2017Konferenzveröffentlichung DOI: 10.18452/19891
E-Publishing in Small Nations of the European Union
A Comparative Approach to Policy Frameworks and SME Business Strategies
The publishing industry is in a fundamental transition phase initiated by digitization. This transition involves production processes, communication options, and of course the ‘products’ themselves. While challenging the traditional assumptions, processes and structures of the book industry, e-books also offer a wealth of new opportunities to producers and readers: lower production and distribution costs, shorter time to market, earlier break-even points, easier vertical marketing strategies that target specific groups, new content features, and social reading as a product feature as well as a means for marketing and content discovery. E-book distribution in most markets of the EU is dominated in particular by an oligopoly of international hardware and software companies as well as digital content distributors with their fenced-off e-book ecosystems. These ecosystems do not only hamper the differentiated bricks-and-mortar bookselling infrastructure and the cultural diversity in Europe, they also restrict the scope of action and the innovative potential especially of small-nation publishers – ‘small’ in this context relates among other things to the nation’s linguistic and economic status. Thus forcing publishers to think anew about innovative business strategies. For this reason, this research project focuses on a theoretical investigation of potential business models for e-publishing, and their relationship to publishing operations, as well as on an empirical analysis of current policy frameworks and e-publishing practices within a number of small nations in the EU.