Community Publishing in Regional Australia

This project investigates how community groups in regional Australia are using digital technology to publish and distribute books.

Project overview

What if the future of the book in Australia does not emerge from Silicon Valley, London or Sydney, but is rather in the hands of grassroots organisations with local aspirations? Contrary to persistent narratives of literary downturn, the production of books in Australia is increasing, and many of these new books are being published by regional Australians, including regional Indigenous Australians. Digital technologies such as print on demand and digital publishing platforms have created more opportunities for regional Australian communities to record their stories and share their culture through book publishing.

A dynamic story can be told about cultural heritage, digital change, storytelling, and the history and future of the book in Australia by turning attention to regional communities. Moreover, a granular and nuanced story about regional Australia, in all its diversity, can be told by examining community-generated literary output.

Project aims

This project aims to find new ways to support the increasing number of regional Australians, including regional Indigenous Australians, who use digital technologies to write and publish their own books. This project expects to create advanced knowledge of these community practices and their cultural and economic significance. It seeks to understand the distinctiveness of different regional Australian communities in order to model effective publishing practices that can be shared between communities, and that can link communities with other communities and with industry organisations to build new relationships and new markets.

Expected outcomes include toolkits to provide skill development for regional Australian book creators and publishers, and data on regional Australian book production and markets that can advance the Australian book industry.

Alice Springs Public Library


  • Australian Research Council Linkage Project Funding Commencing 2023

Research Partners

  • Alice Springs Town Council
  • Booktopia Pty Ltd
  • Busybird Publishing
  • Council of the City of Broken Hill
  • Burdekin Shire Council
  • Small Press Network Inc.
  • The University of Queensland
  • Western Sydney University
  • Winton Shire Council

Project Team