E-books killed the print media world[?]

Who would have thought Brisbane would be one of the leaders in Australia, even the world, in the land of the Digital Book, according to an Artshub article by Richard Watts. Along side New York and London, Brisbane is one of the only cities worldwide to host a digital literature centre, the Institute of the Future of the Book or ‘if:book Australia’.

The centre will hereby promote the latest in digital publishing and explore ways of advancing connections between writers and readers in the new online era.

This it is no longer the literary community’s worst nightmare, or the computer geek’s wildest dream – THIS IS A REALITY!

No longer will we debate whether this slowly evolving phenomenon is something we should or should not invest in or approve of …


if book 1









Kate Eltham, CEO of the Queensland Writers’ Centre, which will host the Institute announces that if:book’s purpose is to

investigate publishing futures, particularly digital futures for books, reading and writing; and also to share what we learn with the sector, with writers, publishers and the public at large through blogs, through publishing our research, and through experiments we’d like to run with our partners.

While fears of the digital book are not scarce in writer, publisher and retailer circles, for the obvious ways in which it could potentially make redundant their roles in the industry, Eltham makes great efforts to stress that if:Book will support these loyal and integral voices in the writing community.

Through if:Book Eltham seeks to educate these groups and help them to understand, navigate and adapt in their changing business, as well as show them how to take advantage of some of the never before possible opportunities.

The Australian Booksellers Association CEO Malcolm Neil sees the current quality and quantity of Digital Books and fears that if Australia goes with

this fractured approach … with just individual large retailers or individual websites having access to content rather than it being a more open approach, we won’t adequately develop and exploit an Australian market, and we’ll just end up with someone coming in from overseas with something that is more customer friendly.

The view seems to be – if you can’t beat em join em – and make sure you are in control of your own market and know how to play the game as well as if not better than the creators.

It does look like the e-book is already very popular, with such software programs as Stanza on the iPhone [which is still watching you by the way].

In the 12 months from its launch in July 2008, over two million people have downloaded Stanza, downloading 12 million e-books in 20 different languages.

In spite of all this however, Kate Eltham very confidently doubts the end of the print and publishing industry, suggesting that over time we have seen that while new technologies certainly do disrupt old media, they don’t usually replace them altogether.

In other words,

video didn’t really kill the radio star.


2 Responses to “E-books killed the print media world[?]”

  1. Bianca Villarosa Says:

    This is totally spot on – People it is happening – get over it and embrace it. Do we have a choice? No-one has stopped buying i-phones despite their stalking abilities, my grandfather was insistent on buying another vcr the other day and books will always be books and if people want to read they will go to a library and read. To this day people will still consult encyclopaedias before the internet (I do not know why but they do) or their old bookshelf at home while the Internet sits their waiting to be set upon to retrieve information these bibles that used to hold all the answers. Perhaps it is an age thing? although I do not know. I still physically get the whitepages out to search for an address and don’t jump online to do so – which would be so much easier – but when I think phone book I think – a big fat book. I realise this is a very basic analogy and library folk may be thinking I am trivialising the book issue but honestly, as you said – it is happening so get on board and go with the flow. No point in arguing – computer always beats man!

  2. lisamonique Says:

    Thanks for your comment Bianca! I agree it’s not really competition between the two, they each play their role and complement each other. So bring on the Digital Book! 🙂

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