Tag Archives: books

Governed by the gutless?

Alan Beattie’s new book­let “Who’s in Charge Here” (Ama­zon) is an amus­ing, accu­rate, acces­si­ble account of the cur­rent mess in glob­al finan­cial and trade “gov­er­nance.” Well worth the $3 price. But he draws a “les­son” from his lit­tle his­to­ry of the crises of 2008–2011 that I find un-sat­is­­fy­ing. Who’s in Charge Here is a valu­able […]

ABC blames readers

The ter­ri­ble thing about A&R’s bank­rupt­cy is that it’s a direct result of a fool­ish gov­ern­ment pol­i­cy (and maybe oth­er things, too; see the update below). “For­mer NSW pre­mier Bob Carr, a direc­tor at rival book­store chain Dymocks, said the gov­ern­ment was dri­ving retail­ers to the wall by fail­ing to open the whole­sale book mar­ket […]

Led by lunatics

Mark Lawson’s new book “A Guide to Cli­mate Change Luna­cy” (Con­nor­Court Pub­lish­ing, 2010) arrives with bril­liant tim­ing, just as Aus­tralia gets anoth­er chance to make a choice on cli­mate change poli­cies in the 2010 elec­tion. Based on his cre­den­tials as a respect­ed jour­nal­ist — he’s a lead­ing sci­ence jour­nal­ist and edi­tor for the Aus­tralian Finan­cial […]

Remove the buy-local tax on books

Yes! The right rec­om­men­da­tion for a more com­pet­i­tive and bet­ter-informed (or, at least, bet­ter-read) Aus­tralia.

The Gov­ern­ment should repeal Australia’s Par­al­lel Import Restric­tions (PIRs) for books. The repeal should take effect three years after the date that it is announced.” Extract from Research report — Pro­duc­tiv­i­ty Com­mis­sion

This dis­cre­tionary quo­ta on books main­tains local mar­gins for the glob­al book pub­lish­ers and print­ers at the cost of read­ers and com­pet­i­tive Aus­tralian pub­lish­ing. Now maybe—at last—we will see a more aggres­sive release of elec­tron­ic titles (‘Kin­dle books’) in Aus­tralia. Wel­come to the 21st cen­tu­ry.

Readers pay for publishers’ protection

Joshua Gans seems to agree with me that access to low-cost Kin­dle e-books is one rea­son to get rid of the ban on com­pet­i­tive (‘par­al­lel’) import of books.

So why is it pos­si­ble for hard copies of books to move across inter­na­tion­al bor­ders but not elec­tron­ic copies? The answer is that pub­lish­ers, who have intel­lec­tu­al monop­o­lies over these works, for their own rea­sons have not done the deals to make it pos­si­ble. ” Extract from The Age

He sug­gests that pub­lish­ers could try a ‘fair trade’ pric­ing scheme for local pub­lish­ing. But they do that already.