Around the Interwebz: Literary Horror and the Price of Books

Oh you just know how I’ll react to this. Another literary bash-up of a genre much deeper than the critiquers seem to read into it (if at all, I grump). Every genre and style has it’s fair share of flunks. But don’t knock off my genre. Not even a mention of Colson Whitehead? (Shout out to @pnpbookseller, off whom I won a copy :D. Support the indies and shop local!)

It seems to be widely acknowledged in horror academia (from the books I’ve read anyway) that horror is a reflection of society, wrapped in demons and monsters to make the everyday horror just a little bit more distant so we don’t lose our minds from the freakishness that is humans and human society. It’s more than just primal fear, more than ‘we just want to be scared’. Horror is philosophical and psychological, it goes deeper than people are prepared to face.

People – why you no read the genre you are commenting on?

Big surprise: books cost a lot in Australia. There are a variety of reasons for this, not all understood or accepted. If we bought books from overseas, it would be cheaper, but we would likely lose Australian writers (while parallel important in NZ hasn’t killed the industry entirely, there are reports that there are less NZ writers – particularly children’s books). So I thought I’d pick on one of the reasons and explain it.

Parallel importation restrictions were introduced in 1991 for books (Productivity Commission Report, pg 57). The main aspect of parallel importation restrictions is the 30/90 day rule which allows for Australian publishers to have 30 days in which to produce and publish a book that is published overseas, and that they must be able to resupply it within 90 days, or else booksellers can purchase books from overseas publishing houses (a 14/14 day voluntary rule has been introduced since). This is also known as territorial copyright. The parallel importation restrictions of DVD’s and music have already been removed in Australia.

This is different from ebooks!

Geo-restrictions for ebooks are not set by government, but by publishers (with the author’s contract!). They (and the author’s! People sometimes forget this, so I’ll repeat it) determine the regions in which an e-book is available. Not every book is available in every region. The US, UK, and Australia and New Zealand are three separate regions. The publisher who publishes any book in Australia and New Zealand could also have the right to turn it into an e-book, available only by Australian or New Zealand consumers. An online retailer, like Amazon (with their e-reader, the Kindle), must have permission to allow their UK customers only the ebooks that the UK publishers allow them to sell, and so on for other regions.

For the rest of the cost, there is 10% GST tax on books, we have a higher minimum wage than most places, we have high rents …


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