The Tuscan publishing sector: culture, industry and regional brand
A publisher’s success derives from his ability to blend the concern for the market and population’s tastes with a sensitivity to the expressions of culture. He has somehow a pivotal role for creation and enhancement, being placed at the centre of a relationship network among institutions, world of culture and consumers, and acting as a go-between for the different players involved in the making and fruition of books – and, more generally, cultural products. Drawing on these observations, the analysis carried out in this work highlights how the Tuscan publishing tradition, which is traceable back to the origin of printing, has undergone profound changes over the past years, especially in terms of the organizational structure of many historic publishing houses. Although these upheavals were experienced with dread, they also made possible the survival of high-quality publishing, in terms of entrepreneurial capabilities, technological innovation and cultural endeavor. This report is divided into three sections: the first is devoted to the structural features of the book market, the evolution of the publishing landscape and the production strategies followed to face the sector’s present difficulties; the second section establishes the general framework of the region’s publishing sector, laying emphasis on its main aspects, the peculiarities of its production policy, and the factors of regional specialization; the final section presents the national and regional legislation in the field of publishing. The interviews made to some operators allowed to delineate the problems associated with book production and market, and with the recent public policies that heavily penalize the economy of this sector. The report closes with a brief consideration about the public guidelines that might be formulated, on the basis of the publishers’ needs and expectations, as well as through the comparison with international experiences.
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