TUMBY BAY - Amazon in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom and Amazon’s other international outlets say they won't ship to Papua New Guinea because too many orders go missing.
PNG is among a number of countries that Amazon won't ship to because of this problem.
Publicly Amazon says this is related to Covid-19, but when you question the company about individual shipments it admits the real problem is the loss or theft of shipments.
The only option for people in PNG is to have the book shipped to someone in Australia who can forward it to PNG. This adds much more to the purchase cost.
Australia Post charges ridiculous rates to post books to PNG.
As I discovered with 'Man Bilong Buk', it costs about $35 to have it delivered to an address in PNG, which is about five times what it costs for postage from the US to Australia.
There are shipping agents in the US, where books from Amazon are shipped from, and also agents in Australia, which will tranship stuff, but they usually do it through shipping agents like DHL and charge exorbitant rates.
What is really required is for bookshops in PNG, like the UPNG Bookshop, to purchase wholesale copies, but none of them seem interested.
Other independent publishers, including those based in Australia, do the same thing as Amazon and refuse to ship to PNG.
Independent publishing now accounts for a sizeable market share and is used by many well-known writers who prefer to have editorial and retail control over their books.
Unfortunately PNG misses out because of its shipping security problems.
This is just another reason why PNG writers need government support.
Keith Jackson writes…..
The theft of books from the PNG postal service has become a huge problem for Papua New Guinean writers and readers.
It’s particularly appalling for writers who at the best of times have huge difficulties in printing and distributing their works.
That Australia Post adds salt to the wound with a misguided and unfriendly policy of making it more expensive to post even small packages to PNG, compared say to Europe and North America, is a shocking way to treat Australia’s nearest neighbour.
This combination of factors has delayed shipments of ‘Man Bilong Buk’ – Phil and my compilation of the Francis Nii story – to PNG.
I have made a trial shipment of 15 individually satchelled books to writers in different part of PNG along with an email request to let me know when they arrive.
So far I’ve received OKs from five writers in Port Moresby, Goroka and Mt Hagen.
Deliveries to the USA, Ireland and Scotland arrived some weeks ago.
I’m withholding further shipments, including a large one of 50 books, until I can be sure I have a reliable means of delivery.
Bel blo mi i hat tumas.