By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Digital Seminar in RussiaMoscow’s Garage Museum of Contemporary Art and Frankfurter Buchmesse—represented by the Russian capital’s German Book Information Center—today (June 3) are concluding a fourth annual School of Publishing program, a three-day event staged digitally, of course, because of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, which has hit Russia particularly hard.
In its 7:33 a.m. ET update (1133 GMT), the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center reports Russia as third in the world for its caseload after the United States and Brazil, registering 431,715 cases and 5,208 deaths, in a population of 146 million.
The program—a part of Frankfurt’s series of outreach events designed to support strong publishing industries and cultures in established and emerging markets—not only presents issues and developments in world publishing to its participants but also will usually include a chance for those participants to share their own key projects with each other.
In addition, the physical positioning of the event frequently dovetails with a significant related moment in Moscow’s book and cultural life. Last year, for example, the School of Publishing participants also saw an international artbook show in connection with the Garage’s exhibitions programming.
Reflections on the Bauhaus, AI, Fixed Pricing, and More
This year, the program was opened by Buchmesse’s president and CEO Juergen Boos, who spoke with the architect Jana Revedin on her research and writings in the history of the Bauhaus, featured for the centennial of the work of Walter Gropius and his associates in Germany. Revedin is the author of Everybody Here Calls Me Ms. Bauhaus (Jeder hier nennt mich Frau Bauhaus, Dumont, 2018).
The program included a reading by Revedin from her book. Watch the full video of Boos’ and Revedin’s session here.
Also on the first of the program’s three days, Boris Trofimov, the graphic designer who leads the creative workshop at Moscow’s Institute of Business and Design, spoke on the 135th anniversary of poet Velimir Khlebnikov’s birth and his play Zangezi: A Supersaga in 20 Planes. Watch the video here.
Ensuing sessions have included a focus on artificial intelligence in the industry with Frankfurt partner Gould Finch’s Colin Lovrinovich, who spoke with Publishing Perspectives earlier this year around his appearance in February at CONTEC Mexico, another Buchmesse event. Watch the video here.
Another of the Tuesday (June 2) sessions was with Karin Herber-Schlapp, who discussed what a fixed price for a book implies, what regulations exist, whether there are exceptions to the rules, and what significance this has for the German book market. Watch Herber-Schlapp’s video session here.
Richard Stoiber, well known in Berlin and to many of us in the international industry for his work with the specialized publisher Matthes & Seitz, spoke to the group on “Publishing Marketing: The Promotion of a Publishing House, Book, Author,” with an emphasis on the tools that can be used to make a brand recognizable. Watch Stoiber’s video here.
And Matt Williams, vice-president with Canada’s House of Anansi and Groundwood Books spoke to the program about the structure, history, and current state of the Canadian book industry, ahead of this year’s scheduled Guest of Honor Canada program for Frankfurter Buchmesse. Watch the video of Williams’ session here.
The program again this year was produced by Anastasia Milekhina, who leads the Frankfurter Buchmesse Moscow office, with support from Frankfurt’s programming team.
More from Publishing Perspectives on the Russian market is here, more from us on Frankfurter Buchmesse and its work is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.