Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Australian publishing: digging a hole for itself?
I had a rant about getting hold of Australian crime fiction. In short, it is damn difficult given the rights restrictions in place around novels published there. I thought I'd come up with a solution - there are loads of Irish people who have emigrated or travel back-and-forth to Aus; maybe one or two of them could bring me back some selected books. That's how I managed to get hold of Sulari Gentill's A Few Right Thinking Men, reviewed yesterday, and I'm hoping to get her next book that way as well. Tracking down Geoffrey McGeachin's The Diggers Rest Hotel has been more difficult. Despite winning the Ned Kelly Award for 2011 that book is no longer available, even in Australia! I can't find a single online retailer that has a copy. Nor does the publisher, Penguin, except as an ebook. I just find this baffling. The book was awarded the top crime fiction gong in Australia and not only are the rest of the world denied the pleasure of reading it, so too are people in the only region where it was available. The publishing world often baffles me, but not enabling potential readers a chance to buy and read a book seems a very odd strategy to me. And it certainly doesn't serve authors very well either. I'll keep trying to get a hold of this book, but I really shouldn't have to be trying.