[LINK] A call to arms - parallel book imports

Jan Whitaker jwhit at melbpc.org.au
Wed Jul 15 11:40:28 AEST 2009

At 10:55 AM 15/07/2009, David Boxall wrote:
>This might seem to cut out the publishers and manufacturers, but text is
>not a book; a download is not a DVD. We may well find that free
>downloads increase the market for physical products, particularly for
>lesser-known artists.

The biggest 'fighters' against this change are the publishers because 
of the impact on their production. The authors are not happy because 
their contracts aren't written to allow for 'dumping' of overprints. 
So I think royalties could be handled through contract adjustments 
with whatever foreign publishers they cut deals with. One of the 
other impacts on royalties is the cut taken by agents. For domestic 
rights, agents generally get 15%, but 20% for foreign rights. That's 
quite a difference.

I heard an interesting interpretation this morning on radio. There 
may actually be an increase in book sales here if the prices become 
equitable, including accounting for shipping costs.

There was talk about the GST impact as well. If you were buying a 
book in the US, that would be tacked on at point of purchase, too, 
called sales tax, and could be similar to the 10% we pay here. 
Someone else, a publisher, made the stupid statement that the 
exchange rate affected price of books! He implied that when the 
Aussie was higher that the price of books was less, or more 
equitable. yeah, right, as if shelf prices changed. That's just crap. 
I'm sure the chain bookstores change their prices on that basis ---- not.

IMO, this is all industry shakeout stuff and we won't see it settle 
for another decade or so as ebooks, POD, and other yet unknown 
technology emerges and become mainstream. This whole thing needs to 
be examined without specific agendas [publisher, writer, consumer] to 
know where the balance could be in the subprocesses to provide a fair 
return to writers [seldom achieved], producer [electronic or print], 
vendor [store or estore] and purchaser.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

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