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Palmer Higgs launches the first online eBookstore with Digital Rights Management in Australia


With technology changing the publishing landscape and with eBook sales increasing in Australia every year, Palmer Higgs has launched Australia’s first online eBookstore with Digital Rights Management to attract buyers and protect the rights of Australian authors.

Palmer Higgs is the founder of what he describes as Australia’s first eBookstore with Digital Rights Management (DRM). By implementing the DRM, the publishing company expects to encourage Australian authors to self-publish their work on the eBookstore as well as attract overseas authors, especially those that are emerging in English speaking markets.

“The industry’s focus is shifting from physical books to the creation of online content, and some Australian authors until now have hesitated to embrace this technology, due to the lack of protection for their work,” said Paul Higgs, director of Palmer Higgs.

The DRM model protects authors from piracy by preventing users from copying or convert the eBooks into other formats, thus reducing pirated distribution and allowing self-published authors to make more money from their work.

Because it is difficult to implement, DRM is only used by bigger companies, like Amazon, while smaller publishers often struggle to protect the rights of their authors.

“Palmer Higgs is the first to provide self-published authors with this protection via Digital Rights Management,” said Higgs, in a media release.

“The upgrade of our online bookstore to distribute eBooks with full DRM enables Australian authors to securely distribute their eBook through an Australian channel as opposed to an overseas based channel like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.”

A changing industry

According to the Book Industry Strategy Group report, launched last September, in 2005 the value of eBook sales in Australia was of $3 million. In 2010, only five years later, eBook sales in Australia achieved $35 million. In 2014, it is expected that Australians will be spending between $150 and $700 million in eBooks.

Since Amazon launched its Kindle in 2009, many other eReader devices have flooded the Australian market, which is the main reason why, between 2009 and 2010, eBook sales almost doubled. Other devices, however, have also contributed to the explosion of the eBook industry, such as tablets, smartphones and notebooks.

“In today’s global eBook market, there is no reason why self-published authors from Australia and overseas should not use an Australian facility as long as it provides security for their work through a robust DRM system,” said Higgs.

Photo by Andrew Mason