This executive summary is a brief presentation in English of the document that the Germán Sánchez Ruipérez Foundation has published in Spanish and that proposes both a new way of explaining the contribution of value that book professionals and companies make to society and a strategy to enhance the strengths of the book sector facing the challenges from the growing dominance of digital platforms. These big platforms work with a different parameter from that of the cultural industry: their fundamental asset is not creative content, but users.
This Foundation’s research is based upon two elements:
- The analysis and creation of a hypothesis from the results of a qualitative study, carried out with the opinions of writing, publishing, distribution and bookshop professionals on the situation of the Spanish book system.
- The contrast of the analysis of the field work with the document archive and experience of the Foundation, so as to build an understandable scheme and present a strategic proposal for the Spanish book system in the exponential and intervention context of the large platforms of the GAFA model.
The analysis of the results of the questionnaires, interviews and focus groups present a panorama in which professionals try to combine a vocational vision—which we have called ‘the mystique of the book’—with the need to provide economic viability to their activities.
The varied typology of opinions has been classified into two groups, into two kinds of ‘discourse’ from the publishing world:
- On the one hand, the components that we identify with the emotional and traditional aspect of the value proposition.
- On the other hand, the components of the value proposition referring to a more functional level, that is, to economic viability as an industry.
The dialectical vision between these two categories of components arises when the participants have referred to the impact of the transformations affecting, above all, the most ‘functional’ part of the book business.
You can download here the document (English) or listen at the pod-cast (English):