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- photographs taken during the conference 22-24 April 2003 -

Welcome to The Book Conference 2003

This conference was held in Cairns, Australia from 22-24 April 2003.

One hundred and ninety-two delegates from Australia, Canada, Ghana, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America gathered in Cairns to address a range of critically important issues relating to the future of the book.

The conference involved eight plenary sessions interspersed with 60 parallel sessions covering a remarkable range topics linked by the conference themes.

For further information on the conference sessions and the outcomes of this event the following material is available for download:
- Images of the event

- Fully refereed conference papers will progressively be made available in the Book Conference online bookstore from June 2003.

Book Conference 2004

We are delighted to announce that next year’s conference will be held as a follow-on event after the Beijing International Book Fair in 2004. The date for the Fair is still to be finalised, but it is expected to be either at the end of August or in early September. The 2004 Book Conference will commence on the day following the conclusion of the Fair. The location and themes for the 2004 conference event will be announced on this website shortly.
- To receive monthly updates on next year’s event subscribe to the Book Conference Newsletter by clicking the Newsletter link at the top of this page.

Common Ground Conferences



- - Book Conference 2003 - ARCHIVE - introductory information - -

The Book Conference 2003. To be held in Cairns, Australia from 22-24 April 2003, the conference will address a range of critically important themes relating to the future of the book, as well as its past and the state of the book industry, books and reading today. Main speakers will include some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the areas of publishing, editing, librarianship, printing, authoring and information technologies, as well as numerous paper and workshop presentations by researchers and practitioners.

This is a conference for any participant in the world of books—authors, publishers, printers, librarians, IT specialists, book retailers, editors, literacy educators and academic researchers. All are encouraged to register and attend this significant and timely conference. A range of travel, tour and accommodation options is also available.

Participants are also welcome to submit presentation proposals, either as 30 minute papers or 60 minute workshop sessions. Presentations submitted for publication will be fully refereed and published in print and electronic formats. For those unable to attend the conference in person, virtual registrations are available, which provide free access to the online edition of the conference proceedings. Virtual participants can also submit papers for refereeing and publication.

If you would like to know more about this conference, bookmark the Book Conference site and return for further information—this site is regularly updated. You might also wish to subscribe to the Book Conference Newsletter. For any other inquiries, please contact us.



Background: The International Conference on the Future of the Book

Image: Rainforest

As an information architecture, the book is now 550 years old—if one dates its history from Gutenberg’s invention. Or much older if one dates it from the Chinese invention of moveable type, or the codex, or even the beginning of writing on transportable media.

But what is the book’s future, as a creature of and conduit for human invention? Do the new media (the Internet, multimedia texts and new delivery formats) represent a threat or an opportunity?

Supported by Australia’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources, this conference will explore the technological, commercial and cultural futures of the book. The conference is a significant part of a major research and development project sponsored by the Department, and undertaken jointly by RMIT University and Common Ground Publishing: C-2-C: Creator to Consumer in a Digital Age (www.C-2-CProject.com).

The conference will address the provocative suggestion that, rather than being eclipsed by the new media, the book will thrive as a cultural and commercial artefact. More than this, the information architecture of the book, embodying as it does thousands of years’ experience with recorded knowledge, may well prove critical to the success of the new media.



Conference Advisory Committee

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Australian Government Representatives

Who Should Attend

  • Publishers: trade, educational, academic/reference.
  • Bookstore managers.
  • Book printers.
  • IT professionals with an interest in epublishing.
  • Librarians.
  • Authors working at the frontiers of new creative, technology and market opportunities.
  • Educators with an interest in educational publishing and elearning.
  • Academics, research students and teachers with an interest in creative and technical writing, literacy, publishing and editing, printing, epublishing, elearning etc.

Image: Logos of the confereence supporters Image: RMIT University Logo Image: Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources Logo

Supported By

  • Industry, Tourism and Resources
  • RMIT University
  • Common Ground

Conference Organisers

Common Ground Conferences