I have been busy this week and thus unable to post as much as I would like. I will however leave a short round up of news from the past week.
Australia has some of the most strict importation laws in the world, when it comes to books. Currently Australian bookshops are banned from importing overseas editions of a book if an Australian publisher has produced their own edition within 30 days of its foreign publication. Opponents to the law say that this allows publishers to charge significantly more for books in Australia. Proponents of the law, including Australian writers Peter Carey and Tim Winton, claim that it preserves cultural diversity and that without the added income publishers receive from these rights local authors would be up a creek.
Earlier this week the Australian government began to re-evaluate the usefulness of this law, much to the chagrin of Authors and publishers.
Full details in The Guardian
ebooks: when to publish
The current publishing format has been in place for many years. If you want to read a book when it comes out you must buy it in hardcover, and to save a few bucks you can wait for the paperback, with super budget editions of the biggest bestsellers trailing months or even years down the road. But the question that publishers are asking themselves now is, where does the ebook fall into this mix.
No topic is more hotly debated in book circles at the moment than the timing, pricing and ultimate impact of e-books on the financial health of publishers and retailers. Publishers are grappling with e-book release dates partly because they are trying to understand how digital editions affect demand for hardcover books. A hardcover typically sells for anywhere from $25 to $35, while the most common price for an e-book has quickly become $9.99.
And while publishers fight the concept of the $9.99 ebook, which is at risk of reducing their profit margins, critics at Slate are suggesting that losing the price war might be the best thing to happen to them. Their theory is that should publishers win and increase the price of ebooks cusomers will turn to pirated versions placing literature in the same boat as record lables. They say all that it will take is a better reading device