Australian Genre Fiction and the New Publishing Economy


Australian Genre Fiction and the New Publishing Economy

States of the Nation seminar series

Interdisciplinary discussions on research important to contemporary Australia, and Australia’s relations to the region and the world.

Mark McGurl’s (2016) proposal that contemporary fiction exists in the ‘Age of Amazon’ is a claim about the genre-fiction of the publishing industry; an argument that genre fiction’s attunement to reader satisfaction aligns it with the customer service model of the new publishing economy.

In this paper, I present Australian industry data and findings from interviews with Australian publishing professionals in order to add nuance to this claim. I argue that commercial fiction publishers use genres, subgenres and micro-genres as commercial tools, as they promote new formats, exploit media convergence, and build international audiences through online marketing and distribution strategies. Australian genre fiction is in many respects at the forefront of digital change in the publishing industry, and thus exerts significant influence on wider literary culture.

All welcome, lunch provided, no bookings required.

Presented by the Australian Centre


  • Dr Beth Driscoll
    Dr Beth Driscoll, University of Melbourne