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© Olena Popova

This report provides a summary of the Ukrainian publishing sector research initiated by the British Council Ukraine with Ukrainian Book Institute support.

The project was undertaken from February to October 2020.

This research includes over 100 hours of face-to-face and online interviews with publishers, retailers, librarians, festival workers, representatives of cultural and industry entities, and other stakeholders.

The project’s aim is to explore the Ukrainian mass-market literary publishing sector and generate a detailed needs-analysis of Ukrainian publishers, and further defining opportunities for internationalisation.

With the Covid-19 outbreak in March 2020 and the subsequent lockdown, we decided to assess the impact of the pandemic on the Ukrainian publishing sector. This research was undertaken online during July -- August 2020. In September 2020, focus groups were held to validate the findings.

Publishing Sector in Ukraine: a brief review

Ukraine’s publishing sector has much to interest UK and international publishers including festivals and book fairs that have begun to gain global attention; exceptional illustration and design; and technical innovations.

Over the past three years, the British Council has successfully run several publishing-focused programmes, including Booking the Future (a joint project with EUNIC). The project comprised lectures and presentations from European publishing experts at Book Arsenal Festival, a five-day seminar for 27 Ukrainian industry professionals, and a 3×3 Mentoring Programme for Ukrainian publishing specialists.

These programmes gave us an idea of publishing skills in need of enhancement. We wanted to look more deeply into the Ukrainian sector, to build an evidence base for future programmes and to understand the challenges faced by the different sector players, such as bookshops, small and big publishers, and libraries.

The British Council Ukraine invited Emma Shercliff to conduct this research. Her work for a small independent publisher and academic research has complemented her approach to this report.

Emma Shercliff

Emma is a publishing consultant with over 20 years of experience in the industry. She has worked for publishing houses in Paris, Melbourne, Abuja, and London, and for the British Council in Nigeria and Iran.

Emma was formerly Managing Director of Macmillan English Campus, a global digital publishing division of Macmillan Publishers, and Head of Export Sales at Hodder Education. She is a non-executive director of Cassava Republic Press UK, and in October 2020 founded Laxfield Literary Associates, a literary agency.

Emma holds an MA in Modern Languages from Cambridge University and an MA in International Development & Education from the UCL Institute of Education. Emma is a PhD candidate at UCL; her thesis explores and documents the role of female publishers in shaping the literary landscape in Africa.