Sales of printed books in Australia bounce back.

Sales of printed books in Australia bounce back.

What follows is part of an article that appeared in Print 21, an online printing newsletter on March 27th 2015. I have quoted about half the article.

For those of us involved in book printing, two things are encouraging. Firstly, the fact that book sales picked up in 2013, the last year for which data is available, is tremendously encouraging, as hard copy book printing in Australia faces competition from eBooks and overseas suppliers such as Amazon. Shorter print runs and shorter delivery times are contributing to the rise in book sales.

Secondly, the article states that digital presses account for most of the books printed in Australia. Kainos Books specialises in the digital production of books — virtually all our books are produced digitally, and we have a great deal of expertise in this area.

Sales of printed books in Australia have bounced back over the past two years after a period of steady decline in the face of booming e-reader sales.

Over the past five years book sales have fallen steadily but last year’s sales proved a turnaround with revenues picking up to $937 million, up from $918 million in 2013.  The increase is largely due to the popularity of children and young adult fiction books and high-profile titles, such as Matthew Riley’s thrillers.

Local book printers, such as Opus, PMP and SOS are all reporting a lift in sales, with an increase in the number of titles coming back onshore as print runs tumble and delivery times shorten. Digital presses are now accounting for most of the titles printed in Australia.

Australian author Don Watson, winner of this year’s Indie Book of the Year prize on Wednesday night with his book, The Bush: Travels in the Heart of Australia, reckons that much of the bounce back is due to the resilience of small local bookstores. In his acceptance speech he thanked the “little book stores all over the continent that keep the book and many hearts and minds alive.

“Writers and readers and publishers, suburbs, towns and communities, from toddlers to old-age pensioners, the whole country is blessed by them.  They have fought off the monopolising tendencies of capitalism, the internet, mobile phones, and ipads. They have defied the general trend to instant gratification, fads, fashion and ignorance itself,” said Watson.

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