Small publishers in Russia see a book market unfairly dominated by large publishing groups and their control over the country’s major bookselling chains.
For all the excitement, tourism, and politically tinged analysis that FIFA’s 21st World Cup brought to Moscow, the books market seems to have come out cheering, too, with international visitors said to be asking for Russian reads.
As Ukraine’s bookselling prospects improve, the loss of the country’s open-air market book stalls may mean more challenges for the book business.
The Russian ebook distributor LitRes reports 45-percent growth year-over-year in ebook sales for the first half of this year. And Storytel, which ended its first year in May in the market, cites digital access over vast distances as a driver.
In Russia, there is a growing demand for English language learning. Russian publisher Prosveshchenie announces a joint venture with Pearson to supply educational material to the market
Russian children’s publisher Clever Media Group is looking to publish English-language titles in US and Canadian markets this autumn, accelerating its international expansion plans.
The prosperity that some in the Russian book industry thought was rising this year may be headed in the other direction, if the expected rise in book VAT becomes a reality.
Despite reported closures of publishers in Ukraine, some say the ban on Russian literature will trigger a new boom in Ukrainian texts which, along with state orders for books, could prompt an upturn in the beleaguered market.
Some Russian publishers say that if piracy can be controlled, print can double its market share within years. Others caution that taxes and over-reliance on outdated authors is hampering growth.
Looking to increase its foreign rights sales, Eksmo-AST’s incoming general director says the company will go to the Frankfurter Buchmesse this year with a big list of children’s and literary titles.