Packed room for debating the global ranking of publishing at Frankfurt

The first debate of industry leaders, based on the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry, found an audience of over 150 publishing professionals at the first day of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010.

Debate on the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010

Debate on the Global Ranking of the Publishing Industry at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010

Co-organized by Livres Hebdo, buchreport, Publishers Weekly and The Bookseller, and kicked off with some key findings of the Global Ranking that we research every year since 2007, top executives of five major actors in this field discussed where in their view publishing is heading for.

With Jesús Badenes, Managing director books of Planeta, Peter Field, CEO Penguin, UK, Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster and Pascal Zimmer, Managing director, Libri, Germany, the stage was well set for a broad panorama.

Together, these speakers could cover many of the major markets of this industry at first hand experience, notably Germany France, Italy, Spain, Latin America, the UK and the USA – representing together well over two thirds of the global turnover of publishing. The focus was put on the impact of the difficult economic environment, the perspctives of digital and how roles of publishers, retail and agents are confronting change.

There was a quite surprising consensus on a cautious optimistic outlook for the economic side of the business, based on the hope that the coming high season around christmas may see a recovery after two mostly strenuous years.

E-Books are considered by now as just an integral part of the book business – or ‘just one more edition of a work, according to Peter Field, yet in its early stages, where it is still open to understand where the digital replaces, or cannibalizes, the printed, at lower retail prices, thus c hanging the economics quite a bit (Carolyn Reidy).

Everybody underlined efforts necessary to stabilize this new market segment (e.g. Teresa Camisi, describing the huge differences betwee stable French, and a turbulent Italian market where the prize of a book released on Monday may have already changed by the following Firday), which was also set apart from the turbulences as seen in the music industry, because books are just different from other forms of content. (Jesús Badenes)

Everybody was fond of the so called ‘agency model’, with the publisher setting the retail price, and not the retailer. And while the explosion of available titles through publishing on demand, or self publishing, not only in the USA, but in Europe just as well is seen as one key driver of change in this industry (Pascal Zimmer), there is still a solid role for publishers with their knowhow on bringing authors to their audiences.

The complete ranking here (1.2 MB)

The presentation with key findings of the ranking is for download here.

Livres Hebdo here and here

buchreport here

The Bookseller here

Publishing Perspectives here

Xinhua here

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