PARALLEL IMPORTS DEBATE – What’s the Difference between an Author and an Economist?

AN AUTHOR (that’s me) stands on the platform of a country station at 6.00am, temperature around 2 degrees, waiting for the train that will take her to Melbourne for the Productivity Roundtable Discussion.

AN ECONOMIST flies first class from Canberra, perhaps stays in a first class motel for the night, and arrives refreshed and breakfasted at the Productivity Roundtable Discussion.

AN  AUTHOR operates within a world of competition. She competes with other authors not only to get published, but to earn a place in bookshops and in readers’ homes. Yet she has great friendships within her author community. She takes her book on blog tours visiting competitor blogs where other authors help promote her work, and she in turn helps to promote their blog….and later on, hosts them and their new books on her blog.

AN  ECONOMIST doesn’t get that authors care about the ‘whole’ world they live in. They don’t understand why established authors like Tim Winton and Morris Gleitzman would care if PIRs were removed.  They don’t get that these are caring human beings who haven’t forgotten how hard it is for authors starting out, who care about their country and making sure that our culture is reflected in our literature. They don’t get why large publishers like Penguin would stand up for their smaller counterparts…..their desire to protect the publishing industry in its entirety.

AN AUTHOR cares about the fact that removing parallel import restrictions will have a devastating impact on the environment with a massive carbon footprint being caused by books being ‘flown’ in from overseas. The author cares about the loss of printing and publishing jobs, and the reduced opportunities for her colleagues to have their work published in this country. The author cares that book readers will have less choice and will be denied the opportunity to read some fabulous overseas books that won’t be brought into Australia because the publishers won’t be able to afford to. The author cares that there will be less income for those in her profession and that her children will have fewer career opportunities in the industry.

AN ECONOMIST doesn’t care as long as ‘discretionary spending’ is directed away from the thriving book industry to make the economy ‘more balanced’.

Vote for the author who DOES care, and her industry, by signing the online petition at

Dee White

(the author)