Eleventh edition of the Author-Publisher Dialogues

On 10 May 2023, the Federation of European Publishers (FEP) organised the 11th Authors-Publishers Dialogues with two tandems: a French tandem, with Carole Martinez and her publisher Jean-Marie Laclavetine (Gallimard), and a Polish tandem, with the author and nature activist Adam Wajrak and Pawel Gozlinski (Agora). The event was organised with the help of SOFIA at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. The background to the event was the preparation of a report on books by the Parliament.

From left to right: Jean-Marie Laclavetine, Carole Martinez, Pawel Gozlinski and Adam Wajrak

5 MEPs were present:

  • Tomasz Frankowski (Poland, European People’s Party - EPP), member of the Committee on Culture and Education (CULT), rapporteur for the report on the Future of the European Book Sector, and host of the event.
  • François-Xavier Bellamy (France/ EPP), member of the CULT and Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committees.
  • Emmanuel Maurel (France, Gauche Républicaine and Socialiste/Gauche), member of the CULT and Legal Committees and shadow rapporteur on the report on books for the Left.
  • Janina Ochojska (Poland, EPP)
  • Diana Riba I Giner (Spain, Greens), member of CULT and shadow rapporteur for the Greens on the report on books.

Some fifteen MEPs’ assistants and political group advisers were also present.

The authors and their publishers discussed the importance of their collaboration and their bond of trust in the work of literary creation.

MEP Tomasz Frankowski during the opening remarks

In his introduction, Tomasz Frankowski announced the publication of his draft report on 11 May. As part of the French dialogue, Jean-Marie Laclavetine explained that the publisher’s role is "to bring out the best in the author". Carole Martinez confirmed that "Jean-Marie Laclavetine [gives her] the strength and confidence to see a book through to the end" and that the publisher must not damage but believe in the author’s work. Jean-Marie Laclavetine emphasised that this is a long-term, patient process, describing the process of waiting for manuscripts, identifying and supporting authors: "a fruitful relationship that Amazon will never be able to offer".

Jean-Marie Laclavetine during the first Dialogue

During the Polish dialogue, Adam Wajrak, a naturalist journalist who does not hesitate to chain himself to trees in the Polish forest to prevent them from being cut down, confided that he hated writing. That’s why he needs people to make him do it, and "a book is a team effort". He believes that writing "will enable us to survive the climate crisis because societies that read a lot do better". He believes that reading should not just be for entertainment purposes, and that "authors should all take a strong stand". Pawel Gozlinski warned of the difficulties Polish authors face in making a living from their works, and the risks of the subscription model for remunerating authors should it become dominant, as in the music sector.

The speakers then exchanged views with the guests, who were very interested and enthusiastic.

[Original article: https://www.sne.fr/actu/le-11e-dialogue-auteur-editeur-de-la-fee-au-parlement-europeen/]