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9 - Selling Australian Stories to the World

The Dynamics of Twentieth-Century Publishing

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 June 2023

David Carter
Affiliation:
University of Queensland
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Summary

This chapter describes the dynamics of publishing novels in twentieth-century Australia through selected case studies and an analysis of changing industry, legal and cultural contexts. Publication in book form was more challenging for authors located in Australia due to the dominance of the British publishing industry and its control of territorial copyright for the Australasian market. Australian authors had few options but to seek the interest of overseas publishers, despite the local activity of Angus & Robertson, the NSW Bookstall Co. and other short-lived enterprises. In the early twentieth century, Joseph Furphy declared ‘Aut Australia aut nihil’ and published Such is Life (1903) with the Bulletin Newspaper Company. Miles Franklin’s My Brilliant Career (1901) took another route and was published by Blackwood in Edinburgh. Throughout the first half of the twentieth century, the publishing history of Australian novels was often seen as a tale of three cities: London, Melbourne and Sydney. But New York, Philadelphia and Boston also beckoned, creating a broader and much more complex literary marketplace. Changes in the international rights market and local publishing significantly increased the possibilities of publishing in multiple markets by the end of the twentieth century.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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