The purpose and characteristics of the school

In March of 2023 the Spanish non-for-profit organisation Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez launched PARIX, a school for the whole book value chain in Spain.

The comprehensive training strategy is aimed at professionals in literary creation and translation, illustration, proofreading, publishing, graphic arts, printing, distribution and bookselling to enhance their talent within the digital environment we are living. The objective is to promote professional retraining (reskilling) and the acquisition of additional skills (upskilling). PARIX aspires to be a benchmark and an accelerator in the digital transformation of the Spanish book industry and the training it offers is available both in person and through an e-learning platform.

One of the main goals is generating and consolidate digital skills for professionals of the publishing industry, which is a challenge in the Spanish content industry. The cultural and creative industry in Spanish has considerable growth potential, especially in the field of digital content, because of the 500 million Spanish speaking community. Currently there is a demand for these contents and the digitization of resources in the book sector. Digital transformation represents one of its great challenges, as well as a structural and training element that requires urgent action, since it largely depends on whether the sector is competitive, innovative and global. Within this framework, the lack of specialised professionals is one of the main problems that arises in this industry, together with the challenges that show for young talent attraction and retention.

This school is financed by the “Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan” a national strategy with EU funding. The quantitative goal to be achieve is reaching the figure of 4.000 trainees with their certificate before July of 2026.


A first year that has exceeded the most ambitious expectations

During its first year of life of PARIX, the FGSR has dedicated to reaching an agreement with each one of the associations of the book industry in Spain, so that every organisation feel that the school is theirs and that they can and should influence its progress.

In such a short period, FGSR has learned quite a few lessons while managing the project. For example, initially a greater importance was placed on face-to-face training, and it has been proven that people prefer a 100% digital format. Thus, after the third edition of the courses the foundation has opted for digital training (a self-pace learning strategy), accompanied by one-day in-person big events that are dedicated to one topic at a time (there have been on Marketing, Audio, AI).

Not only the FGSR team has worked to generate a model adapted to the way people now want to learn, but when deciding the content of the training, the team has also taken advantage of the knowledge capital that accumulated by the foundation over the years in relation to the deficiencies and needs of professionals in the book industry.

Based on this knowledge, the catalogue with the range of trainings offering has been designed. Each of these trainings has been entrusted to professionals of recognized prestige, people who are leaders in each of the fields in which they work in the Spain’s book world (literary creation, publishing, digitization, marketing, distribution, etc.).

As each course has official certification from a university (UEMC) all the training experience must meet certain formal and structural requirements. So far 30 courses have been created and each of them has a certification of 15 ECTS (the equivalent in time of about 3 and a half or 4 months of learning duration).

The quantitative objective set was to achieve the figure of 200 students with certificates by the end of 2023, but at that date 1,000 have been reached. The progress of the school is so strikingly successful that in June of 2014 there were 3,000 professionals who have passed the course tests and exams. 




Catalogue of courses

There are courses of a transversal nature, because they can be useful for any subsector within the value chain. Within these transversal courses there are specific courses for the book sector and others that could be instrumental for any industry. But there are also trainings specifically aimed at a type of professional and made up of a very specific skill to their work. So far there are 30 courses of 15 ECTS in the catalogue of PARIX:

  • Management of publishing projects
  • Digital marketing and social networks for book professionals
  • Artificial intelligence for book professionals
  • Creation and sale of audio content for the publishing sector
  • Content marketing for communities of readers
  • Promotion and sale of illustrated books in the bookstore
  • Copyright management for books
  • Environmental sustainability for the publishing industry
  • Tools for book marketing and metadata for visibility
  • Boost your catalogue at the Bologna Fair
  • Customer experience in the book sector
  • Produce and sell books for young audiences
  • Make participation in international book fairs profitable
  • Internationalisation for the publishing sector
  • Self-publishing and personal brand
  • Building a personal brand for professionals in the book sector
  • Visual communication with Photoshop
  • Visual communication with InDesign
  • Visual communication with Illustrator
  • Writing to be published: from your idea to the sale of your book
  • Creation and management of an illustrated album publishing house or collection
  • The 12+1 skills that companies look for in their employees
  • Customer acquisition and communication on the Internet
  • Introduction to graphic design with Photoshop and Illustrator
  • Web tools for visibility of catalogues and businesses
  • Tools to manage information on the Internet
  • Skills to get the most out of your business
  • Analog skills for an exponential environment
  • Economic-administrative management
  • Resources for entrepreneurship in the publishing sector

Every academic year there are five editions of each of the courses.

There is a new batch of courses that is in the phase of production for the next period. During the next months there will be shorter courses (6 ECTS) with a duration of one month about print on demand, data management and Power Bi, Frankfurt Bookfair, management of the production process and management of bookshops.


Why this name? Juan Parix de Heidelberg

This school is called by the acronym corresponding to the concepts linked to a training programme, but also constitutes a tribute to Juan Parix of Heidelberg, the German printer who made the first boon in Spain (1472).

We should talk about the story of two “Juanes” (Johns): that of Juan Parix is joined by that of the crucial figure that was Juan Arias Dávila. Both names are linked to the first book printed in Spain, the Sinodal de Aguilafuente (1472), specifically in the city of Segovia. Juan Arias Dávila was bishop of the ancient Castilian city since 1466 and stood out for his great reformist efforts. These were reflected in the General Study of Segovia, a project aimed at reforming the clergy and professionalising its bureaucratic structure through training. That is the reason why he decided to undertake editing texts with legal content. It is thought that Arias Dávila may have learned about the metal movable-type printing press during his stage in Rome in 1470 (the first one in those lands was installed in the monastery of Subiaco six years before). And the printing press where Juan Parix, was working, hands on the technological revolution significance that Arias Dávila perfectly understood. This is the reason why Arias Dávila did not miss the opportunity and called Parix to install his printing press in Segovia.

Heidelbergensis is the name by which Parix was known and referred to his city of origin, Heidelberg. This is located not far from Mainz, where Johannes Gutenberg founded the first printing press, which is why there are researchers who consider it highly probable that Parix learned the trade there. After his apprenticeship, Parix had to settle in Rome because some conflicts in his home region, since, as several experts have pointed out, the typography that he uses in his Segovia workshop is what is known as “Roman type.” However, he did not own any printing press and must have been one of the workers in one of them, so there is no documentary evidence of his name at that stage.

Although it is considered probable that this first printing press of Parix produced more titles, today only eight publications remain, which indicate their programmed nature or the existence of what today we would call an “editorial project” by Arias Dávila. This project tried to support the educational and reformist strategy of the bishop, who was also superintendent of the General Study of Segovia.

The FGSR decided to name this educational program as PARIX because not only Juan Parix was the printer of the first book in Spain, but also as a good example of a European scope for innovation (Germany, Italy and Spain).