The Australian Government will establish a national council to help the book industry respond to the rapid changes being brought by digitisation and to assist the industry implement recommendations from the Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) report.
The Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation, Senator Kate Lundy, announced the new Book Industry Collaborative Council as part of the Government's response to the BISG report released in November 2011.
"Broader book industry collaboration will be critical to achieve reform, drive change and determine priorities ahead to meet the challenges of digitisation and a global market," Senator Lundy said.
"I want to congratulate the industry on working together to adopt the Book Industry Speed to Market Initiative. By reducing the 30/90 day rule to 14/14 local suppliers and booksellers will be able to access new books sooner and this will benefit Australian buyers who will be able to buy them in local bookstores more quickly.
"The initiative brings Australian book release dates more into line with overseas release dates and goes some way towards ensuring the Australian market is more in tune with global markets."
Senator Lundy said a strong book industry was essential to maintaining the integrity and strength of Australian culture and creativity.
"The Australian Government is committed to assisting the industry to address its ongoing challenges and to ensure it maintains a strong presence in the economy.
"The formation of this collaborative council demonstrates our determination to assist the sector, which in 2010 sold around $2.3 billion in books in Australia, and employed more than 25,000 people, many in regional areas.
"The new council has a challenging task ahead of them. The environment in which books are created, produced and distributed is undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift, which is why this new body will be so important to help the industry work together on transforming itself in response to the BISG report."
Senator Lundy said the council builds on the partnership between the Australian Government and Australia's book industry and will help drive the industry's response to digitisation and the globalisation of the book market.
"The council will be led by eminent arts economist, Professor David Throsby, and will have a membership representing the entire supply chain - from the key book and library industry associations to researchers, publishers, printers, booksellers, unions and experts in copyright and the digital economy.
"The Australian Government is confident that the industry as a whole will embrace this opportunity to directly contribute to creating a strong and sustainable future for Australian literary culture," Senator Lundy said.
For further information and a list of council members visit www.innovation.gov.au/books
25 June 2012