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U.S./France investigation explores the future of publishing

Friday, October 23, 2009

Press release from the issuing company

New York – The powerful economic and technological forces transforming modern publishing, and the comparative perspectives in France and the U.S., will be the focus of an investigative exchange between the two countries organized by the French-American Foundation in collaboration with the French Ministry of Culture.  Professionals from each country's publishing industry will spend one week meeting with leading figures from the other country's literary and editorial communities.
This year's publishing and literature exchange is part of the Courants program, formed in 1998 by the French-American Foundation, the French Ministry of Culture and the Florence Gould Foundation to foster international exchange and promote deeper trans-Atlantic understanding in a specific area of arts and the humanities.
"A particular focus area for this year's program is the impact of new information technologies on traditional publishing models and the opportunities it presents for increasing exposure and creating new avenues for international literature," said Emma Archer, Director of Cultural programs at the French-American Foundation.  "We believe that the exchange of perspectives and insights gained as a result of this program will help contribute to increased cooperation and mutual understanding regarding the future of publishing in both countries."
Among the issues identified as priority focus areas to be examined during the program:
· The effects of technology on the economics of publishing in all media
· The latest trends in foreign literature and translation
· How emerging online innovations and new marketing approaches are redefining publisher-audience relationships
· Strategies for marshaling resources to advance translation of foreign literature
· How new business models offer opportunities to increase access to foreign literature and other economically "risky" works in the face of industry concentration and profitability pressures?
The selected American participants in the French program, to be held from October 24-31, include some of the leading innovators among American editors and publishers.  
Molly Barton - Director of Business Development, Associate Publisher of eSpecials, Penguin Group USA
Julia Cheiffetz - Senior Editor, HarperStudio, HarperCollins
Eli Horowitz – Publisher and Managing Editor, Mc Sweeney's Books
Paul W. Morris – General Manager, Digital Media & Marketing – BOMB Magazine
Chad W. Post – Director, Open Letter, University of Rochester
Maja Carolin Thomas – Senior Vice President, Hachette Digital, Hachette Book Group & Hachette Livre
Todd Zuniga - Founder of Opium Magazine, Creator of the Literary Death Match Series
The trip will introduce the participants to trends in American and French publishing and provide them with networking opportunities, industry overviews, and an introduction to the latest American and French fiction and nonfiction. During their stay, they will visit publishing houses, bookstores, participate in panel discussions during which they will gain insight into different cultures, establish new contacts and build relationships with their counterparts.
A reciprocal study tour to the U.S. for a group of French editors will take place next January.




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