The Government has launched a Book Industry Strategy Group (BISG) to tackle opportunities and challenges posed by increasing online book sales and the use of ebooks.
The group was announced today at the Worldwide University Network Enterprise International Student Forum, following Innovation Minister Kim Carr's decision to establish the group in February.
It would be chaired by former politician Barry Jones, who also authored several books that were translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Swedish and Braille.
During the next 12 months, Carr expected the BISG to examine the industry's future in a digital landscape, and develop business models to integrate digital and traditional printed book production.
The group was tasked with evaluating digital platforms for books in Australia, the market for digital delivery of books locally and internationally, how the supply chain for books would be affected by digital technologies, and how existing Commonwealth programs and activities could be refocused to support the industry's adaptation to new technologies.
"The [Australian book industry] makes a substantial contribution to the Australian economy and provides jobs and security for authors, publishers, printers, and retailers," Carr said in a statement.
"To keep it this way we must seize the opportunities the digital revolution is offering and develop innovative solutions to the challenges the industry is now facing."
The BISG included a total of 14 representatives from the Australian Society of Authors, Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Australian Workers Union, Australian Printing Industries Association, Copyright Agency Limited and various booksellers and publishing houses.