Digital Publishing in Brisbane

This is great. The Queensland Writers Centre has launched a centre for digital publishing based in Brisbane. It's called if: book Australia. It's important that the QWC is driving this and encouraging authors to become digitally literate. Like it or not, the future of reading will be both on screen and on paper. Actually, no, forget the like or not. If you don't like the idea of digital books, get over it.

People really need to stop listening to the wider media when it comes to digital publishing. Journalists and their ilk are incapable of perceiving the advent of digital publishing as anything other than combative terms: books versus screens, the death of books, impassioned pleas on behalf of books, arrogant dismissals of books.

Ink on paper is a very old technology and is not about to be 'improved' any time soon. This is not a format war. Books are not Beta and screens are not VHS.

Having said that, digital technology promises to bring some flexibility to the reading experience and it's likely, even with fiction, that we will read more and more digital texts over time. The future of reading fiction is more likely to combine screen and paper technologies. You might read that trashy airport novel or a new writer you're unfamiliar with on a reading device. But a treasured text from a favourite writer will most likely remain something to keep on a bookshelf.

Or maybe not. Either way, writers will still be in demand.

In any case, this is an incredible opportunity for writers to stand up and take more control of the business side of writing. The rules of this new medium are yet to be written and we need to take the initiative to ensure the future meets the needs of the two most important people in fiction: writers and readers.