5 Minutes with Stephan Carlsson

5 Minutes with Stephan Carlsson

Stephan Carlsson is Managing Director of eddy.se ab, and a board member of the Swedish Copyright Society.

What is the biggest challenge facing Academic publishing today?
By far the biggest challenge is that the books should find their readers. The titles are narrow, and the public is no longer as interested in buying and reading research results. When the publishing is financed from scratch, it could be more difficult to risk the marketing costs. Another important issue is of course the internationalisation – that’s why it’s so important for us to attend The London Book Fair.

Do you think the Academic landscape will change much in the next five years?
It is said that everything changes quickly. I read in a debate article that the academic landscape has changed substantially during the last two decades. But I can’t say that the editorial business has changed that quickly. When I started in this business in the late 80’s, many considered that I had chosen the wrong industry since the book would be ’dead within a couple of years’. And the digitisation is still proceeding very slowly…

Tell us a little bit about Academic publishing in Sweden
It forms a unique combination of a small language area and a small target group. Thus, it is a paradise for everyone enjoying small editions.

Print or ebook?
Because we spend much of our time developing digital solutions, including ebooks, I wish the answer would have been ebook. But I myself still have troubles reading any longer texts on a screen.

What is your prediction for the year ahead in the publishing industry?
I do not believe in any shattering change. But in the long run, at least in the field of academic publishing, I believe in new digital products that are combinations of teaching materials, databases and courses. Just publishing books digitally is not the sole solution.

Tell us about a passion you have outside the business
I seem to be very good at driving kids to and from soccer trainings and matches. If it’s not a real passion, I guess it’s a talent I’ve got.

Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?
Sadly there are far too many for me in order to remember some specific title. I just give up easily.

What titles are you most excited to bring to The London Book Fair?
This year, the Swedish filmmaker Ingmar Bergman would have been 100 years old, something that most certainly will be noted throughout the world, and I hope that we will see it at the book fair as well. Therefore, as our contribution, I choose the photographer Tommy Söderlund’s beautiful book, “No you – no me”, where he has photographed the conversation between Ingmar Bergman and Liv Ullman in symbols on the walls of Bergman’s house at Fårö.

What is one thing you would like the world to know about Swedish publishing?
That it is an industry that, despite downward figures, is breathing great optimism for the future.

What book do you wish you had written?
Some kind of major cookbook where the author ‘has been forced to’ cook and test all the dishes. Or a wine encyclopaedia with about the same approach.

Visit eddy.se ab at The Club at the Ivy at The London Book Fair 2018. 

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