The Rudd Labor Government is establishing a new Book Industry Strategy Group to help Australia’s $1.5 billion book industry meet the challenges of increased online book sales and grasp the opportunities presented by the emerging ebook market.
The strategy group will bring together representatives from across the industry to map out the way forward for this important sector. It will develop strategies to address the key issues of supply chain integration and developing viable business models for the digital age.
Announcing the strategy group at the Digital Revolution: Publishing in the 21st Century symposium in Melbourne today, Innovation Minister Senator Kim Carr said it will focus on collaboration, transformation and future sustainability.
“The written word may be almost as old as human civilisation itself but this doesn’t mean we can ignore the very real and very rapid advances being made in digital publishing technologies,” Senator Carr said.
“We are moving into an environment in which the printed book is just one platform among many.
“We have a proud and distinguished literary history in this country thanks to the work of generations of talented authors, publishers and local book manufacturers.
“Australia has the only dynamic and growing independent book selling sector in the English-speaking world.
“I want to keep it that way. We must be prepared to seize the opportunities the digital revolution is offering.
“I am giving this strategy group a very clear mandate – I don’t just want a report, I want a way forward.
“I want to see book printers, publishers, distributors and retailers together in one room collaborating with each other and taking responsibility for transforming their industry in a way that ensures its future sustainability.
“The group will be able to tap into our existing $50 million a year Enterprise Connect initiative and a broad range of other programs currently in place to assist business transformation.”
The Book Industry Strategy Group will operate according to precise terms of reference and is expected to report back within twelve months.
Media contact: Patrick Pantano, Minister's Office, 0417 181 936
Mike Lawson, Department, 0419 416 816