The History And Practice Of Australian Publishing And Editing Research Proposals Example
Type of paper: Research Proposal
Topic: Australia, Publishing, Amazon, Growth, London, Mobile, Emergence, Bookstore
Birth of Australian Publishing and Editing
For the purposes of this paper, publishing encompasses the preparation and issuance of a literary piece of work such as a book or a journal for sale. The Australian publishing industry began in the late 19th century with the establishment of book publishers such as Angus and Robertson (A&R) In 1884, in Sydney. The first book, “A Crown of Wattle” by the author H. Paden Steel, was published in 1888. The early years were an era of successful and profitable venture for the publishing houses. With an excellent marketing formula and a mix of products, including literary works coupled with educational materials and reference works the publishers experienced a phenomenal profits margin. A&R, for example, published important reference works such as the Australian Encyclopedia and a multi-volume Art in Australia. Such profits allowed the publishing houses to expand to other countries such as opening offices in London.
The publishers’ contribution to the Australian literature cannot be overstated; the publishing companies produced all the popular books that transformed Australian literature. These include the works of popular authors such as Henry Lawson, Norman Lindsay, Colin Simpson, Ion Idriess and even the children books authors such as May Gibbs and Dorothy Wall. In addition, publishers were also major backers of the Australian literary societies. In fact, until 1970s A&R published the Book Collectors Society of Australia’s newsletter free of charge. The publishers sponsored the Bookworld prize, a reward to promising writers in an attempt to motivate the new authors.
The amendment to Copyright Act in 1991 served as the springing board for the Australian publishing and the Australian book industry. The law imposed parallel import restrictions that protected the local editions of the overseas originating books. The result was the development of a “portfolio” publishing model, a business structure that involved the local publishers combined “buy-ins” of the titles that originated abroad. The resulting growth ensured that the publishers became suited to selling rights to Australian books in the international rights events such as London, Frankfurt, and Bologna book fairs. With the high sales, the publishing industry in Australia remained healthy throughout the 1990s and early 2000s.
However, the emergence and proliferation of the internet led to a drastic change in the publishing arena. Amazon Corporation began selling books online in 1995, the momentum took an extended period of time to build up but once it did the results were just phenomenal, Soon it was easy to look up any book online and have a price comparison. The option of buying from a brick and mortar bookstore was no longer automatic. The result was that numerous books were purchased online rather than in a bookstore, a factor that led to all parties involved including the bookstores and the publishers being affected.
The growth of eBooks was also initially gradual at the beginning in 1900s but were limited mainly by the lack of convenient hardware. The emergence of Amazon Kindle and similar portable handheld devices with access to the internet led to the sudden phenomenal growth rate in 2007 forwards. Amazon then changed the game even further by prescribing that an eBook must be below 9.99 dollars. The current pace of publisher’s income in Australia is 10 percent that seem headed towards the American 25 percent. The result has been disastrous to some of the publishers with the aforementioned Angus and Robertson (A&R) collapsing, the collapse while not wholly because of competition from online publishers was facilitated by the competition.
In conclusion, the established ways of conducting publishing business are changing fast with the ever progressing technologic advances. As such, the publishers must be flexible and dynamic to allow them to adapt to the new market trends.
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