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Scotland and Slovenia

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This article draws on a dataset of structured research interviews with publishers, authors, and others involved in the book industries in Scotland and Slovenia. It analyses a variety of differences in how publishing businesses are conducted in each country, explores the impact of language, export, and translation, and examines the inter-relationship between state and commercial companies. In its final part, it looks at the connections between book-related identity-forming processes, on the one hand, and the market forces that shape both countries’ book markets on the other. Comparing the efficiency of the Scottish and Slovene book industries, the article finds that market size and the ability to streamline business by outsourcing seem to have more weight than the ability to handle a variety of sales channels and achieve a high level of labour effectiveness per title. This advantages Scottish publishing, giving it a more extrovert identity than Slovenia’s industry. Nonetheless, undercapitalization and the gravitational pull of London for bestselling Scottish authors means that both markets are mainly populated with small publishers. Financial and marketing power represent a barrier almost as sizeable as language, regardless of the ability to outsource and streamline business operations. The research contributing to this article was supported by two Caledonian Research Foundation/Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) European Visiting Research Fellowships in 2013.


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