Frankfurt Fellowships: Roman Skliarov of Nash Format, Ukraine

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

An advance Frankfurt Magazine interview: Nash Format’s Roman Skliarov works on books targeted at ‘the political elite of Ukraine.’

Ukrainian author Serhiy Zhadan, winner of the 2022 Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, at this year’s Kyiv Book Fest, organized by Nash Format Publishers. Image: Kyiv Book Fest

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Special Program for Ukraine and Neighboring Countries
The Special Program for Publishers from Ukraine and Neighboring Countries is an intensive training and networking program for publishers, editors, foreign rights managers, and literary agents from Armenia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, the Slovak Republic, and Ukraine.

This program has support from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany and is curated by Frankfurt in cooperation with the Book Arsenal Festival in Kyiv and the Goethe-Institut Ukraine.

You can learn more about all of Frankfurt’s fellowship and/or grant programs here.

‘Tell the World About Ukraine’

Roman Skliarov
Nash Format Publisher, Ukraine

Publishing Perspectives: Tell us about Nash Format and your work there.

Roman Skliarov

Roman Skliarov: Nash Format Publishers is not just a commercial project. We aim to build a modern Ukrainian nation and country, and therefore we publish a series of books on state building, the main target audience of which is the political elite of Ukraine.

These are mostly titles on economics, national security, political science, history, etc. I’m the head of the editorial office that publishes these titles. As editor-in-chief, I select titles, search the translators for them, edit some of them personally, and then actively help to promote them after publication.

To cover expenses, we have a second editorial office that deals with commercial titles, earn money to publish titles from my editorial office.

I also sell rights for the Ukrainian titles abroad. I started as a book scout in a publishing house, so historically all communication with foreign agents and publishers is on me. It’s a separate important mission that should tell the world about Ukraine, our culture and history, at a time when the enemy is trying to destroy Ukrainian identity as such.

‘To Deepen Cooperation With Key Partners’

At the 2022 Kyiv Book Fest, which is organized by Nash Format, the publisher for which Roman Skliarov is editor-in-chief for policy and issues-driven nonfiction. Image: Kyiv Book Fest

Publishing Perspectives: What are the main challenges you see in your country’s book market today for publishers?

Roman Skliarov: The main challenge is physical survival in terms of war. The more weapons we get, the faster the war ends and the faster this challenge is overcome.

“Our publishing house was the organizer of the large book fair Kyiv Book Fest, which took place in early September 2023. People miss such events.”Roman Skliarov, Nash Format

The second challenge is the difficult state of the economy: the cost of living in a war is rising, and people often only have enough money for food and medicine, not for books. Considering the high cost of paper, the books themselves have also become more expensive, so it’s quite difficult to manage all of that on the operation level of the company.

On the other hand, our publishing house was the organizer of the large book fair Kyiv Book Fest, which took place in early September 2023.

It was attended by most Ukrainian publishers, plenty of visitors, with author activities and public discussions. People miss such events.”

Publishing Perspectives: Will this be your first time at Frankfurt Book Fair?

It will be my second time. I already do know a bit about the work of the fair and the book market as a whole, so I plan to deepen cooperation with key partners, meet new partners if possible, and reach mutually beneficial deals regarding the sale and purchase of book rights.

At the 2022 Kyiv Book Fest, which is organized by Nash Format, the publisher for which Roman Skliarov is editor-in-chief for policy and issues-driven nonfiction. Image: Kyiv Book Fest

This is an interview from our 75th Frankfurt coverage from our Frankfurt Book Fair Magazine, which will be distributed on October 18, in print at the trade show and digitally here at Publishing Perspectives.

The magazine has more interviews with fellows and grant-program recipients from international publishing markets, as well as previews of programming from our Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurt including our Executive Talks with Penguin Random House worldwide CEO Nihar Malaviya and Nanmeebooks’ Kim Chongsatitwana; highlights of key events at the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse; and coverage of Frankfurt’s upcoming guest of honor programs (Italy, the Philippines, the Czech Republic) and this year’s Guest of Honor Slovenia.

There’s also news of literary agents and agencies; award-winning books from guest of honor markets; focus articles on artificial intelligence, sustainability; and a forthcoming effort to get more Korean literature into world markets; as well as 75th-anniversary “Frankfurt Moments.”

Join us at the Publishing Perspectives Forum, October 18 to 20, with issue-driven B2B programming free of charge to all Frankfurt trade visitors and exhibitors. You’ll find us in Room Spektrum on the second level of the Congress Center, and detailed information on events and speakers is here.

Here is all our coverage of publishing in Ukraine and the impact on the book business of Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked assault.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the Book Arsenal Festival is here, and more on the international book fairs, festivals, and trade shows in publishing is here. More on the freedom to publish and the freedom of expression is here. And more on Yulia Koslovets and her work is here.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on fellowships in publishing is here, and more on the Ukrainian market is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.