In Solidarity With Ukrainian Publishers…

Last issue, All About Book Publishing reached out to two publishers in Ukraine to know more about the Ukrainian book market before and during the Russia-Ukraine war. Here, we bring you views from another Ukranian publisher Vikhola.

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Vikhola is a Ukrainian publishing house located in Kyiv. The main aim of its founders is to discover new Ukrainian authors and make quality, inspiring and captivating books for wide audiences.

Inception during Covid…

“We launched our business in July 2020, during the COVID-19 lockdown. We looked for the right direction and tried different working strategies back then. In contrast to the majority of Ukrainian publishers, who issued books in translation, we decided to focus on Ukrainian non-fiction authors, and it worked. For almost two years, we managed to turn a small company into a successful business,” tells Iryna Shchepina, Co-founder of the Vikhola Publishing House.

Impact of Russia-Ukraine war…

“When the Russian-Ukrainian full-scale war started, our work stopped. Everyone constantly scrolled the newsfeed and felt frustrated. Gradually, our team fled from Kyiv to other places. Luckily, none of us got hurt, but the windows in our distributor’s warehouse, where we keep our books, were blown out because of the blast wave from the Russian missile attack nearby. When we got ourselves together a little, we began to reach out to our authors. Some of them had to leave their homes and move to safer places or other countries. Someone stays in a city, which is bombed, someone is now living under the Russian occupation, and someone has joined the armed forces of Ukraine,” tells Iryna as a matter of fact.

Starting all over again…

“I don’t remember the exact day we decided that it was time to get back to work. It was happening slowly. We discussed what to do, how to communicate with our readers, and how to change our publishing plans. We found ourselves in the circumstances where we had to feel our way, again. For the current moment, we have renewed our online events, switched from daily shipping to sending orders once a week, and even launched a pre-order for the new book, which is expected to be published within May. Of course, sales of printed books declined, but, what is interesting, the share of e-book sales grew by 50% over pre-war figures. What is more, due to the growing general interest in Ukraine, we have received an offer for one of our titles from a foreign publisher,” adda Iryna.

On a concluding note…

“It’s difficult emotionally to get back to work because you often think about the disasters of the war, about people fighting to protect our freedom, independence, and our land. Against all the odds, we have to keep working. After all, it’s our job to collect the events and emotions of this war and reflect them in books. The contemporary history of Ukraine is being written now, before our eyes, and we need to capture it to remember,” concludes Iryna.

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