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The International Publishers Association (IPA) has repeated its call to governments worldwide to support their book industries as the corona pandemic continues to wreak havoc. At the Moscow International Book Fair (2-6 September) – where restrictions due to the virus are extensive and include the stipulation that all visitors must wear protective gloves as well as masks – the IPA echoed the joint statement made by international book industry leaders on World Book Day in March earlier this year.
This called for governments to consider the book industry as ‘essential to society’ and among the initiatives the IPA would like to see are an ‘increase in rent subsidies for bookstores’ and the earmarking of ‘support funds for small and medium-sized publishers’.
Governments should also ‘stimulate demand for books by abolishing taxation on all forms of books [and] implementing state-funded coupon programmes so everyone can buy books’.
The IPA is also asking governments to protect intellectual capital by creating support funds for publishers, writers, artists and translators and stepping up ‘the fight against electronic and hard copy piracy’.
An ongoing IPA poll of publishers associations in more than 30 major markets has revealed massive revenue losses for publishing houses ranging from 50 to 80%. The IPA says it remains ‘available to discuss with governments or their representatives any aspect of this call for action, referring to examples of global best practice as reported by our members’.