The Covid-19 pandemic has damaged the book industry worldwide, slashing revenues by up to 80% in some markets.* The easing of restrictions in places has not neutralized the threat of the book sector’s collapse in some countries.
Adopted at the Moscow International Book Fair, 3 September 2020
Despite these enormous challenges, the book industry has reacted quickly and selflessly, with authors and publishers generously licensing their content and digital services. Along with booksellers, they have used online resources and virtual events to help people keep reading, while celebrating the social, educational and cultural importance of books.
Books and reading are vital to the creation, development and flourishing of the knowledge economy of the future. At this critical moment, governments must implement emergency relief and invest in that future by providing emergency financial support for writers, publishers, booksellers and translators.
Echoing the joint statement by world book industry leaders on World Book Day 2020, the IPA calls on governments to:
Consider the book sector as essential to society:
- introduce rent subsidies for bookstores;
- introduce tax credits for book publishers and booksellers;
- earmark support funds for small and medium-sized publishing houses;
- support, develop and invest more in national and international book fairs as essential public service institutions that form bridges between writers, publishers and readers from all countries and cultures;
Stimulate demand for books:
- abolish taxation on all books, whether paper-based, digital or audio;
- implement state-funded coupon programmes so everyone can buy books;
- boost budgets to replenish library collections and develop ambitious reading support programmes;
- enhance special programmes to support export and translation rights;
- create a reduced postal tariff for the distribution of physical books;
Protect intellectual capital:
- create support funds for publishers, writers, artists, and translators;
- step up the fight against electronic and hard copy piracy.
The IPA 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.
*An ongoing IPA poll of publishers associations in more than 30 major markets has revealed massive revenue losses for publishing houses ranging from 50-80%. The findings will be published in due course as part of an IPA Post-Covid-19 action plan.