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Publishing in Australia: National interests in a transnational age

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This article introduces a collection of essays arising from the Small Press Network’s Independent Publishing Conference, an event that brings together publishing professionals from Australia and academics working in the nascent discipline of publishing studies. These essays address the role of small publishers within the globalized publishing industry. Australian small presses enjoy considerable success both culturally and financially, but also encounter structural disadvantages – such as geographical distance and competition from corporations based in larger nations – that are not necessarily dismantled by the digitization of book culture. Yet, as some of the essays highlight, independent Australian publishers have embraced the new digital, global context to overcome their limitations of size and reach, particularly in the area of marketing, interactive relationships, and design. Other essays suggest the resistance small publishers can present to new global orders, whether it be the stalwart resistance of little magazines to a homogeneous public discourse or the work of publishers who provide a platform for voices that are otherwise marginalized or silenced. The collection reveals an independent Australian publishing sector that is nimble, experimental, community minded, and merits the close attention of both scholars and the broader publishing industry.


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