Ahead of the International Publishers Association seminar in Nairobi, Kenya Publishers Association chair Lawrence Njagi looks at agenda-setting issues.
The frustration with higher VAT for ebooks than print books may finally be over Poland as legislation is proposed to drop the rate from 23 to 5 percent.
At both the national and European level, many are welcoming the arrival of the EU’s amendment, allowing member markets to tax ebooks and other digital formats at the same rate as print.
A new decision allows EU member states to align VAT rates on print books and ebooks if they choose to, instead of a 15% minimum for electronic services.
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.
‘It makes no sense in the modern world that readers are being penalized with an additional 20-percent VAT for choosing to embrace digital,’ says the Publishers Association chief.
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.
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 Others caution that taxes and over-reliance on outdated authors is hampering growth.
More than a quarter of the roughly 15,000 ebooks available in Czech are on the newly launched Bookport subscription platform, with more titles coming.
A new tax law allows Czech companies to offer tax-deductible book vouchers to employees. Publishers are hoping for a boost in book sales and book prices.