Call for papers – "Knygotyra" thematic issue (deadline is January 15th, 2020.)

An open-access peer-reviewed scholarly journal "Knygotyra" (Book Science) founded in 1961 seeks to cover interdisciplinary research topics on a printed and digital media culture, including book history and historiography, traditional and digital publishing, research on media literacy and reading, printed and digital heritage, etc. Indexed in Scopus from 2018 the journal has been published in two annual volumes, issued in June-July and October-November.  The special issue of the journal of the year 2020 (guest editors prof. dr. Miha Kovač from University of Ljubljana and assoc. prof. dr. Arūnas Gudinavičius from Vilnius University) will be dedicated to problematic of small book markets in Europe. The issue will be published both in print and online in open access. 

Scope of thematic issue

Does the size matter? Small book markets in Europe

European book markets significantly differ in size regarding number of inhabitants and their demographical, cultural and linguistic background. Conducting book business in big European markets such as French and German is significantly different that in small markets such as Lithuanian or Slovene: in big markets, publishers’ turnovers and bestseller sales are by default bigger and economies of scale allow different business solutions regarding distribution and warehousing than in small markets. In addition, in big markets the pool of authors is bigger what makes such markets less translation-dependent. On the other hand, growth of English as the biggest European second language is fueling sales of books in English in many small markets, making them a serious competition to books in local languages.

Such developments opened a set of business and cultural challenges that are in most of small markets dealt with on different ways by publishers, authors and government regulations. Although their different cultural and historical contexts differ, these peculiarities make small markets distinct and constitutes them in a separate universe in comparison with big markets.  

For the purposes of this issue, we define as small all those European book markets that have less than 6 million inhabitants. These book markets are sometimes not defined by state borders (such as Catalan), sometimes are defined both by state borders and languages (such as Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian and Slovene), sometimes share their languages with neighbouring countries (such as Croatian and Bosnian) and sometimes share their language with much bigger markets (such Scottish and Irish markets). 

The aim of the special issues of Knygotyra is to look at the nature of cultural, demographic and publishing differences and similarities across these markets. Case studies on single countries and cross-national studies on the following aspects of small markets are welcome:

  • Vertical and horizontal business models in small and big business markets
  • Changing patterns of reading and digital disruption
  • Impact of English as global language on book sales
  • Cultural policies regarding bookstores, libraries, publishers and authors
  • Role of translations
  • Rights sales to foreign markets
  • Educational publishing
  • Academic publishing
  • Transition from socialist to free enterprise and creation of new publishing landscapes in CEE
  • The impact of book piracy on small markets
  • Changing buying habits: the impact on bookshops

We welcome an open debate about the nature of small markets and are opened to additional analytical approaches and themes regarding small European book markets. 

Key dates and submission

Deadline for papers ready for review is January 15th, 2020. The journal accepts articles in English and Lithuanian. Manuscripts must not exceed 40 000 characters (including spaces). More submission requirements and submission link could be found on webpage (


Miha Kovač (Ljubljana University)

Arūnas Gudinavičius (Vilnius University)