Sales of Russian books in the Ukraine have plummeted in 2014 and the Ukrainian government is looking at passing legislation to curtail imports further.
More consolidation has hit the Russian book market as Oleg Novikov, the owner of AST and Eksmo, has agreed to purchase Drofa, a leading education publisher.
The Russian government plans to fund 50 all-digital libraries, establish a national ebook library and transition schools to ebooks over the next several years.
The government of Belarus is intent on supporting its national literature and is offering the industry some $150 million in subsidies to keep it going.
Leading Ukrainian and Russian writers are trading barbs over the recent annexation of the Crimea by Russia and the evolving situation in Ukraine.
The decrease in reading in Russia has alarmed government officials, who are considering various proposals to support bookselling and the promotion of reading.
Ukraine’s new government is considering withdrawing support for the publishing industry and eliminating tax and other benefits for publishers to save cash.
Eksmo, Russia’s leading publishing company, has officially taken over its main rival AST, bringing the country even closer to consolidation.
Consultancy IDC is claiming Russia is now among the world’s top ebook markets, joining the US and China, with more potential for growth.
Russian writers are battling a new government-led Literature Assembly, which they view as an effort to control over authors and a possible return to censorship.