Dana Pavlychko And ‘Osnovy’ Publishing House

(interview)

Dana Pavlychko is a Ukrainian publisher, director of the ‘Osnovy’ publishing house. She is a member of Forbes magazine’s project about 30 Ukrainian, who have achieved success in 30 years. Let’s find out more about her and about the work of the ‘Osnovy’ publishing house firsthand.

Your mother was a literary critic, and your grandfathers were a writer and a poet. Was there even a chance that you would not link your life with literature?”

Dana Pavlychko: “My family, of course, gave me a great start. But I really thought that I would not follow in their footsteps, and they did not insist. Everything turned out quite spontaneously. I studied economics abroad. Then, having already returned to Ukraine, I realized that I was ready to head the publishing house, to continue the family business, the business of my mother, who died when I was 11 years old. My father, who went abroad and still lives there, was delighted to learn of my intention. For me, the main thing was that this was my decision, and now I can say that I was not mistaken.”

Is there a formula for a successful book?”

Dana Pavlychko: “This is a very difficult business. We have books that are successful, and others that are less liked by the reader. Our English-language series ‘Awesome Ukraine’ embodies success for us, it was very warmly received by the audience.

In my books, a new look at reality, human existence is important for me, and so that these messages are not repeated with those I have already read. There is no need to be afraid of the new. It is important to believe in the author, and then he will believe in himself and will do even better.”

Do you work with young authors?”

Dana Pavlychko: “Since we do not work with fiction, we often publish young illustrators. We have already held the UKRAINIAN YOUNG BOOK DESIGN AWARDS, where we were looking for the best illustrators under 30. The publishing house is now working on many books on photography. So we also need masters of this craft, and we especially want to attract the older generation. We are also looking for a cool non-fix. We are ready to give out both autobiographies and memoirs. So we are always looking for new names and new views on Ukraine, because we work in most cases with our content. People should be given the chance to create.”

How to attract a foreign reader?”

Dana Pavlychko: “We understand that they don’t know anything about us. So we started to make guides about the country. Ukrainian literature is not present on the foreign market at all; it needs serious promotions. New names should be sought and advertised at international fair and literary gatherings in order to be recognized there. Books are also a product like everything else, they also need good marketing. State assistance is also urgently needed in this area.”

What would you do if it weren’t for the ‘Osnovy’ publishing house?”

Dana Pavlychko: I don’t know. Now I am engaged in publishing and I plan to make books in the future. ‘Osnovy’ is my life, and this is what I love and where I want to develop.”

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