The downturn in print book sales in Russia may have been as deep as between 50 and 70 percent, according to editor Svetlana Zorin.
Storytel reports seeing a rise in audiobook downloads in Russia by 45 percent in the last year. LitRes leads market.
The strength of crime fiction in the Russian market, publishers say, has to do with contemporary genre voices in international markets.
Despite having more than 20 percent of the world’s forests, Russia is market with a paper shortage that means higher book prices.
Publishers in Russia talk of little hope of a turnaround in 2021, describing a book market that was sliding before the pandemic.
Some children’s book publishers in Russia forecast growth in 2021, but another publisher cautions that ‘oversupply’ and ‘low-quality books’ are problematic.
In the case of Ukraine’s Old Lion Publishing House, adapting to online retail in 2020 made the difference between succeeding and going under.
Year’s End: ‘Constant access to large catalogues of ebooks’ is credited with digital subscriptions’ popularity during the pandemic.
As Russia’s coronavirus numbers hit record levels, booksellers are taking a protracted hit, not eased by rumors of new lockdowns and surging statistics.
While a Latvian publisher seems encouraged, a counterpart in Estonia is less upbeat. And Russia’s LitRes is eyeing the region’s digital sales.