Corona reality in publishing: challenges and trends

(opinion article)

May 13, 2021. Grinchenko University welcomed Ukrainian and foreign scholars on marvellous conference ‘Creative Industries: Modern Trends.’ The atmosphere of the event was fantastic, also the International Round Table with Publishers ‘Modern challenges and trends in the creative industries’ as part of conference really was the icing on the cake. The Round Table was attended by over 40 participants, including Ukrainian and foreign publishers, future editors, reading promoters and professors.  

The moderator of the meeting was Olena Osmolovska, Associate Professor of Publishing and Editing KUBG, director of Publishing Center “12.” The key topic of the Round Table was the discussion of quarantine realities in publishing. Ukrainian and Finnish publishers shared their experiences of how their publishing houses adapt to longsome quarantine and hunt for creative solutions to deadlocks. The discussion began with the question “Challenges of the pandemic in the book business.” The conversation was supported by Maryana Savka, Editor-in-Chief of ‘Vydavnytstvo Starogo Leva’, who noted that the publishing house proficiently established the distribution of books on the site and social networks during lockdown. Hence, their projects ‘Coffee and books to go’ and collaboration with Monobank are worthy of applause. “The first task of the pandemic for us was not to lose touch with the readers, share emotions with them,” stressed Maryana Savka.

Tuula Pere, a big-name children writer from Wickwick Publishing house (Finland) also noted that the pandemic forced to look for fresh ways. She argued that the consolidation, involvement of foreign authors and the creation of mixed books were becoming trends in Finnish book publishing. It has encouraged us to contact and cross the borders and barriers in a new way. In our operations in Wickwick we have found this very inspiring, too! noted Tuula.

Participants also talked about promoting reading in the world. Pekka Pere, the colleague of Tuula, told about curious Finnish experience of donating books for boxing to a young family. Unfortunately, there is no such initiative in Ukraine, but Ukrainian publishers concur that the book should become a friend from the birth of babies. Participants noted that sales of e-books have increased, too.

Besides, Illia Fedienko, Manager of ‘Shkola’ Publishing House showed a bright case of books distribution. The publishing house began to promote books through Internet sites, involving various food and industrial networks. Also, ‘ADEF-Ukraine’ Publishing House with the beginning of the covid times began to use the picturesque courtyard for presentations and meetings with the authors.

Personally, I was glad to meet the publishing ‘celebrities’ and compare the Finnish technique with Ukrainian experience of book publishing. Surely, there is a great difference between the publishing industries of these countries, for example, in state funding, but the trends and challenges looks similar. Also, I agree that the creative industries have withstood the kick in the guts of lockdown and found cool opportunities for themselves.

In conclusion, I can confidently assure that International Round ‘Modern challenges and trends in the creative industries’ turn out a sparkling event. I would like to end with a quote from one of the participants of the event, “Books teach not only the mind but also the soul. I think it is worth remembering this in bodeful times of lockdown…

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