& be damned

IMG_1416A wide range of Scottish publishers assembled at Edinburgh International Book Festival to discuss ‘Publishing the Nation’. Scotland has 110 listed publishers, employing around 1,500 people and publishing about 3,000 titles a year. Each publisher talked of growth and their excitement about new digital platforms, albeit with a nod to the pressure on margins from the global player.  Clearly these businesses are doing something right, and, just like in classical music, an oversupply of talent and brilliant product leads to intense competition.   Just because a business sector sounds ‘learned’ or academic doesn’t mean it isn’t ambitious. Just because it wears comfortable looking cultural clothes  doesn’t mean it’s not competitive.  Just because it lacks the acquisitive  gaze of the speculator doesn’t mean it’s not looking for opportunities.  The cultural and creative industries success story didn’t happen by accident in the UK. Agencies need to find better ways to sustain and develop the confusing whirl of content creation and platforms, and politicians ways to protect cultural value in the marketplace.  Should a post referendum flowering of creative output occur in Scotland then we need a publishing sector that can bring it to the world’s attention. https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/the-festival/whats-on/publishing-the-nation

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