Large British publishers refuse to cooperate with the Russian Federation


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The Bookseller reported that the British literary agency Curtis Brown and the publishing houses Pan Macmillan and Canongate have suspended cooperation with Russian publishers.


Chief of Curtis Brown, Johnny Geller, notes, the publishing house is going to suspend cooperation with Russian business while the war continues and will come round to work with the Russian Federation after the war ending.


«We are united with writers, publishers and artists who have publicly condemned this senseless act of aggression and bloodshed», – he added.


Curtis Brown will also donate £ 5,000 to both the Open Culture Foundation, from the Association of Ukrainian PEN, Polish PEN and Belarusian PEN, and the Emergency Appeals Committee of Ukraine, which works with local and international charities to alleviate humanitarian crises.


Canongate Publishing House also donated £ 5,000 to the Emergency Committee to help Ukraine.


Other publishers, such as Andrew Nurnberg Associates and David Higham Associates, are among those that choose to negotiate licensing with Russian and Ukrainian publishers based on «the individual wishes of their clients».


Doug Wallace, the Marketing Director of Andrew Nurnberg Associates said: «We are terribly upset about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. We cannot reduce our position to just words. Licensing to Russian publishers has fallen sharply in recent weeks, and we expect it to remain so, at least until the end of the year. We speak to each of our clients from Russia and Ukraine separately».


«The world’s largest publishing houses are beginning to make statements about the suspension of cooperation with the Russians. For them, this is not an ethical issue, but a business decision. The Russian book market is far from being a priority for publishing giants, but the reputational risks are quite real», – Inna Bilonozhko, a book analyst and author of the Telegram-channel about the English-language publishing world, cynical_publisher, told Chytomo in an exclusive comment.


She said that medium-size and small publishers with private owners are guided solely by their own interests and moral and ethical principles, and those who make public statements are openly on the side of Ukraine. Those who do not want to refuse cooperation with the Russians are silent. The literary agents treat writers in the same way. Statements such as «we make decisions on a case-by-case basis» or «the company has not yet made a final decision» are the result of active pro-Ukrainian work by the British media, professional associations, PEN, and especially local bookstores which try not to let the representatives of their industry keep silent and survive the war.


It was reported that the world’s largest publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, as well as Gardners, the UK’s only real book distributor, have reportedly stopped working with Russian publishing houses.


In addition, the London, Frankfurt and Bologna Book Fairs also refused to cooperate with the Russian publishers. The Prague Book Fair and Literary Festival «Book World» also cancelled Russia’s participation this year. In total, 14 book fairs will not cooperate with the Russian publishers this year.