BLOGS (17)

Sunday, 17 March 2024 09:20

About gratitude

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Twenty-eight years ago, when the Association of Publishers already existed, I, one of the first members of the association, was visited by the then new president of the Association of Independent Publishers (if I am not mistaken in the name) Oleksandr Afonin. In the first years of its existence, the Association was actually supported by the funds of one of its members, the Publishing House of Humanistic Literature Abrys, which was headed by the first President of the Association, Yuriy Prylyuk, and after his untimely death, Oleksandr Afonin. He came to study. Of course, he had a huge life experience, but not in the publishing field. This was a very important indicator for me. He learned quickly, and was and remains for me all these twenty-eight years a friend and a senior colleague.

Today, I am forced to take his place as president temporarily, until the election of a new leader, on public grounds. At Afonin's suggestion, which I cannot refuse, and having the trust of my colleagues. For three months, I take "Monomakh's cap".

During these years, a lot happened in common with Oleksandr. We even had dachas in the Crimea, which were separated from each other by the width of a fence. We had and have common views on the need for constant pressure on the state to defend the interests of the publishing industry and readers. Much has been achieved - including tax benefits. Many failed. I remember Afonin's personal quarrel with Mykola Azarov over these benefits, I remember the conflict with the management of State Television and Radio. I also remember the dishonesty and ingratitude of several colleagues in those difficult times. But years pass. UPBA became a stable institution precisely thanks to Oleksandr Afonin. He decided to go on vacation and we have to work in new circumstances. I am not ready to leave the publishing house for the industry, as he once did. But I am ready to prepare a place for a professional manager who should lead the Association to solve the internal and external problems of the industry - economic, political, ethical.
Thank you, Oleksandr! Thank you, colleagues.

The enemy fired more than once. Today - almost destroyed.

I compassion with colleagues - bookish people, I am sure that it will be rebuilt even better.

The enemy kills a word, a thought. Language. Libraries. Museums. Monuments. Changes the names of cities, streets.

In the occupied territories, he destroys books in school and public libraries, replaces textbooks not only on history and literature, but all of them. Replaces library funds, except for Soviet ones. This year alone, 2.5 million copies of books were allocated to the libraries of the enemy's occupied territories, and this does not include textbooks.

Cultural genocide. Ethnocide. Memory destruction. Abduction of children.

UNESCO? Haven't you heard? (or heard?), "compassion".

I think it makes sense for the country's cultural community to gather and talk about this topic. We must not wait for Victory. Only a systematic policy of cultural resistance on one's own land and preparation for cultural restoration in the liberated territories. We must ensure that new libraries, public and school, Ukrainian press, together with ATB and Novaya Poshta, enter the liberated cities and villages. For this, we must create a cultural policy of internal de-occupation today

Book market of the Renaissance.

The second part.

1. About the market. According to various estimates, the book market today is from UAH 1.5 to 2 billion, excluding textbooks and pirates. Unfortunately, there are almost no libraries. In a democratic world, as, after all, in an autocratic one, the share of libraries in the total volume of the market is from 10 to 25%. Moreover, the mentioned figure is usually projected and allows publishers to count on a guaranteed return on investment. This "fork" means that the industry should now receive from 150 to 500 million hryvnias for books for libraries. A lot or a little? The head of the specialized committee of the Verkhovna Rada, Mykyta Poturaev, gave an example: one of the non-regional cities allocates UAH 500 million for the repair of the station and the station area, and for the entire activity of the Book Institute (not only libraries), it is still difficult to find even UAH 50 million. It is about the national level. Let me remind you that culture is financed with the money of Western donors, without competing for our taxes with the military. This is a diagnosis of the system. Those 10-15 percent of the population who actively buy books do not influence the outcome of the election with their votes. The situation in this context has not changed during more than 30 years of independence. Moreover, the share of those who buy books decreases every decade. I am not specifically trying to analyze the dynamics of things today so as not to disappoint anyone. And the math is like this. 10% of 40 million, or 15% of 33 million, is approximately 4 million of the population. 4-5 books per year on average - these are the very modest 15-20 million copies that are the book market today.

2. One of the big publishers said yesterday that his library purchases in sales for the last year and a half are less than 1%. Almost everyone agreed with the statement. This is almost nothing. 1% includes approximately 250 communities where military units are located and military personnel are registered as taxpayers, providing the community with fairly high personal income tax deductions. However, books are not bought for this "hot" money, even in a situation where the general funds of Ukrainian libraries consist of 65-70% of books originating from the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Belarus.
The horror of the situation lies in the fact that more than 650 libraries have been completely or partially destroyed in the de-occupied territories and in the battle zone, and the restoration of funds deliberately destroyed by the enemy after the liberation of the territories by the state is not planned in the 2024 budget.

3. I was in Izyum in the first days after the liberation - both district libraries, children's and adult, were completely "liberated" by the Russians from books. Currently, the library's funds are restored by volunteers at the expense of donations and gifts from publishers. One of the descendants of Gianni Rodari partially gave money for the equipment. I was the first to go to the library in Shevchenkov, Kharkiv region, immediately after the liberation and saw the "Ukrainian literature" and "history" sections completely zeroed out, I saw the lists for the destruction of books. After the de-occupation of Kyiv Oblast, I was in the village of Pidgaino near Ivankovo, the destruction of which the enemy began by burning down the club/library with an aerial bomb. The enemy is afraid of our books, understands the importance of libraries in the cultural identity of our people. Last year, I saw two figures for the supply of books by Russians to the libraries of the occupied territories of Ukraine - 1.2 and 0.65 million copies, together - 1.85 million. For this year, according to the data released by People's Deputy Yevgenia Kravchuk, Putin calls the number 2 .5 million copies. After the liberation of the territories, it will be necessary to immediately replace this waste paper with Ukrainian books. Again, so far no state plans provide for this.

4. About bookstores. The discussion about the number of specialized bookstores in the country ended with the number 415-430. Is it enough? This is 1/10 of the European standards, if you don't also count the average area, which, in general, is quite small. As Viktor Kruglov, director of the Ranok corporation, noted, we are constantly publicly happy with every new bookstore that opens, forgetting to sigh sadly when a bookstore closes, which happens almost every week.
The successful cases of Dmytro Feliksov with the "Readeat" bookstore and Oleksiy Yerynchak - with the "Sens" bookstore in Kyiv remain positive exceptions in the zone of statistical error against the background of the problems faced by our colleagues when opening bookstores in regional centers and cities of the East.

5. The Parliament's achievement last year was the adoption of the law on book certificates from the state for parents of newborns and young people, and on partial compensation for renting bookstores. At the same time, these laws have not been suspended by the budget law and have not been financed. The helping hand extended by the state to scribes was removed so quickly that many years later it could only be remembered as an unfinished cultural identity.

To be continued

Book market of the Renaissance.
The first part.

1. KyivBookFest is an event that intellectual Kyiv has been living in the last few days. The event, which took place due to caution and lack of confidence in the security guarantees of the management of the Book Arsenal during this year's event. Instead of publishers, there were bookstores. Four small bookstores, which did everything for the holiday, but which could not replace readers for publishers, and readers for publishers. Some market participants decided not to provide books for this event, discussing among themselves an alternative format. The most convincing and decisive was Vladyslav Kyrychenko, the owner of the publishing house "Nash Format". Others supported rather than helped. The number of errors and overlays is minimal. The number of finds, successful creative ideas is maximum.

2. KyivBookFest is a professional event for publishers. With open and closed discussions, meetings of the largest market participants, invitation of famous and new authors, volunteering, booksellers, librarians and the military. Of course, with the sale of books. With concerts. The chosen location was also extremely successful - not far from the metro; the square was divided into two zones: a free zone for customers on the street and a very comfortable professional zone - in the premises of the "Horodok" shopping center. Halls for public events, meeting rooms, a food court, restrooms, elevators and storage rooms - all this was at the service of guests and participants of the entire event. Maybe the next time KyivBookFest will be crowded here, but it is quite obvious that this next time will definitely be.

3. Kyiv got used to and adapted to the war. Despite the "horrible night", residents of the city spend the weekend as usual for themselves. People are ready to spend money on culture and leisure, and therefore are confident in the victory and future of Ukraine. Kyiv is quickly becoming as Ukrainian-speaking as possible, and to a large extent it is thanks to the Ukrainian book. Each edition is another 2-3-10 people who finally switched to Ukrainian, who replenished their vocabulary through reading and strengthened their own patriotic outlook thanks to the content of many books. Can there be a book business as a business in times of war? Yes of course. Let me remind you that the allies do not give money for the maintenance of the army, it is financed from business taxes. But investments in our budget from partners go to the maintenance of the social sphere.

4. Literature of the time - books written by our military. This part of the market is growing most dynamically. And yes, a great Ukrainian novel about the war should appear after a certain time after its end, but what readers are already holding in their hands today are mostly not one-day novels. This is a chronicle, factual literature, evidence on which historical science will be based in the future.

5. Books became significantly more expensive. It certainly affects demand. It must be admitted that today the assortment is narrower than in the days when we had publications from the aggressor state here. There were fewer books than in neighboring countries. This, on the one hand, limits the market, and on the other, leaves a significant gap for further qualitative development.

To be continued.

1. Publishing houses survived. The share of books in the Ukrainian language has increased significantly. Ukrainians read. New bookstores are opening. Distance sales to Europe increased. This is positive.

2. Now separate each problem. Let's outline them:
- piracy;
- a book from Russia;
- lack of library reform;
- lack of state policy in the industry;
- readers who lost their homes

3. Piracy, both paper and electronic, has changed in times of influx. If those who pirate Russian books in Ukraine and distribute them with false source data (either copy what was written in the stolen file, or put fake data from Kazakh, Lithuanian, or Latvian publishing houses, or even come up with something strange, publishing houses of Ukrainian higher education institutions of the Soviet era, etc.), before the large-scale offensive could be called small fraudsters, now they are real criminals who undermine the information security of a country at war. Electronic piracy is now divided into the websites of the aggressor country, which actually stopped the fight against piracy at home, but which are banned by Ukrainian law enforcement officers, websites of third jurisdictions where Russian pirates have hidden, and Ukrainian pirates who hide their faces behind patriotism and the desire to "advertise" books in Ukrainian and bring them to the reader who has no place to read a Ukrainian word in the conditions of war. But all criminals have no nationality, their nation is a crime. Those who transport Russian books through Poland, Turkey, and Hungary can be singled out. Formally, this is not prohibited by law, it is all for personal consumption. The person who sells these books to the end consumer on the market and on the Internet on one-day websites and in the marketplaces of well-known platforms violates the law. There are still a few such books and they are expensive, but do these people not understand what they are doing?

4. In June, the President did not sign the law, which was adopted unanimously by 306 votes, and which prohibits the import and sale of books originating from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus. Did not sign, did not veto. The law simply disappeared. I am still hopeful that this law will be signed and published at any moment. Because even today, the remnants of books from the Russian Federation that entered the country last winter still have a significant impact on the market. Moreover, they become a cover for the activities of pirates who reprint them today. The war will end and the issue of informational aggression will arise again.

5. The state budget in 2022, of course, was not implemented in terms of humanitarian issues. Filling libraries could not be a priority for a country that defends the very fact of its own existence. But now, that the economy is recovering, budget processes are gradually coming to their senses, it is necessary to understand that public libraries today are the last place where Soviet and Russian propaganda products are concentrated. Today, there are, according to official figures, approximately 65 million books of Soviet origin, with Marxist-Leninist forewords that are morally and physically obsolete, and another approximately 20 million copies of books from Russian publishers that either promote Russian law enforcement or tell the story in such a way that as it is seen in Moscow. According to preliminary data, approximately 6 million copies of such products are prepared by librarians for cancellation per year, but this is approximately the same rate of cancellation that has been going on for years. The problem is not how to destroy waste paper, the problem is that there is nothing to replace it with. Most public libraries will simply cease to exist if the local government, which has not replenished the stocks of library funds for years, now decides to throw these illiquid stocks into the landfill. In the civilized world, a book in a public library works for a maximum of 10-12 years.

6. Does Ukraine need 15,000 public and the same number of school libraries (on the controlled territory as of 2021). No, if you take into account the European experience, invest money in premises, technologies, logistics, you need about a third of this amount. But not the mechanical closing of part of the libraries, but the conversion of premises, staff training, modern technologies. Should libraries alone change the industry? No, it will be replaced by relevant laws that will really close piracy, normalize spending on new library funds, and make education more important than diplomas. And the main thing is that they will be carried out. During the war, in the summer of 2022, legislators passed another very important law, regarding book certificates and bookstore leases. This law began to create a European culture of relations in the industry. Its effect is not suspended by the martial law budget law, but it is not implemented either. The experience of last winter, the law on e-support, showed that the number of potential readers is much larger than we thought, they are not included in the book market due to an objective lack of funds and lack of novelties in libraries. The intellectual health of the nation can be strengthened precisely through mechanisms such as existing support. Europe has enormous experience in such matters. Here, there are also targeted cultural certificates in Italy, and separate book certificates in Hungary, which allow the amount of purchased books to be deducted from taxes for teachers, etc.

7. A separate challenge in 2022 was the support of readers who left their native homes for the West of Ukraine and abroad because of the war. Publishers donated at least 2 million copies of books to their compatriots, but publishers cannot be the main donor of the cultural sphere, employees of publishing houses also have to feed their own families. Unfortunately, during this year, neither our state nor the governments of European countries created any systematic program aimed at supporting our industry. While every major city in Europe has a Russian bookstore, or a department in a bookstore of local network operators, there are only a few Ukrainian bookstores, these are small pockets of newly created Ukrainian institutions for refugees. Russians, even in the conditions of sanctions restrictions, were able to open a whole new network of bookstores in the capitals of the Baltic countries and Eastern Europe. The question of state policy regarding the provision of the cultural needs of refugees is particularly acute, they are actually displaced in Europe into the emigrant "Russian world". European governments have taken care of the material, we need to take care of the spiritual if we want to bring our fellow citizens home en masse. Each month abroad reduces the percentage of the future return.

8. And what about the statistics on the book market? No one really knows the situation for sure. The Book Chamber counted only 10 million copies of new editions for the whole year, I think this figure is underestimated by half, but even 15 million copies, some of which were printed until February 24, is a critically small figure. As of today, some of the printing houses have ceased to exist altogether, I am the owner of such a printing house in the town of Dergachi on the border with the Russian Federation, which lost most of its population after the liberation, electricity and other infrastructure were destroyed. Those book printers that remained are mostly located in Kharkiv and are loaded by 15-20% of last year's production volumes. Small printing houses in the West of the country are also not very overloaded. Thus, we are not only losing the book market, we are losing the production infrastructure. Renewal of such seemingly simple productions will take many years. It is the same with personnel in publishing houses. For a year, the industry survived on enthusiasm. If the publishers cover a significant part of the volumes with reprints and reprints, the authors, to a large extent, have lost their customers and readers. Having stopped the creative process, it is difficult to start it if the publisher does not have money for the order. First of all, this concerns publishers and authors of educational literature.

9. The book sales market, if counted in terms of money, has decreased by only 25-30 percent, but in copies, due to huge inflation in the industry, this smoking is about 55-60%. What other branch of industrial production has lost volumes so much? If publishers and writers are silent about the terrible state of the industry and sometimes encourage each other with sales statistics of Ukrainian classics and historical literature, this does not mean that market processes in the industry are improving. Many market participants have run out of stamina. I am one of those who, among my colleagues, takes the most optimistic position, I believe in the recovery of the market with minimal positive movements on the part of our country's European partners or Ukrainian officials. I see opportunities to fill the market.

10. Why are bookstores opened? First, there is still enough assortment, including books printed before February of last year and therefore cheap. Secondly, market participants counted on the implementation of the law on rent compensation by state institutions. Thirdly, many believe in a quick end to hostilities and a flow of aid from the West for reconstruction, including humanitarian aid. Those publishers who have not lost hope also invest their own small working capital in books, waiting for a miracle.
Colleagues, I ask you to express your own opinions regarding the volume of the market and further movements on it. Will the market traditionally fall in April with warming? Should we expect government programs? How to reach our readers in Europe?

On the photo is a monument to Grigoriy Skovoroda, which remained on the ruins of the museum

Friday, 27 January 2023 19:57

About piracy

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I thought that in the 9th year of the war, when with such efforts we win back the right to belong to a civilized world where copyright and private property are respected, we all understand how important it is to obey the law and not be like our enemy.

It turns out not everyone. So I have to say something.

Book piracy cost the Italian book publishing industry €771 million in 2021, as well as 5,400 jobs.
In 2022, the project created by Ukrainians was fined $7.8 million in the US for book piracy.
Due to book piracy, the publishing market of Ukraine loses enormous amounts of money every year. And these are unpublished books, unwritten novels (authors are also underpaid due to piracy), unopened jobs, unpaid taxes.
The book is a product of intellectual property. In order for the reader to get a quality book, the publisher invests money.
The publisher buys the text of the book from the author or his representative. If a translation is required, the publisher contacts a translator. This work also costs money.
The cover, if it is a foreign title, is bought separately (and the cost can reach 1,000 dollars per cover), or is drawn independently for a fee to the artist.
Therefore, free distribution of an e-book, let alone its sale, without the permission of the copyright holder is piracy.

Amateur translation, amateur audiobook - made available to the public - violation of the law. The desire to use the elements of someone else's well-known cover and make merch based on it (without the permission of the rights holders) and sell books to fans under the guise of popularizing the publication is banal theft.

Yes, you can draw fan art of your favorite character, hang it on the wall to admire, or post it on your social media page so that others can recognize your talent. But if we are talking about the sale of merchandise for books, this must be agreed with the rights holders.

The conditions for the production and sale of merch may differ from different rights holders. Most often, you need to conclude an agreement, pay a considerable advance, and then pay royalties from sales. And the rights holder will set the minimum market value of such a product (the one from which he would like to see a % royalty, so as not to devalue the brand), so such a product will never be cheap.
It can sometimes take months to hear back from the copyright holder, even for approval of the cover or permission to use the title for the free postcard that comes with the book.

Therefore, legal merch in Ukraine will be expensive. But it will definitely happen, because our readers want it.

Vivat tries to track cases of illegal distribution of products that contain our intellectual property. But sometimes we feel like fighters against windmills. Integration of the efforts of all market participants is needed, and most importantly, the reaction of society and readers is needed.
Ukraine has changed a lot. And we should already realize that digital Bolshevism is evil. You have to pay for a product created by someone, so that a new and even better one is created. There should be responsibility for theft. Manipulation and desire to call black as white, illegal distribution as advertising, piracy as small business, this is the way not to the west, but to the north.

What do you think about this, friends? Let's talk about pain.

Thursday, 29 December 2022 18:53

"Records under the cherry"

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In the fall, when Kharkiv Oblast was liberated, a mass burial was discovered in the middle of the forest near Izyum. The body of Volodymyr Vakulenko was found in grave number 319.
This is how the "Russian peace" took the son away from his devastated parents. The father has a son with a "special perception of everything around", without which he cannot live.
And a talented Ukrainian writer in Ukraine, which he loved so much.

Volodymyr buried the occupation diary under a young cherry tree in his garden. And he said to his father: "As soon as ours come, give it to them."

The war began on February 24. And on March 24, "Volodymyr was taken away." Undressed. In flip flops. Straight from kindergarten. In total, they came for him three times. People who did not introduce themselves. People who were told that a nationalist lives here...

Today, at 19:00, the documentary "Records under the cherry" about the life and creative path of Volodymyr will be released on the YouTube channel of Suspilne Broadcasting. About his personal fight for the Motherland. About his dreams, which were not destined to come true.
(Trailer for the film

…I want to forget this war forever.
I want to remember this war forever.
So that it never happens again, so that no one knows what war is.
I want us all to watch as many movies as possible and read as many books as possible about people who will no longer see our victory, but who believed in it so much that they gave their lives for it.

Friday, 16 December 2022 22:13

About the book market during the war

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The facts. Real situation. 4 steps to recovery.

Preliminary figures of the Book Chamber of Ukraine on the issue of books this year in relation to 2021 record a drop in titles by 47%, and in circulation - by 56% at the beginning of December. And this is in comparison with the unsuccessful covid year.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, 350 libraries were bombed. All libraries that were in the occupied territories were looted.

Only in the bookstore chain Knygoland, 6 bookstores were burned and damaged. Bookstores in the east and south of the country, where they are most needed, are closing due to expensive rent and unprofitability. Even during the war, new bookstores are opened, and they talk about it loudly. What they prefer to keep silent about is that for one open bookstore there are four or five closed ones.

Most libraries removed Russian-language publications but remained with empty shelves. Currently, the shortage of bibliographies is no less than 10-12 million copies of modern Ukrainian publications. Even in the book collections of military hospitals in Kyiv, most of the books are in Russian. And it is to the publishers that the heads of hospitals turn to for the charitable supply of books.

The price of the book doubled due to the increase in price and shortage of paper, complicated logistics, and the increase in the cost of printing services.

About the positive with caveats.
- Ukrainian libraries felt a crazy demand for Ukrainian authors. But there are no funds for the purchase of books. Publishing houses are unable to fill the shelves at their own expense.
- Most publishing houses are working, working remotely, despite rocket fire and air raids, despite blackouts. But the publishing teams cannot safely meet in full in one city, because they are all scattered throughout Ukraine and the world. Working in such conditions is emotionally exhausting and definitely does not increase productivity.
- New editions are published. But most of the layouts were prepared in the pre-war period. 2023 is expected to be the most difficult year, not only due to blackouts but also due to a lack of personnel (volunteering, defense of the country in the ranks of the Armed Forces, travel abroad due to danger to life)
- The demand for Ukrainian books abroad has increased due to the huge number of refugees from Ukraine. Shelves with Ukrainian publications have appeared in many libraries and bookstores in Poland and Germany (it is in these countries where most of our citizens live). But books are not enough. Most of the books were supplied by Ukrainian publishing houses for free in the first months of the war. The systematic purchase of books abroad has not been established. There are no large distributors specializing in Ukrainian books. Usually, a Ukrainian edition can stand on the shelf next to Russian books with anti-Ukrainian content. Even asking libraries to remove Russian publications does not help - democracy and freedom of speech will not allow to remove Ukrainian-phobic publications without a court decision.
- The demand for buying licenses for publications by Ukrainian authors has increased. But Ukrainian writers are not well known abroad, and special steps must be taken to promote Ukrainian literature abroad (participation in book exhibitions, support for translations into EU languages, creation of catalogs for electronic and paper editions).
- The law adopted this year on the support of bookstores and digital certificates for teenagers and parents of newborns. But for obvious reasons, the budget for 2023 does not include funding for these very important programs.
- There are fewer and fewer books in Russian on sale, many people do not buy in Russian in principle. Book chains independently refuse to sell Russian-made books. Despite the losses. Freedom is more expensive. But the sanctions law banning books from Russian publishers has not yet been signed by the President.
- Many foreign benefactors offer to supply Ukrainian books for libraries. But they ask publishers for copyright free of charge for digital printing. It keeps readers going but kills the publishing industry. It would be correct to purchase already published books from publishing houses.

What shall I do?
Four steps to protect the information space of Ukraine and support the book publishing industry.
1. Tax benefits.
A rescue legislative initiative should be the abolition of the income tax and the introduction of a zero VAT rate. This decision does not look like populism against the background of the fact that today a gaming business with a turnover of up to 10 billion can pay only 2% of the turnover.
2. Adopting a reading support strategy. The strategy was developed back in 2019 and with a little refinement can become a step-by-step document for the recovery of the industry.
3. Protected article of funding of library funds.
The recovery plan of Ukraine, which is financed by the EU, must necessarily include protected funding for the replenishment of library funds and support of bookstores. This program is a minimum of 5 years.
4. Continuation of e-support

Immediately after the Victory, continue the e-support (book thousand), which will help support readers of Ukrainian books and restore the publishing industry.

I am glad, everyone has already understood that Ukrainian is the language of Victory. We are working!

Thursday, 15 December 2022 22:27

Bookish. Not a summary post

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We will sum up all the results after the victory, and now - a few theses about our market and the life of Vivat this year.

The realities of the book publishing business
1. The book market is alive and it is pleasantly surprising. It would seem that who needs these books now, but no, they do. People read, buy books for themselves, for their children, and for their friends.
2. New bookstores are opening. This is a very powerful manifestation of our optimism because book retail is always a niche and not a marginal business.
3. The interest in buying copyrights does not subside. Sometimes Ukrainian publishers offer such sums to foreign publishing houses as if they do not calculate the profit and risks at all. And this despite the fact that banks do not allow payments abroad. And if they miss it, it is not without problems. Can't understand and comment on it. Maybe you can tell me?
4. The prices of books have increased a lot. In my opinion, about 60%. Although the prices have increased, the reader still needs to get used to the average book price of UAH 300.
5. The e-book rushed forward. I think that the significant growth of electronic content will continue in the coming years. Therefore, we are already trying to buy the rights to almost all books, both for paper and digital content.
6. There is an outflow of qualified personnel. People are forced to find work abroad. Unfortunately, some of them will not return to Ukraine after the end of the war. And that's the problem.

Vivat life during the war
1. For the first time in the years of the publishing house's existence, we have been working away from the office for more than 10 months. This is our common pain. It's good that after covid the team already worked remotely and we have some experience, but not for as long (((At a distance, the general vibe, something common and basic is lost.
2. There are problems with the timing of receiving new products. We print our books in Kharkiv, the printing house works only during the day and according to the blackout schedule. Before the invasion, it worked around the clock. So the terms of publication of books are increasing. But, in the end, we will print all the books.
3. We practically did not reduce the number of items compared to last year, and the total circulation did not decrease. And it's just great! I think we managed to achieve this, in particular, by "exiting" the Ukrainian market of Russian-language books.
4. Interest in Ukrainian authors and illustrators abroad has significantly increased. We sold significantly more copyrights this year.

However, foreign publishing houses are still looking for such books that will be relevant in their market, which is quite understandable.

In conclusion, I want to say that the key word for me this year is sustainability.

Sustainability is the new currency. Undoubtedly, everything will be fine with us in the future, but when it will be "good" is still not clear.

Therefore, it will not work to wait, because it is impossible to wait out the crisis...

You need to live on, move forward, protect people and make plans.

And then everything will really be fine.

1. The Ukrainian book market is working, although almost ten months of war have seriously affected it. He will never be the same again. Of course, we can expect the state to remember the unfinished yes-support that helped the industry to meet the war in a more or less decent condition, without which everything would have been much worse. Such new assistance after a victory will make it possible to recover at least partially what was lost.

2. Let's start with the state of the market. No one counted its volume. The main factors of the market this year:
⁃ completion of Russian expansion, I hope, forever. In the first two months of the year, when yes-support was emptying the shelves of bookstores, the Russians managed to transfer to Ukraine a huge surplus of goods, which still occupy space on our market. There are no bans, except domestic ones, many bookstores have restricted themselves from books originating from the Russian Federation and Belarus;
⁃ a large part of the readers who bought books in Russian do not do so in principle;
⁃ millions of those who bought books are outside of Ukraine, and delivery abroad is often more expensive than the actual ordered books;
⁃ the cost of a new book increased by approximately 2.3 times over the course of a year. This is caused, first of all, by the increase in the price of energy carriers on the world market and the shortage of paper in Europe. The rise in prices in the industry has slowed, but not ended;
⁃ part of the bookstores and buyers remained in the occupied territories and in the zones of active hostilities, part of the buyers lost their homes or changed their place of residence. This has not improved the state of payments within the market, but most of those who sell books pay on time;
⁃ New bookstores are opening, which indicates not only the prospects of the market but also the expectation on the part of the publishers that the state will fulfill its obligations to return part of the rent expenses in accordance with the new law;
⁃ For almost half a year, the President has not signed the law that prohibits the publication and sale in Ukraine of everything related to Russia and Belarus - publishing products, works, etc. The law does not apply to everything Soviet, pre-Soviet and written in Russian in other countries, including Ukraine;
⁃ Ukrainian pirates, who publish here and openly sell books published in the Russian Federation after February 24, raised their heads. The state ignores requests to stop the sale of such publications;

⁃ Ukrainian publishers failed to significantly increase the sale of copyrights for Ukrainian literature to other countries, their presence at book fairs and in bookstores of other countries, but there are factors that give reason to look at the future with some optimism.

3. Regarding the prospects of the Ukrainian book market. Everything that market participants could do to maintain the level of sales has been done. The future state of book publishing depends not only on the successes of the Armed Forces at the front but also on several factors that already determine the position of our state today:
⁃ urgent replacement of books of Soviet and Russian origin in the funds of public and school libraries;
⁃ carrying out, finally, the reform of the library network with a mandatory definition of who specifically (state or community) is responsible for replenishing and replacing public library funds;
⁃ new standards that will require the availability of books not only in Ukrainian but also in the languages of EU countries in the libraries of universities and schools;
⁃ The final ousting of branches of Russian publishing houses from the Ukrainian market, of course, in a legal way;
⁃ Implementation of legislation on book certificates;
⁃ Attracting foreign sponsorship funds through MKIP to replenish library funds already in 2023.

4. The big problem of the industry, or the growth area - as you prefer, is personnel. The outflow of specialists for preparing books for printing abroad, including forever, will make it impossible to increase the volume of book production after the war, when the question of quickly replacing publications from the Russian Federation in libraries and meeting the high demand of bookstores will arise.

5. I am sure that the war and the victorious actions of the Armed Forces of Ukraine will give birth to a whole galaxy of new authors for the industry, who have something to say to readers, and thus influence the development of society.

6. Wrote about the plan to publish a book of memoirs of the former Chancellor of Germany Frau Merkel in 2024 - received the expected dose of curses and insults on the Internet, including in book Telegram channels.
This time I consider it necessary to answer. Yes, Europe's policy towards Ukraine and Russia was not in our favor for many years in a row. Yes, Angela Merkel was one of those who personifies this policy. However, have Ukrainian politicians always been models of resistance to Russia? They were definitely worthy of a dialogue with Europe about universal values? Since 1991, Ukrainian politicians have not sold Ukrainian independence to Russia?

7. Dear critics, You do not trust your fellow citizens so much that you believe that they will not be able to adequately and critically perceive first-hand information in their native language from a person who knows everything about how European politics was created in the years that preceded the beginning of the war in 2014, how was the actual permission of Russia to occupy Crimea? Are you sure that we should not know about her vision of the Minsk agreements? Do you know better?
And the people who embody Ukrainian politics today, their analysts and assistants, and employees of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, should not also see this publication in Ukrainian?
If the prospect of picking up this book bothers you personally, maybe you won't mind if someone else does?

8. Should the book market in Ukraine offer readers exclusively publications by Ukrainian authors who have never "lost" in your eyes? Do all foreigners need to be checked for loyalty?
Perhaps, to clear the market, it will be enough to remove from it books by modern authors from the Russian Federation and Belarus and translations published there, and everything else will be regulated by the market?
Are you sure that constant pressure on publishers helps the book market, increases the supply, and develops the intelligence and artistic taste of readers?

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