Australia’s oldest bookshop chain, Angus & Robertson, and Borders Australia have gone into voluntary administration. This could be seen as the end of paper book retailing, if it weren’t for Dymocks and the mighty QBD : The bookshop. Many reasons have been suggested for why bookshops are to close – the strong A$, the rise of the ebook, online retailing, less consumer spending. All these factors have come into play, we should not forget however the role of publishers.
If a bookshop closes in Australia, it is primarily the result of publishers, who will not allow their books to be sold at reasonable prices (market rate), prevent booksellers from buying stock elsewhere, and continuously fleece the bookshop and the reader with their government subsidies in the form of parallel import restrictions.
The publisher is the useless and greedy intermediary between authors and readers, they continue to fleece the author, the retailer and the reader with impunity – and they are doing just as well with DRM, regional licencing etc etc. in the ebook world.
However, having said that:
The cost of getting an overseas published book as shown by Booko (http://booko.com.au/) makes clear that pricing was a bit of an issue.