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The Forum > General Discussion > Local Book Publishing

Local Book Publishing

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As a local author I have been following the one sided debate on support for local book publishing. The majority of people have little interest in books and less in local publishing. The current debate is just a limited time media beat-up.
I am not going to predict the end of books but the sun is setting. The last book Generations X&Y read was the one they forced to read at school. They watch the visual media and why not? Games and movies are more stimulating and easier to handle.
My suggestion to authors and publishers is - move on. Write for PC games and movies as well as the inevitable crossovers. It is what the public want.
Posted by Desk Hermit, Saturday, 12 September 2009 12:33:19 PM
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Dear Desk Hermit,

Please don't give up!

Children need books.

Even if television offered twenty-four hours of
uplifting, intelligent fare each day, a sound
bite on moral courage just does not penetrate.
The medium delivers information in a flash -
and then it's gone.

Stories found in books, by contrast, seep into
our very being. We all have books that lifted the
fog for us, caused the Great Aha!, and literally
changed our lives. The printed word is pondered,
and it is received only when the mind is fully
engaged. Like no other medium it has the power to
stay with us!

Look at the Harry Potter books - look at John
Marsden's books - how can you say books aren't
selling today. They are.

Great literature is not didactic, though it almost
always instructs. Literature that strains to
instruct almost always fails. But books that are
marvellous, humourous, powerful, disturbing,
illuminating - everything one might want in a good
read - succeed.

I believe that books are still the most memorable
artifact of childhood. They're not only good for the
child, they're a family resource beyond anything
that any medium has to offer.
Posted by Foxy, Saturday, 12 September 2009 8:08:27 PM
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Foxy is so right Desk, kids love books. Little kids adore books. Some older kids go through the whole myspace and video game phase but from what I have seen they hit a wonderful book phase before or after or in-between and canít get enough of them.

My daughter (and I wasnít even sure she could read) discovered books recently. A bit regrettable that she has begun with the Twilight series and itís made my stomach churn to buy them but I am hoping to move her up a few levels once she has finished.

You cannot curl up in bed the same with a laptop as a good book. It is a tactile comforting experience that just will not go out of fashion.

As a teenager I would have found it impossible to hide under the covers with a torch and a PC. That whole ďon god Iím so tired Iím going to put it down after this pageĒ that goes on and onÖ loved it.
Posted by The Pied Piper, Saturday, 12 September 2009 9:03:23 PM
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bying a book is a bargain...compared to printing off an article.book from the web...with the web there is allways a book available from a few bucks plus postage...get postage in stamps...stamp collecting is funntoo

i thought you would raise the issue of the protection being dropped for australian writers [due to cheap imports...but books are too expenzive in oz...and we need competition...plus you writers arnt writting enough books relitive to peoples survival

and the book publishers havnt rushed into printing australian works.by aussie authers..they likely would do better putting it on the web and taking their chances enough enjoy the book to want the hrad copy[half the cost of a print-out
Posted by one under god, Saturday, 12 September 2009 9:24:50 PM
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My oldest loves books as do her friends so there is still a strong market for books. My youngest is not so bookish but does enjoy a good fantasy novel like the Eragon series. She also likes reading non-fiction such as books of dogs, horses, art, drawing etc.

It is true that computers and games have taken the gloss off books a bit. Which is a great shame. Very young kids still love being read a book in bed as Pied mentioned. My kids used to nag me to make up stories as well - while not a book still demonstrates that the wonder and need for storytelling is inherently strong in children no matter how technologically advanced.

I am not sure how this new book importation thing works. It makes the books cheaper and maybe more people will buy rather than borrow from the library. Many friends of mine have gone from avid buyers to avid borrowers because of the cost. I tend to buy too many books still - probably my only weakness next to seeds and garden stuff.

I expect the authors will still get the royalties/commissions if their book is printed OS - but maybe this is not so. Overall it is just another industry that will go under in Australia due to cheaper labour overseas. I also hope the quality of Australian books is not affected in terms of comprehension, terminology and so forth.

Desk hermit might be able to elaborate on the details.
Posted by pelican, Sunday, 13 September 2009 8:48:06 AM
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I agree with the comments about young children however it seems the older ones get as much satisfaction from movies and, surprisingly, those all the same story line, shoot em up PC games. The Harry Potter and Marsden books are alone in fighting a rearguard action.
I am not the person to elaborate on the imported books saga however from personal experience it is very difficult for authors to receive thier royalties from overseas publishers.
Posted by Desk Hermit, Sunday, 13 September 2009 1:06:25 PM
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