Macquarie researchers seek insights on sales and exports of Aussie books

October 1, 2019 | Publishing and Innovation

Earlier this year, Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund partnered with the Australia Council for the Arts to announce a new Macquarie University research project examining the international rights sales and export of Australian books over the last decade.

Professor David Throsby, Dr Paul Crosby and Dr Jan Zwar are conducting the research in collaboration with book industry representatives.

The university study is now collecting data on the extent and nature of demand for contemporary Australian books, the changing nature of deals, and factors contributing to success in global markets, to inform strategies for sustaining international interest and increasing opportunities for Australian publishers and writers in the future.

Agents, publishers and self-published authors who have sold rights to Australian books in 2008-2018 or exported Australian books directly in 2018 are eligible to fill out the survey, which is open now.

Professor Throsby says, “Many opportunities exist for increasing the publication of Australian books in overseas markets. However, there is a lack of basic data on the export sector of the book industry that could assist publishers, agents and authors in planning international rights sales, leading to a stronger presence of Australian titles in the international marketplace.

“This research is aimed at helping to fill that gap. It is a continuation of the extensive research that our team at Macquarie University has undertaken into the economics of the Australian book industry over the last five years.”

How the research will be used

The published research report will be used as follows:

  • The final report will be emailed to all agents, publishers and self-published authors who fill out the survey
  • Industry associations will use the report to inform capacity building
  • Organisations including the Copyright Agency and the Australia Council will use the findings to inform funding strategies
  • The findings will be provided to policy analysts, the Minister for the Arts and to the Parliamentary Friends of Books and Writing group
  • The report will be made public and offered to the media to promote informed debate

Copyright Agency CEO, Adam Suckling, says “We know there are many success stories around Australian books in international markets. This research will generate data and evidence which will provide valuable insights so the publishing sector can further innovate in global markets, benefitting authors, agents and publishers right through to readers.”

The survey closes on 15 December, 2019.

If you are not sure if you are eligible to participate, contact Paul Crosby at Macquarie University.

The next phase of the research involves preparing case studies. Jan Zwar, who is leading this component, is seeking a broad variety of case studies and invites industry members with suggestions to contact her.

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