Queensland's non-existent publishing industry

The book publishing industry in Queensland has a long way to go if it is to compete with Sydney or Melbourne. The QWC is trying to change that.

Queensland's non-existent publishing industry

The Red Hill team had the good fortune to attend the Queensland Writers Centre’s 20th Anniversary celebrations at the State Library last night.

It was a wonderful event and a reminder of the vibrancy of not just the QWC but also the sector it supports.

What good then is the world’s best writers centre (which the QWC is) if there isn’t a local industry to support local authors?

What good is a dynamic writers centre if jobs are lost because basic publishing services need to be outsourced interstate or, in the case of ebook conversions, internationally?

There’s a running joke around town along the lines of, ‘If you want a career in publishing, leave’.

Sadly, we are yet to find a local editor with the experience that matches those we use in Sydney or Melbourne. When we’ve used local editors we’ve lost time, or worse, money, on projects because of the need to fix their work. The quality of the edit can make or break books and this is no insignificant matter.

I have even chosen to edit some digital editions we’ve received for distribution that had supposedly already been edited: and I am a long way from being an even competent editor!
This post should be evidence of that … :-)

We cannot find a local printer who can match both the quality and price of printers in Sydney, Melbourne and get this my fellow Queenslanders, Adelaide. Yep, Adelaide has better book printers than Brisbane.

I cannot comment on proofreaders in the sunshine state simply because we’ve dared not go there: I don’t care for losing money on jobs because freelancers are unable to meet our standards.

There is no doubt in my mind that Queensland has one of the most vibrant artistic communities on the planet – books, music, fashion, furniture, whatever the case may be – but government policy has left a profound hole in the supporting infrastructure.

We’re certainly not waiting around for government to fix the situation, but government should be aware it has much work to do!