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Publishing industry sets out policy proposals for next government

Publishing industry sets out policy proposals for next government

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19 September 2014

Publishing industry sets out policy proposals for next government. Recommendations will build on books and journals economic and social contribution

London, 19 September 2014 – The Publishers Association today releases an eight point plan for growth in the book and journal market.  Focusing on likely priority areas of any future government – the need to make the most of technological innovation, increase levels of literacy and ensure consumers have choice and are safe in the online environment – Publishing for Britain sets out a package of measures that will not only benefit the UK publishing sector but also the wider society and the economy.

It calls on the government to:

  • Make it a statutory requirement for all schools to have a library to increase levels of      literacy and reading for pleasure;
  • Initiate an inquiry into the  digital book retail market to ensure it is working to the benefit of    booksellers, publishers, authors and consumers. 
  • Incentivise creative firms to develop the next generation of digital workers by introducing a digital skills tax

Richard Mollet, Chief Executive of the Publishers Association, said:

“The publishing industry sits at the nexus of art and commerce, of education and entertainment.  We believe our call for a strong intellectual property framework, a digitally skilled workforce, a highly literate and well-educated population and an enhanced academic and scientific research base will resonate with whichever political party or parties form the next government and look forward to working with them to deliver these important recommendations.”



The Publishers Association is the leading trade organisation serving book, journal, audio and electronic publishers in the UK. Membership comprises 114 companies from across the trade, academic and education sectors.  Its core service is representation and lobbying, around copyright, rights and other matters relevant to members, who represent roughly 80% of the industry by turnover.  

The eight measures in Publishing for Britain are:

  • Support intellectual property by ensuring a stable legal framework for copyright. 
  • Create fair markets for consumer choice by removing anomalies in the VAT system and addressing imbalances in the retail market.
  • Build Britain’s digital skills base through incentivising creative firms to develop the next generation of digital workers.
  • Ensure a library in every school by making school library provision statutory. 
  • Support the development of quality, world‑class teaching and learning materials for schools. 
  • Boost reading for pleasure and work with industry and charities to get more people reading and drive up children’s literacy levels. 
  • Ensure the UK remains the world leader in developing open access policy. 
  • Ensure public libraries for all by providing a truly comprehensive and efficient library service in every community. 


  • Publishing is a £4.7bn sector (£3.4bn is books if you exclude academic journals), 40% of which comes from exports; 29% of revenues are from digital.
  • Digital book sales increased by 19% in 2013 to £509m
  • It directly employs over 30,000 people in the UK; but sits at the heart of a wider supply chain extending from bookshops through to be the inspiration for globally successful film, TV and theatre productions and video games;
  • Creates a combined £576m a year of school and English Language Teaching resources
  • British scientific publishing punches above its weight with 16% of the world’s most cited articles being published in the UK. 
  • Publishers provide free and discounted books and financial support to the UK’s leading literacy and reading for pleasure charities.
  • A third of the sector’s revenues are derived from digital products and services both from direct sales and – increasingly importantly – licensing. 
  • The creative industries overall contribute £71bn to the UK economy and grew at 9% between 2001-12

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