Ninth edition of the Author-Publisher Dialogues

On November 12 the FEP hosted the 9th edition of the Author-Publisher Dialogues at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event, featuring David Lagercrantz and his publishers, was a big success with over 50 guests in attendance – notably Commissioner for Digital Economy Mariya Gabriel and several MEPs including Christian Ehler (EPP), founder and president of the intergroup for Cultural and Creative Industry in Europe and event host; French MEPs François-Xavier Bellamy (EPP) and Christophe Grudler (RE) as well as Axel Voss (EPP), rapporteur of the Copyright Directive.

Commissioner Mariya Gabriel

Mariya Gabriel emphasised in her opening speech that “if we are here, it’s thanks to you.” David Lagercrantz exchanged with his Swedish publisher, Eva Gedin (Norstedts). They explained that “to tell a good story there has to be many eyes reading the same text.” Gedin highlighted that it was the publisher who had the idea to get in touch with Lagercrantz after co-writing Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s autobiography. Lagercrantz was surprised to see that publishing “was not just correcting the text but also checking the facts and implementing marketing and distribution strategies.”

David Lagercrantz exchanging with his Swedish publisher, Eva Gedin (Norstedts)

Lagercrantz’ publishers from France (Françoise Nyssen, Actes Sud), Italy (Francesca Varrotto, Marsilio), Germany (Tilo Eckhardt, Heyne/Random House) and the United Kingdom (Christopher MacLehose, MacLehose) then offered their comments. Nyssen reiterated the importance of copyright while Eckhardt highlighted the importance of promoting books, which he defined as “slow media,” and the current challenge of “binge-reading” in the Netflix era (“binge-watching”). MacLehose underlined the difficulties in publishing translated books in the United Kingdom.

Françoise Nyssen, Actes Sud

In his concluding remarks Ehler reflected on the adoption of the Copyright Directive, noting that the book industry had succeeded in convincing the European Parliament of the importance of the sector. He also encouraged publishers to be reactive in considering their methods of reducing transaction costs for the use of protected content or the printing of books.

MEP Christian Ehler

Thanks to Catherine Blache (SNE) for the contribution

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Hosted by MEP Christian Ehler

With the support of SOFIA

Biographies of the speakers