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Issue 6, July 2004

Saturday 24 July 2004

Romani Publishers Training, Sofia, Bulgaria, 26-28 June 2004

The 3-day training seminar for Romani publishers, announced in previous issues of this newsletter, has now been completed. The seminar brought together 23 participants from 12 countries: Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia and the Ukraine. Its purpose was to increase the competence and professional skills of people involved in publishing in Romani around Europe, and to assist them improve international distribution networks. This training course, specific to professional publishing management, was the first of its type for nearly all of the participants.

The training was conducted by Book Marketing Research – Poland (BMR), a company with considerable experience in Eastern Europe. Particular emphasis was laid on marketing and distribution as the participants considered these to be crucial in gaining access to readers in the largest minority group in Europe. Interactive sessions were followed by workshops and individual consultations. Yaron Matras from the University of Manchester, the Romlex project coordinator, was a guest at the seminar. He presented the RomLex database, the widest lexical coverage of Romani varieties (for more information on RomLex see Page Back, Issue 3). The presentation provoked a vigorous discussion on the project’s use and possible applications.

27th Congress of International Publishers Association (IPA), Berlin, 21-24 June 2004

This year’s IPA congress, hosted by the German Boersenverein des Deutsches Buchandels, brought together more than 500 publishers, distributors, librarians and other actors in the book industry to discuss the “hot” issues of today’s publishing world, ranging from challenges to copyright to the opportunities of the new digital technologies and Internet. There was a stimulating programme, with several simultaneous panels. Some particularly interesting highlights were: the opening speech of the German president Johannes Rau; Muege Sokmen’s (Metis Publishers, Turkey) talk on censorship; Gordon Graham’s (Logos, UK) opening of the panel on publishing ethics; Jonas Modig (Swedish Publishers’ Association) on the impact of lifting VAT on books in Sweden; Brian Wafawarowa (New African Books) on the consequences of copyright regulations in developing countries and Henk Kraima (Collective Propaganda, the Netherlands) on reading promotion strategies for children. It was perhaps no surprise that some of the most animated discussions took place at the copyright-related panels and on the open access issue.

Next Page director Yana Genova attended the congress, together with 15 other participants from Eastern Europe. Her presence was made possible thanks to the kind support of the German Foreign Ministry programme for participants from developing and transition countries. The texts of the presentations delivered by invited speakers are available on the internet at

The challenges facing publishers in Tajikistan

In June of this year, Next Page director Yana Genova and Tina Mamulashvilli, co-director of the leading Georgian publisher “Bakur Sulakauri” visited Tajikistan to study the publishing sector of the country and to make recommendations on the future development of the publishing programme of OSI – Tajikistan.

In a country just emerging from a devastating 8-year-long civil war, books and reading have become somewhat neglected. Publishers in Tajikistan have to deal with a number of challenges, not the least of which is the almost non-existent market for books. The system of “zakazy” (orders, commissions), in which the content-developer (an author, an organization) pays for a publication and is then responsible for its distribution, offers little encouragement to the development of a proper publishing industry. Read a summary of the Tajikistan report.

East Translates East – next deadline 15 September

The second round of the 2004 East Translates East competition is now open. Application forms can be downloaded from Announcements section or will be sent in response to e-mails to A list of recommended titles is also available.

In this round applications for the translation of textbooks, manuscripts and publications in periodicals will not be accepted. All application forms should be sent in electronic version - .rtf or .doc files, by e-mail or on a disc. Detailed information on distribution and the motivation for translation are essential.

For additional information please contact Ms Hristina Marinova