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Letters - February 2006

February 2006, no. 278

Letters - February 2006

February 2006, no. 278

The greengrocer’s strategy

Dear Editor,

Nicholas Jose’s elegant essay ‘A Shelf of Our Own: Creative Writing and Australian Literature’ (ABR, November 2005) makes some astute points about the difficulties of keeping an anthology of Australian literature in print. Basically, the problem is that publishers worldwide have adopted the greengrocer’s marketing strategy. The idea is to sell as much of the product in the shortest possible time and then think about discounting or remaindering. Trying to buy a book published six months ago is like trying to buy a Bowen mango out of season. It is thought to be bad business to publish in the hope of meeting a steady or a seasonal demand. And publishers have lost their nerve about meeting any overseas demand for Australian literature.

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