Do you want to see Australian children reading books without Australian content? And ‘Americanised’ with Mom instead of Mum or faucets instead of taps, and vacation instead of holiday?
It could happen if pressure from some quarters (e.g. Dymocks company’s management and major retail chains of Woolworths, Coles, K Mart, Big W and Target) convinces the Australian Government to relax the current Parallel Importation Restrictions on books. (PIRs)
What is Parallel Importation of Books?
Parallel importation would allow Australian booksellers to import books from the US and the UK, irrespective of whether they’re already published in Australia. These two countries prohibit Parallel Importation of books into their countries so why allow it in Australia?
How will it affect Australian book buyers?
Removing PIRs will flood the market with inferior imports, drown out Aussie content/language and reduce your choice of books – with no reliable evidence that books will cost you less.
If you want to read Australian books; if you want your kids to see their lives and experiences reflected in the books they read, write to your politicians. Tell them NOT to remove PIRs on books.
Thursday 16th April, 2009 10.30am
out the front of
Dymocks’ central bookstore, Brisbane city, Queensland
cnr Queen and Edward Sts, Brisbane.
For more details on PIRs: Australian Society of Authors
2 thoughts on “Australian stories at risk!”
Jeremy, I’m assuming you don’t have children or if you do, that you’re comfortable with the idea of their not reading Australian content in Australian stories. Many parents, teachers and librarians believe that Australian children have the right to read about their own culture, their own experiences, ideas and language in books that are unadulterated by North American spelling, culture and attitudes. This is what will happen if the books by Australian children’s authors are published overseas and then sold here.
Then there’s the risk of Australian authors losing territorial copyright – which might not mean much to you, but it means authors will not even get the 10% of the RRP of a book – when my books sells for $14.95 I get $1.49 per book. Booksellers get 40%.
Then there’s the risk to the local publishing market. They’ll lose money and won’t be as willing to support and nurture new and developing authors. A children’s book can take longer than two years from acceptance to publication, do you think that relationship will continue if publishers are threatened by overseas’ imports of Australian books.
I suspect you are judging this debate on misinformation – if you want to buy a book by a foreign author that is published first overseas you can and it’s not affected by the current restrictions on Parallel Imports. If the bookseller is selling it to you at a more expensive price – they’ve added in freight, GST, exchange rates, non-exchange fees plus their desire to reap more profits.
Personally, I equate the price of a book the same as a main course at a mid-range restaurant – I know what I’d rather have. And if I want to read a book that I don’t particularly want to keep forever, I go to the local library – and pay nothing.
The US and the UK prohibit Parallel Importation of books, so why allow it here?
No they’re not.
But it’s good news for Australian consumers.