Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Queensland: A History for A$900,000

The Courier Mail in Queensland is reporting that one lucky University Professor has won a no bid contract for A$900,000 to write a history of the State of Queensland. Sounds like a plum assignment given that he has already written a two volume history of the state up to 1980. How much more work can there be?
Henry Rosenbloom, publisher of the highly respected independent Scribe, Australia's small publisher of the year in 2006, was astonished at the figure. "I've never heard of anything like it," he said. "It's the sort of advance you would give a major sporting celebrity like Steve Waugh for a biography that you could be certain of selling hundreds of thousands of copies." The history will be published in 2009 to coincide with sesqui-centenary celebrations as Queensland turns 150, with its funding coming from the State Government body Q150 Celebrations.
This conincidentally (or comically) occurs at the same time as Angus & Robertson are being lambasted for trying to run a profitabe retailing operation and being charged with not supporting the small publisher and indigenous author. Wouldn't it be nice if that A$900,000 went to support publishing in Queensland across the board rather than one lucky fellow who's end product won't even be commercial. It certainly won't win any awards.

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