Published 18 August 201019 August 2010 · Main Posts Meanland – ‘No thanks, I’ve seen an old issue at the library’: on the responsibility of the reader for the decline of publishing Jacinda Woodhead So you, the reader, want to save independent publishing in Australia? Go forth and buy a book. Be daring: buy an armful. The truly intrepid might add a subscription, or several, to one of Australia’s exceptional literary journals – a commitment to the health of the Australian literary scene, if you will. This isn’t to imply that readers have money to burn, or that they should spend all of their disposable income on books and journals. Yet, readers – above all, those of the aspiring writer variety – are often reluctant to part with their cash when it comes to investing in Australian publishing. And for aspiring writers and readers alike, this is precisely how we can define purchasing local printed commodities: an investment. Interrogation of the cultural foothold and relevancy of the literary journal aside, this appeal is directed to those who do benefit from their relationship to and the preservation of ‘the journal’. A short time ago, Melbourne blogger Samuel Cooney wrote this assessment of the dilemma facing modern publishing: See, we live in a consumer-driven world, and people want to read. Sure, they are no longer browsing in the traditional places, and they definitely aren’t as willing to simply hand over money for a set amount of printed text. That straightforward customer–supplier link is now somewhat outdated. However, as long as some of us write stuff and others read it, there will be a publishing industry. Quite true – people do want to read; readers aren’t seemingly willing to ‘simply hand over money’; and the exchange between reader and writer described above does resemble a publishing industry. But is it a sustainable publishing economy? No, said George Orwell in 1946 when painting a portrait of a similar book/newspaper/journal dilemma … Read the rest of the essay over at Meanland. Jacinda Woodhead Jacinda Woodhead is a former editor of Overland and current law student. More by Jacinda Woodhead › Overland is a not-for-profit magazine with a proud history of supporting writers, and publishing ideas and voices often excluded from other places. If you like this piece, or support Overland’s work in general, please subscribe or donate. Related articles & Essays First published in Overland Issue 228 10 November 202311 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the final day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s most important members get to have their say Editorial Team BORIS A quick guide to another year of Overland, from your trusty feline, Boris. I liked the ginger cat story, though it made my human cry. I liked the talking cat, too, but I’m definitely in the “not wasting my time learning to talk” camp. But reading is good. And writing is fun, though it’s been challenging […] 1 First published in Overland Issue 228 9 November 20239 November 2023 · Subscriberthon 2023 On the second-last day of Subscriberthon, Overland’s co-chief editor Evelyn Araluen speaks truth to power Editorial Team To my friends and comrades, I’m not sure if there’s language to communicate how this last month has utterly changed me. This time a few weeks ago the busyness and chaos of bricolage arts and academic labour had so efficiently distracted me from my anxiety about the upcoming referendum that I forgot to prepare myself for its inevitable conclusion.