The world's biggest marketplace for books, the Frankfurt Book Fair, has opened in Germany in a mood of page-turning optimism barely glimpsed in the past five years.
With e-book sales rising strongly throughout the world and now often even proving the driver of more copies of p-books (the print version) being bought, the industry is finally anticipating a happy ending over a cataclysmic climax of doom and gloom.
"We're now seeing the technology as giving us a real opportunity of taking books globally, and very quickly," says James Kellow, CEO of HarperCollins Australia, who spent the day fielding inquiries from around the world for Australian books. "We just have to be creative about how we rise to the challenges."
Even better, most Australian publishers are seeing a distinct rise in the demand overseas for books written or generated by Australians. "Every time we have a book that does very well, other people's awareness of us grows," says Robert Gorman, CEO of the Australia-owned Allen & Unwin.
Among those big successes of the past year have been the Sydney virtual publishing house The Writer's Coffee Shop's Fifty Shades of Grey, rumoured to have sold about 50 million copies around the world, and its sequels, the erotic novel Destined to Play by Indigo Bloom - produced in just six weeks by HarperCollins with its sequel out two weeks ago - and the historical saga novel writer Kate Morton.
"They've all opened doors for us," says Mr Gorman. "They increase the profile of Australian writers and publishers as a whole, and that definitely has a knock-on effect."
Overseas readers are also increasingly willing to visit Australia between the pages of a good book. German literary agent Bastion Schluck says he's now seeing that time and time again. "Germans tend to really like Australian books," he says.
"They love two things: love and landscape, and you can give us plenty of both."
The book industry as a whole is also seeing a positive plot twist in China's growing eagerness to buy the rights to overseas books to translate and publish at home - up from just 1664 in 1995 to 15,592 last year. Then there's the development of new technology, like the release this week of the five-square-inch, 128-grams e-reader the Txtr.
The sale of all e-readers are, in addition, rising exponentially, particularly in the developing world. In India, for instance, now 39 per cent of the population has bought an ebook in the past six months. In the US it is 26 per cent.
The continued rise in mobile phone ownership has also boosted books, with many choosing to read them now on their phones. Mobiles are becoming the "first screen" for most people, believes Andrew Bud, Chair of Mobile Entertainment Forum, the global trade association monetising industries with mobiles.
So now there is every reason to be cheerful about the future of books, Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, told the crowd on opening night.
"What used to constitute a straightforward, reliable sector framework is now sprouting in all directions," he says. "So we just need to be curious, open-minded and enjoy experimenting."