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Australia - Digital Economy - Book Industry - E-books


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

In essence the book industry has a golden future. More books are read than ever before and new (international) book markets open up every year. Writers have existed and have been in demand for 5,000 years and they are not going to die out any time soon. Nor will there be any decrease in demand for more content.

However, new technologies are delivering the same product in a different format and/or different ways, for a fraction of the cost. Traditional cost structures are dictated by analogue business models. Digital technologies don't have those high costs and they therefore can deliver the product significantly cheaper. As the traditional industry has been slow to adapt to this situation, we have seen others entering the market. These are enormously destructive developments for the traditional industry, and linear solutions are not the answer.

Under a government funded initiative the Australian book industry was brought together to develop a plan for the transformation of the industry. Their final report was delivered in late 2013.

This BuddeComm Report explores some of the issues surrounding the transformation of the book industry and an overview of the key findings of the review of the Australian book industry and action points for its future.


1. Synopsis
2. Embracing the new digital era
2.1 The positive view
3. Transforming the book industry
3.1 Digital e-readers/e-books
4. Customer service is king
5. Promoting national culture
6. Industry protectionism will fail
7. More power to the author
8. E-publishers are very different beasts
8.1 Educational books
8.2 Global opportunities
8.3 The book industry has a global future
9. The transformation of the Australian book industry
9.1 Fundamental changes to the industry
9.2 The cultural importance of the book industry
9.3 Book Industry Collaborative Council
9.4 The need for industry transformation
9.5 The market has gone global
9.6 Skills strategy
9.7 The importance of big data and data analyses
9.8 Scholarly books
9.9 The role of libraries
9.10 Copyright issues
9.11 The need for industry collaboration
9.12 Government Response
10. Other Reports
Table 1 Growth of e-reader sales 2009 - 2013
Exhibit 1 Statistical snapshot of e-books
Exhibit 2 - All European books online for the price of 600km of roads

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