Fear of litigation stops publication of some Australian books

18 March 2023

Fear of litigation is prompting some Australian publishers to reject manuscripts for titles they think may be contentious, particularly books about controversial public figures.

Melbourne based writer and editor Hilary McPhee, says poorer quality books are the result, if public interest stories end up being suppressed:

“We have fewer and fewer publishers and we have poorer and poorer books as a result. There’s a lot of cautiousness and nervousness. And the larger the company, the more nervous they are.” Larger companies were publishing fewer but more lucrative authors. A few smaller companies such as Upswell were taking risks, “but the big ones don’t seem to me to be brave. It’s terribly bad for authors.”


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