Russia’s Eksmo-AST Creates New Imprint To Capitalize on Growing Demand for Nonfiction

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Looking to capitalize on rising interest in nonfiction among young adult Russian readers, Eksmo-AST opens a new imprint, Bombora, with an eye to Western rights sales.

Traffic on Tverskaya Street in Moscow during the holiday shopping period. Image – iStockphoto: Olga Anourina

By Eugene Gerden

Evgeny Kapiev To Lead Bombora Imprint

Amid rising sales of nonfiction in Russia, Eksmo-AST, the country’s largest publishing company, has announced plans to strengthen its positions in the segment with a new imprint.

Bombora is the name of the new imprint, which the company says will be focused on gaining a leading stance in the Russian market.

These plans are confirmed by Oleg Novikov, CEO of Eksmo-AST, who says that the new imprint will be established as part of Eksmo’s existing subsidiary, Eksmo Nonfiction.

The current upturn in interest in nonfiction, Novikov says, can be detected in a significant growth of sales in Russian retail channels.

Oleg Novikov

“The Russian book market,” Novikov tells Publishing Perspectives in Moscow, “is expected to reach 75 billion rubles (US$780 million) in value this year, while nonfiction literature has remained one of the major drivers of sales in the country in 2017.

“This year, the growth of the market will come in at some 7 percent,” he says, “and we predict it’s going to grow again by roughly the same amount in 2018.” Nonfiction is playing an expanding role in these metrics.

Novikov says that nonfiction content in Russian literature is valued at an estimated 5.2 billion rubles (US$80 million). According to him, the market has the potential to make show further growth, taking into account the fact that the major consumer category for these books is in the 18-and-older demographic—the economic element of the population thought to have the highest levels of purchasing power currently among consumer groups in the country.

In regard to Bombora, the new imprint, Evgeny Kapiev is expected to lead the venture. He’s Eksmo-AST’s top manager and has been head of editorial in nonfiction as it was structured originally, as part of the company’s overall portfolio.

According to Kapiev, the company is putting substantial resources into the imprint’s new concentration on nonfiction, not only for the domestic market but also for foreign sales.

In that regard, Kapiev says Eksmo-AST is the only Russian publishing house consistently engaged in making rights sales into Western markets and territories.

“We have authors who are published in dozens of countries,” Kapiev tells Publishing Perspectives, “but it can be rather difficult for them to make a name as part of the overall Eksmo brand. So we think that the specialization of a separate imprint is going to help us provide much clearer positioning for our nonfiction output and authors.”

About the Author

Eugene Gerden

Eugene Gerden is an international freelance writer who specializes in covering global book publishing and bookselling industry.

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