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C-2-C Project

Creator-to-Consumer in a Digital Age

Published Research

Series Three

Book 3.3
The International Publishing Services Market
Edited by Bill Cope and Christopher Ziguras


Module 2: Business Strategy in Book Production: Reaching New Markets

Module 2, Milestone 3: Regional Trade Opportunities for Books

The purpose of this research was to investigate new export markets for books, with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region. It fits within a sequence of regional/export focused activities across all three modules, commencing with Module 1, Milestone 2: Multilingual Book Production Technologies, and providing critical background data for Module 3, Milestone 4: Conducting a Seminar Series for the Asia Pacific Region.

This investigative work was designed to empower Australian companies to compete effectively in Asia Pacific markets through the development of appropriate product development and marketing strategies. The project worked on the assumption that many of the lessons learnt in these regional markets will be transferable to export initiatives into other global markets. In some respects, regional markets are more challenging than other global markets (language differences, different forms of government and levels of development); in some ways they are easier (proximity, growth rates, market size and development potential). For the results to be transferable to other settings, the project will take these considerations into close account.

Three main export areas are envisaged:

  1. Selling Australian books, and selling book printing.
  2. Selling Australian book production technologies and industry expertise.
  3. Selling Australian printing and book production industries education and training services. Relative the massive growth in education as an export industry for Australia, printing and publishing have to date had almost no market impact. There is a huge potential to be realised, including from the kinds of educational materials to be produced in Module 3 of this project.

Research Activities included:

  1. Assessment of successes and failures in the export of Australian books to date, using a case study methodology. What are the critical success/failure factors? What are these exporters views of markets: the areas which are worth pursuing, and those that are not?
  2. Assessment of industry interest: does the Australian book production industry see its future primarily as serving a domestic market? What potentials does it envisage in the area of exports?
  3. Market assessment: identify current and potential markets for Australian produced books, internationally, and with a particular focus on the Asia-Pacific region.
  4. Capability assessment: assessment of the current capacity of the Australian book production industry to operate competitively in export markets generally, and in the Asia-Pacific region specifically.
  5. Strategy development for book production export that tackles the key areas of marketing, copyright and legal implications, cultural sensitivity, e-commerce, business modelling etc.
  6. Overall assessment and set of recommendations of how Australian book production and book production know-how can gain a competitive edge in export markets.
  7. Development of a resource of current market intelligence and strategic guidelines which will enable individual sectors of the Australian book production industry to assess more effectively and explore the commercial opportunities in Asia-Pacific countries.
  8. Development of regional knowledge base in association with Austrade offices.

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