Tuesday, 22 January 2013

The Land of the Independent Publisher

is a bit like Noddy land I think...lots of colourful houses and interesting characters but lost in the backwaters of bookstore interest.

It seems, how surprising, that a book's interest to a bookshop has little to do with interest in the book and more to do with money spent by the publisher which means the little publisher is almost as unwanted as the nightly possum nesting in the bookstore's roof.

It is worse in Australia, a small market but a country of grand dreams. We all want to do something in this land of sweeping artists but the audience is a mole hill we artists try to make ragged mountains of (hows that for stretch - not to mention that sentence ending of...yuk).

It seems the small independent publishers are basically not wanted. Now I have no business acumen, I freely admit it. I gather wealth to me about as well as the desert gathers water. Still I would have thought it might be in a book store's interest to support the independent publisher. Do they really want to thrust all their eggs into the basket of the major publishing houses? Is profit only to be made by holding the large hands of the big corporations? Would it not make sense to  keep the independents alive and well, helping to foster them and thus the new writings these companies support? Isn't variety (and difference if no one else is supporting them) a good idea in business?

I would have thought so.

But no.

Very few bookstores across Australia give a rotten squished fig about the independent publisher or the new authors they support.

And in Australia, an American book, an English book, a book written anywhere but here by anyone but an Australian, must be better than what we Aussies write.

So next time you visit your local bookstore, do me a favour, ask to have a look at their independent books, especially their Australian, independently published books. You never know, they might listen to their customers...Though the din from the major book publishers can be a bit deafening, and guess what you might just discover the book, or the writer that you were searching for .

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