Colllins Booksellers says the idea of going into publishing has merit but it has no immediate plans to follow rival bookseller Dymocks into the business.
Dymocks, which along with Collins boosted market share following the collapse of book giant REDgroup Retail in early 2011, has announced it will launch a web-based publishing arm called D Publishing next month.
Under the plans, authors will upload their work to D Publishing and that work will then be available for purchase online.
“Down the track we might look at something similar,” Collins CEO Daniel Jordon says.
“I wouldn’t say it doesn’t have merit, but it’s not a high priority in the short-term.”
“There are certainly more verticals and where it makes commercial sense, I understand it,” Jordon says, pointing to the acquisition of the Borders and Angus & Robertson websites by publisher Pearson Australia.
Dymocks says the business will give writers a “complete, end-to-end, publishing service, (and) enable authors to take control of the professional creation, publishing and distribution of both printed books and eBooks, without the need for previous experience or expertise in the area.”
“Unlike the traditional publishing model, this service is driven by the author.
“We believe that D Publishing has the potential to significantly support and grow the book industry in Australia by providing more opportunities for Australian authors to create, publish, and sell their books.”
Maree McCaskill, CEO of the Australian Publishers’ Association, says the publishing body welcomes the competition and the plans are good news for consumers.
Dymocks has been talking about this for about 12-18 months, McCaskill says.
She points out that it is an author-pays system, so authors will wait and see whether the Dymocks model works for them.
Dymocks CEO Don Grover has described the book market recently as very tough, citing recent Nielsen figures showing book sales had dropped about 18% in June, but says sales are up year on year. It has about 17% market shares with 70 stores nationwide, and plans to open new stores.