Latviski English По-русски
Friday 19.01.2018 | Name days: Alnis, Andulis

Jumava: book industry’s contribution forms 100 million lats yearly

(+1 rating, 1 votes)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU, Juris Visockis

Juris Visockis

Book publishing effect on education, information, language improvement and design can be assessed at the extent of 100 million lats a year, the Head of the publishing house Jumava Juris Visockis indicates in an interview to the business news portal BNN.

He also acknowledges book publishing industry is alive, because five books are published in Latvia daily. The publisher also hopes to return to the annual turnover of one million lats, which the company managed to achieve before the crisis in 2008.

What has the publisher Jumava achieved during its 20 years of existence?

These have been years of rivalry with the fact the book market conditions become more and more difficult, however, we became wiser as well. Every year it seemed the next one will be calmer and better. But – nothing; even new challenges emerged. Starting with the VAT rise saga, which was a huge mistake of Ivars Godmanis government. We are thankful to Valdis Dombrovskis government for keeping the reduced rate of 12% on books. The VAT increase is not good, but at least now there are opportunities and base for work. Currently, we publish 120 to 150 book titles a year, of which about half is original literature. Hopefully, we will return to an annual turnover of one million lats that we had already attained before the crisis in 2008. The money I turn now will cover loan payments and the next book printing cycle. At the moment, we are improving book sales and distribution infrastructure.

How large is your chain of bookshops?

There are now ten bookstores. This is not really the entire scale of chains; however, we are ready to expand cooperation with L.Grāmata, Jāņa Rozes grāmatnīca or Valters un Rapa, if it is necessary and someone starts the negotiations. The good news is the bookshop sales have stabilized and exited the red numbers.

What type of support do you await from the state and the Culture Ministry?

We are a part of the creative industry such as theater, cinema and others, so book publishing is both business and lifestyle. We should be subsidized by the state, because we give a great value added to Latvia. Book publishing contribution in education, information, language improvement, design etc. could be estimated at 100 million lats per year. Yet, at the time of Godmanis mandate, the state attempted to collect three, six or even seven million lats, but it failed. This shook the industry significantly – everything fell by 50%. The only improving factor is that Latvians have long been a nation of book-lovers with the largest home libraries in the world. Andris Vilks, the Director of the Latvian National Library, told me this. We have a completely open book market, for instance, translated works comprise only 5% of the US book market. Latvia could learn from Norway, where publishers have it more easier, because 1 000 to 2 000 copies are immediately placed on public procurement for national libraries. During the fat years we published around 2500 titles yearly; however, Estonia is ahead of us with 4 000 book titles a year. Now we have about 2 000 books a year. Only about 200 copies go to library funds in Latvia.

We will never achieve the level of Norway’s prosperity. We have to ensure that the procurement does not slip to zero. There was a ridiculous situation right before the elections, when we met with the Finance Minister and mentioned that the state currently supports book procurement with 3 000 lats per year. The Finance Minister wanted me to go over the same statement three times, making sure whether I had meant 300 000 or 30 000 lats. He thought we had forgotten to add some zeros … and he sounded deeply infuriated. However, this sum has not been increased yet.

How are you affected by Zvaigzne ABC’s outlets?

It does and does not affect us, depending on how you look at it. Although Latvia is not a large country, each day five new books are published. This means that the sector is alive. During the 90s, Russian authors were glad that their books were very cheap. However, recently their prices are rising as well. Market segmentation and individualization is taking place; therefore, majority of consumers focus on the quality, the book’s aesthetic enjoyment, not its price. I have tried some discount campaigns, yet they not always pay off. The chain will extend, because soon mass digitization of books will occur, as well as a shift to online marketing exclusively. Publishers’ role will decrease.

What is the average number of print runs?

If five or seven years ago the average novel print run amounted to 3 000 copies, two years ago it was only 2 000 copies. Now print runs have dropped to 1 500 copies. Estonia prints 1 000 copies, this is what awaits us. It is not a tragedy, because publishers and printing houses have already adapted to it. This, of course, slightly surcharges the prime cost of a single copy. Publishers earn with cyclical books. Unfortunately, Latvian authors do not write bestsellers – about what is important for the Latvian people. Thanks to the publisher Atēna that first lifted prices of good, thick books above 10 lats. For ten years we did not manage to enter the market with cheaper polygraphic solutions and soft covers; but, now consumers have become more economical and accept it. Secondary school students and university students come to stores with new buying habits.

How many days do bookstores need to settle payments on the sold books?

It depends. Starting from 30 days. Everything is delayed, including our payments to authors. Of course, not to the extent of dramatic years – 2008, 2009 and 2010. There is a current account deficit. So, we understand shopkeepers having difficulties in settling payments with us.

The first round of the game Grand Prix, which you organized together with Reader’s Digest, has just concluded. What are the summarized results?

Indeed, last year the game Grand Prix was launched here from Lithuania. As a book publisher, I see great opportunity in this book distribution chain, because they have their own database. What they have verified in Lithuania over the five years is that their game players generally do not visit bookshops. This means that we are addressing other audience – stay-at-homes, the disabled, people with other traditions, also the Russian-speaking population. The total prize pool was over 30 000 lats, because the winner got 24 000 lats, replying within seven days. Other winner won a car worth 10 000 lats. This gave visibility to the publishing house Jumava. In future, I wish to distribute Jumava’s books in this chain. So far, they sold translated Reader’s Digest editions. Currently, their earnings are not large, as they are only increasing the customers’ base and market potential.

What do you think of the State Cultural Capital Foundation’s (SCCF) activities?

It is true that the SCCF is granting almost no funding for new books. Its budget has shrunken more than during the first years of its establishment. Over the 20 years, we have received valuable support from the SCCF and are operating due to many benefactors, local governments, embassies and the EU institutions. Rather than seeking sponsors, or beg for assistance of the SCCF, writers will have to start targeting foreign markets. Authors writing novels in the evenings or at nights after their main job, cannot make a living on that exlusively. So a support system for writers has to be created. Where are literature works describing Latvia’s economic crisis turmoils? This was requested at London and Frankfurt international book fairs. They are willing to conclude agreements.

Leave a reply

  1. Marnie says:

    You’ve hit the ball out the park! Incdrieble!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Weather to remain winter-like in Latvia during the weekend and next week

On Friday and Saturday, no major increase of snow is expected. Air temperature will increase slightly, but colder masses of air will slow into the country on Sunday, as reported by Latvian State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Winter storm in Netherlands and Germany turns tragic

A powerful winter storm in western and central Europe has claimed the lives of eight people.

Lithuanian bishops: skipping fasting on February 16 this year is not a sin

In an unprecedented move, the Conference of Lithuanian Bishops, the governing body of the Lithuanian Catholic Church, said that meat dishes okay for the people of faith on February 16, which marks the 100-year anniversary of Lithuania's statehood and the Lent Friday, which is traditionally a day of fasting for religious Catholic people.

Coincidence? Votes from Harmony and UGF ensure Sudraba remains the head of Oligarchs case committee

On Thursday, 18 January, the majority of Saeima members voted against the proposal to dismiss Inguna Sudraba from the post of the head of parliamentary investigative committee in charge of the review of the infamous Oligarchs case.

Kaljulaid criticised over involvement of acclaimed, but unrestrained director in centennial reception

As Estonia readies for the presidential reception to honour the 100th anniversary of Estonia, its President Kersti Kaljulaid is being criticised in an open letter for trusting Tallinn’s NO99 theatre, whose director physically assaulted a female colleague.

22.1% of Latvia’s residents subjected to risk of poverty

In 2017, 425 thousand persons or 22.1 % of Latvia population were at risk of poverty in 2016 – 0.3 percentage points less than in 2015. Equivalent income of this part of the population were below 330 euros monthly.

LAAC: Latvia’s milk market can be sorted out by joining forces in exports

Latvian Association of Agricultural Cooperatives (LAAC) has received support and praise for the public discussion regarding rapid milk procurement price changes, which is something that has recently affected the majority of agricultural cooperatives. This has helped cooperatives band together in order to sort out the milk market. This idea came from the example set by grain producer cooperatives, which did the same thing fifteen years ago, as reported by the association’s representatives.

Forevers announces its decision to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies

Forevers meat processing company has decided to exit from Latvian Federation of Food Companies (LFFC). The contract between two parties will be terminated in January.

Saeima’s Oligarchs case investigative committee hastily approves final report

In spite of objections, grammatical errors, criticisms about lacking effort, as well as Inguna Sudraba’s unfit status to lead the committee, members decided to move the meeting from 11:00 to 08:00 and approve the final report in a rushed vote.

Removal of 1 and 2 euro cent coins from circulation suggested by Bank of Estonia

Estonian central bank is willing to follow the eurozone trend of limiting the circulation of euro 1-cent and 2-cent coins and in time to remove them entirely from circulation in the Baltic country. attacks on e-health system and LETA were likely ordered

Attacks on e-health system and LETA agency were likely ordered, said deputy manager Varis Teivāns in an interview to Rīta Panorāma programme of LTV.

As Catalan parliament reconvenes, it elects pro-independence speaker

The Catalan regional parliament has in its first sitting since its ousting and snap December election elected a separatist-minded politician as its Chairman, which indicates that the attempts to break the region away from Spain would continue.

Latvia’s National Armed forces receive new Harris tactical radio equipment

In 2017, Latvia received tactical military radios worth USD 10.5 million from American Harris Corporation. Procurement of radio equipment will further improve command function and help develop a lasting communication system with other NATO member states, as reported by Latvian Defence Ministry.

MEP: Europe continues strengthening its energy independence

«The European Parliament has voiced strong support towards Europe’s energy independence and moving its energy policy away from Russia’s monopoly by investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources,» said MEP Krišjānis Kariņš after the vote on Clean Energy Act’s first reading in Strasbourg.

Apple expected to pay additional 38 billion USD in taxes for money kept abroad

Motivated by the U.S. tax reform, Apple will pay about 38 billion U.S. dollars (31 billion euros) in tax on the roughly 250 billion dollars (204 billion euros) the computer technology firm keeps outside of its country of origin as it plans to focus more on its contribution to the American economy.

Latvian police commenced three criminal processes for contraband of drugs this year

In the first two weeks of 2018, State Revenue Service’s Customs Police commenced three criminal processes in regards to illegal drugs contraband in postal packages from Lithuania to Latvia.

Betsafe: To Latvia from the Heart has laughable chance of entering next Saeima

With declining ratings, Inguna Sudraba’s party To Latvia from The Heart has been left with laughable chances of entering the next Saeima, Betsafe bookmakers say.

EU Affairs Committee: EU Digital Single Market motivated Latvia to perform reforms

European Union’s Digital Single Market strategy offered new opportunities for Latvian businessmen to actively present their services in other member states. The strategy also served as an impulse for the business environment and state administration. The strategy motivates our government to walk the road of reformation more actively and clean up messes that have remained for a long time, said chairperson of Saeima’s European Affairs Committee Lolita Čigāne on Wednesday, 17 January.

Expert: Zhdanok’s decision to leave EP was carefully calculated to revive Latvian Russians Union

The decision made by member of the European Parliament (EP) and leader of Latvian Russians Union (LRU) Tatyana Zhdanok, in accordance with which she intends to leave the European Parliament to instead focus on LRU’s election campaign, was a carefully calculated step to reanimate the party, said dean of Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Latvia Juris Rozenvalds.

Maxima Latvia expects price decline up to 15% in 2018

Following Maxima Latvija’s decision to reduce prices for nearly 1,000 important goods, it is expected that a similar step will be made by other players in the industry. This could mean prices for everyday goods could decline by up to 15%, as BNN was informed by the company.

Latvia’s economy reaches highest peak since 2015

Residents’ mood has improved for most positions of the study. Residents were positive the most about ongoing changes for Latvia’s economy, the value of which has reached its peak since July 2015. In spite of optimistic changes, however, 30% of respondents are critical about ongoing economic changes in Latvia, according to results of the latest Baltic International Bank’s Latvian Barometer.

Riga exchange hopes for new securities issuers this year

There are hopes to see new Latvian businesses release shares on the stock market this year, says chairperson of Nasdaq Riga Daiga Auziņa-Melalksne.

Latvian universities to offer students an innovative grant system

To help develop students’ innovative and business abilities, Latvian Education and Science Ministry has developed a new student grant system, which will focus mainly on supporting innovative projects and research and further improve cooperation between universities and leading businesses to attract human resources, the ministry reports.

Russian sociologists fear closure, quit publishing election polls

Russian leading independent polling organisation Levada Center has stated it has quit releasing results of polls on the country’s spring presidential election citing concern that the authorities could close it down for what they see as meddling in politics.

Court maintains pledge on former LAR leader’s bank accounts and owned property

Court has applied pledge status on property and bank accounts owned by Riga City Council member Mārtiņš Bondars to enforce EUR 15 million from him as part of Latvijas Krajbanka criminal case, as reported by TV3 News.

Most read

Most commented

Would you be ready to boycott something in your life?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Polls Archive

Category feed: Feed: