18 October 2009
eBooks to go on over-the-counter sale in Australia
Australians will be able to buy digital books over the counter at bookstores from next
year using a digital distribution system constructed for Australian book publishers.
The move will bring easy availability of eBooks in Australia a step closer, says the CEO of the
Australian Publishers Association, Maree McCaskill.
“Right now, take-up of eBooks in Australia has been hampered,” she explained. “Sales of
eBook readers have been slow because of cost and availability issues, and there is no simple
system for eBook distribution.
“This new system will allow Australians to download digital books quickly and simply via
participating bookstores. This will make a wider range of eBooks more freely available,” she
All booksellers using the APA’s TitlePage program will be able to access the system.
Customers wanting to buy eBooks can go to a participating retailer, check the title they want
is available in the right format and price using TitlePage, then give the store their email
address and pay for the book.
The new system will email customers a unique web address they can access to download the
book at their convenience.
Ms McCaskill said the system is expected to be operating in the first half of 2010.
“TitlePage was a world industry first, and this addition will be a groundbreaking industry
solution for Australian retailers and consumers,” she added.
“Australian booksellers have been looking for an industry solution to enable them to
participate in this market, and this system will minimise risk for them in a fast-moving
The CEO of the Australian Booksellers Association, Malcolm Neil, welcomed the move,
saying: “This innovative initiative taken by the APA will ensure Australian readers have
access to the choice of retailer which suits them in this exciting new market.”
Ms McCaskill said the APA expected to be working closely with booksellers on the
implementation of this new digital distribution system.
“The decision demonstrates the importance of maintaining territorial copyright for books in
Australia. This is what gives publishers the security to make this major investment in new
technology, ultimately to the benefit of consumers,” she said.
Media contact: José Borghino 0413 998 033