Publishing Scotland chief executive Marion Sinclair has urged Scottish publishers to look abroad for opportunities, likening the current situation in digital publishing to "the Wild West".
Speaking yesterday [21st February] at the Publishing Scotland annual conference in Edinburgh, Sinclair said: "At a time when home markets are problematic and static, we should lift our eyes to look at opportunities in foreign markets."
Sinclair emphasised the importance of fostering "respect for copyright", and said of digital, referring particularly to Apple, Amazon and Google's attempts to dominate the digital market: "From a publishing point of view, it is a bit of [a] Wild West. Everyone is trying so hard to pin down territory and try to guess which way it is going to go." She added: "It is a confused landscape at the moment, we need to keep calm and reflect on the important issues, such as what do consumers want, in terms of digital [and] in terms of genres."
She added that the UK was in some ways in a vulnerable position: "In a way the continental model is more stable, and I slightly regret that we are all caught up in this sort of Anglo-Saxon model. The continental industry continues to take a more considered approach [to publishing], and in a way it can move at a more steady rate, and that is because they have very secure language territories.
"In the UK we are subject to those huge powers putting their tanks on the lawn, and fighting for their market share. It’s almost like a game of chess."
The Publishing Scotland Conference attracted close to 100 delegates, including publishers, agents and publishing students.