If you’re an independent bookseller in Australia at the moment, you probably feel better than anyone else in the industry does. Business is up, as a result of less competition following the collapse of Borders and Angus & Robertson. Book prices are down, as a result of the high Australian dollar and publishers capitulating to offshore competition and the weak economy, so your customers are getting much better value for money. There are even some signs that customers are rediscovering the special pleasures and benefits that only a physical bookshop can provide.
On the other hand, you’re probably worried that ebook sales are rising rapidly, and that you’re going to miss out on most of this market. You’re still hurting from offshore online booksellers who don’t have to pay GST or customs duties, or whose subsidised postal costs are unavailable to you. You also have to work harder than ever before, because lower average book prices mean you have to sell more books just to stand still. And you might also be worried about the growing rumours that Amazon is planning to set up in this country; if that comes to pass any time soon, it will represent an existential threat to your business.