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.
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.
The once-powerful Nauka Publishers, established in the modern era as the Soviets’ multi-city publisher of scientific books and journals, has been advised to produce ‘detective fiction and other trashy publications.’
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.
Ahead of the World Cup in Russia, PEN America issues a letter demanding the release of imprisoned Ukrainian writer and filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who began a hunger strike in May.
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.
With what’s described as a waning summer-reading habit since the end of the Soviet era, Russian government officials say they’re working on a new program to promote vacation reading both for youngsters and adults this year.
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 Others caution that taxes and over-reliance on outdated authors is hampering growth.