. There is a lot of experimentation going on, but people are still reading, and that’s the most important thing.

We are finding that authors whose self publishing endeavours start by producing an eBook, will graduate to printing a hard copy version of the book. Just a day or so ago, we had one author who originally produced an eBook, approach us for a quote to print 500 perfect bound copies of his book.

The ease of access to previous titles by an author, long after they’ve been removed from bookshop shelves is a big win for readers and authors alike.

The big “take home” from this article is that far from being dead, book publishing is alive and well. There is more incentive than ever for budding authors to self publish. There are more ways than ever to get your book before your intended audience.

You can read the full article by clicking here.

With our long experience as booksellers, publishers and now book printing, if you are interested in self publishing a book, we are uniquely placed to advise and help you to get your book into print or into an eBook format.

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