Remember how the Productivity Commission found that ditching Parallel Import Restrictions would deliver cheaper books for Australians? An assertion suspiciously similar to the consortium of giant chain stores known as, what was it again, oh yes … the Coaltition for Cheaper Books? Well, check out this media release from the Australian Publishers Association for some interesting news on the subject. In response to the damning independent study into the Commission’s report (see this great summary), the Commission is now asserting ‘even if repeal of the PIRs were to cause the cost of books to booksellers to fall but these savings were not passed on to consumers … the repeal of the PIRs would still provide benefits’.
It’s becoming excruciatingly clear just who those ‘benefits’ would flow to, and it sure isn’t Australian readers and writers. Try Coles, Woolies, Target, Big W… who want to restructure the Australian publishing industry into a rapacious beasty feeding on the souls of Australian literary producers.
Don’t be fooled, people, PIR reform is not about delivering cheaper books, it’s about delivering more profit to major retailers.
Verse Novelist, Tim Sinclair
On a lighter note, if you are a young writer living in South-East Queensland, check out the Young Writers Boot Camp at QWC these school holidays, with the amazing Tim Sinclair. It’s going to be zine-tastic!!
Also, have a look at Wordbox. It’s an amazing resource directory of opportunities, festivals, tips & competitions for young Australian writers.
Playwrights, check out Writer’s Tips, where the lovely Dr Tess Brady interviews seven successful writers (including Louis Nowra, who I met at BBWF09 – he is totally quirky and super-smart!) on how to write a great play.
Lastly, Kat Meyers and colleagues’ venture into commercial digital publishing has come to an premature end. A confluence of unfortunate events has seen Quartet Press’s demise, and Meyers has issued a statement that demonstrates the sort of transparency, integrity, and savvy that we wish for all publishers:
What is amazing is that the bookish community are being so kind and understanding about our failure. It’s made it even more apparent that readers really want quality, affordable digital books. One way or another, each of us are committed to moving forward and helping to make that happen eventually. Quartet just wasn’t the time or place for us