Visit to Literaturhaus in Copenhagen, Denmark

Editorial Controller Hayley Russell was recently invited to deliver a talk at Literaturhaus in Copenhagen, Denmark. Here, she recounts her experience of the trip.

It was an absolute pleasure to be invited to Copenhagen to give a talk to Danish academics in the publishing industry, organised by the Danish Association of PhDs and Masters, known as DM. I was asked to speak about the UK publishing industry and give attendees an insight into the publishing industry beyond Danish borders.

My talk covered a wide variety of topics, including the growing importance of the self-publishing industry in the UK and issues that are affecting the UK publishing industry, like the difficulties of discoverability, the effects of world issues and the growing importance of sustainability in the way that we make choices as people who are producing books. It was interesting discussing with attendees afterwards – many attendees weren’t aware of the rise of self-publishing, and there was much interest in this as a legitimate route to publication. A publishing professional working at a company focused on translation noted to me that she wasn’t familiar with the concept of self-publishing at all, and was very interested in the ins and outs of self-publishing.

There were a variety of attendees – from publishing hopefuls to publishing veterans, even an employee of a crossword publishing company! – which made for interesting discussions into the evening as attendees shared their views. It was fascinating to discuss the differences in the UK publishing industry versus the Danish one – the general consensus was that the Danish publishing industry is experiencing the same issues, just on a smaller scale due to the size of the Danish-language market as compared to the English-language market. One attendee noted that the Danish-language market is competing heavily with the English-language market as well, as the vast majority of people in Denmark speak English perfectly, meaning that they will often buy a book in English, even if a Danish-language version is available.

All in all, it was a valuable event with lots of cross-cultural exchange across publishing borders. It was interesting to think about issues in the publishing industry from a different perspective, particularly as we all seem to be approaching similar issues.