Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Welcome To Australia

The land down under has been overrun by Irish migrants seeking work, just as it was overrun by Irish convicts when England used Australia as a large penal colony.

Now Australia is about to be overrun by Amazon.

Fremantle Gaol as featured in A TERRIBLE BEAUTY
Readers in Perth and Sydney and Melbourne can now buy all that Amazon has to offer in their Kindle store, including the latest incarnation of the company's e-reader. All the books published by small presses, independents, or authors will be available for the entertainment of those who might have felt forgotten, far away in the back of beyond.

Just in time for Christmas gift-giving, the descendants of Ireland's diaspora can purchase books that have been available to their distant relations back in Ireland. At last, they can enjoy all the novels from Newcastlewest Books, featuring characters or authors with Irish roots, works of historical fiction that resonate in our modern times.

It's great news for readers, and better news for publishers on a tight budget who could not crack the Australian market until Amazon opened a Kindle store there.Australians will no longer feel left out of the niche markets that are filled by independent publishers, as if they did not matter.

Brick and mortar shops, however, will not celebrate the entry of Amazon's Kindle store. They will have a difficult time competing against a behemoth that can set prices to suit the corporate bottom line, leaving those with rents and utility bills struggling to keep the doors open while clients reap the short-term rewards of Amazon's low, low prices.

Yet there are many, many books that are available in digital format only, including those produced by literary agents who believe in their authors even if the big five publishers don't.

Good news for Australian readers, or bad news for Australian book shops?

No comments: