95% of Ukrainian publishers report drastic drop in sales since start of full-scale war


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95.15% of Ukrainian publishers say the sale of books has fallen dramatically in the first month of russia’s full-scale invasion. This according to a survey by the Chytomo project How are Ukrainian publishers working during war.

3.7% said sales decreased, but not significantly. Only 1.2% said that sales increased. 


Many publishers said that despite declining sales, they have made their books freely available. This includes Svichado, Nash Format, The Old Lion Publishing HouseVivatRodovidAstrolabeYakaboo PublishingHK-Bohdan.


Anetta Antonenko PublishersKnigolove, and Folio are selling e-books on their websites for 1 hryvnia. 


Some are taking orders online and shipping books, but very few. They are selling those books that were printed before the war and to which access is available. 


Profits are also impact publishers’ ability to pay salaries. So far during martial law, 17.1% have been able to pay salaries in full, 54.9% have paid partial salaries, and nearly one-third (28%) cannot pay salaries.  


That is why many publishers are asking for institutional support, tax breaks, loans, and salary compensation for those in dangerous areas. 


«Subsidies for the cultural sphere (a simplified tax system, any sort of financial support). In times of war, people care first and foremost about basic needs; that’s why book publishing needs to be supported in any way possible», Svichado said. 


«State support for employees of publishing houses that are in territory of hostilities during the war, like with the monthly payments to teachers who can’t work. It could be payment of the minimum wage. Otherwise, the industry will be destroyed because employees will get new training in a different field. And also begin to develop a program for rebuilding and providing incentives for the industry – libraries, bookstores, publishing houses», — Ranok Publishers say. 


«Search for foreign funds, associations (and create a database) that would become potential customers for Ukrainian publishers to purchase and distribute books among Ukrainians who were forced to leave their homes and go abroad», — say Kalamar Publishing House.


The full report on the book publishing market survey during the war can be found on the website of the Chytomo project


The online survey of 81 publishers from across Ukraine was held on March 26 – April 8, 2022.


As a result of russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, only 2.4% of publishers have been forced to leave Ukraine and work abroad.  


A survey has also been conducted of the influence of russia’s full-scale invasion on creative industries in Ukraine.