Publishing between profit and prestige: An empirical analysis of the Swedish literary publishing field in today’s age of digital production and globalisation.

Het uitgeversbedrijf tussen winst en prestige: Een empirische analyse van het hedendaagse Zweedse literaire uitgeversveld in een tijdperk van digitale productie en globalisering
Start - End 
2021 - 2025 (ongoing)
Department of Literary Studies
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In recent years, the publishing landscape has experienced significant changes that have shaped the way books are now produced, mediated and consumed. Market constraints have given rise to large publishing corporations/media conglomerates, the growth of retail chains and the increasing power of literary agents, resulting in a highly polarised publishing field, with a small number of large publishing groups and a large number of medium and small-sized publishing houses. Moreover, publishers are facing new challenges and opportunities in the light of digitalisation and the rise of the internet. How is literary production being shaped and affected by a reigning bestseller culture and global trends like digitalisation and algorithmisation in a small language area such as Sweden? According to what logics and on which grounds are literary publishers’ decisions to put books on the market made? Are publishers solely being guided by the market, in turn leaving literary production out of ‘artistic necessity’ and ‘literary innovation’ to be pushed away to the margins of the field? Through a systematic analysis based on different kinds of data, this project attempts to examine the role, functioning and position of publishing houses in the contemporary field of fiction publishing in Sweden.



Phd Student(s)



Ann Steiner

Department of Literature - Uppsala University

Karl Berglund

Department of Literature - Uppsala University

Henk Roose

Department of Sociology - Ghent University