21 Jun Natalia Poleva on the Current State of the Russian Publishing Market (S2 E16)
S2 E16: Natalia Poleva on the Current State of the Russian Publishing Market
By Marleen Seegers, Co-Founder of 2 Seas Agency and Host of The Make Books Travel Podcast
June 21, 2021
Welcome to another episode of the Make Books Travel podcast.
This time we’re traveling all the way to Moscow, Russia to speak with Natalia Poleva.
Natalia started out on the acquisitions side, and more recently made the switch to selling translation rights to fiction and non fiction titles published by Eksmo Publishers.
I was interested in hearing how she felt about switching to the ‘other side’ and what the Russian publishing landscape looks like at what hopefully is the tail-end of the Covid-19 pandemic.
I also wanted to give you a heads-up here, as we ran into some issues with the sound quality. I would suggest that you listen to the interview using headphones, which I hope will make it easier to understand. My apologies for this!
Here are some of the questions I asked Natalia:
- What is the situation in Russia currently in light of the COVID-19 pandemic?
- What was the state of the Russian publishing market before the pandemic started?
- Had the audiobook market been growing, as we’ve seen around the world?
- What has happened since the start of the pandemic in terms of book sales in Russia?
- Was the publishing world on a standstill and were publication dates postponed?
- Was there a higher demand for ebooks and audiobooks, as we have seen in other markets?
- Did any of the Russian book fairs, such as Non/Fiction, take place virtually?
- What does the country’s publishing market look like now?
- Have Eksmo’s marketing and selling strategies changed since the pandemic?
- Are there any powerful online platforms such as Amazon who sell books in Russia or is online shopping not (yet) happening on a large scale in Russia?
- Can you suggest a couple of contemporary Russian authors that sold well internationally?
- Natalia’s book recommendations:
– Kira Yarmysh, Strange Things in Cell #13 (Corpus Publisher) – not yet published in translation
– Blake Crouch, The Wayward Pines Trilogy
– Mikhail Bulgagov, Heart of a Dog
- About Natalia:
As a teacher of English and a translator, Natalia once cracked open the door to the “laboratory” where books are created, and never left that side. She’s always been searching for a new story for over 15 years.
She started as foreign rights acquisition manager with a professional medical publisher, building a portfolio for “GEOTAR-Media Group” who became #1 among Russian medical publishers.
Then she acquired foreign non-fiction for the leading Russian publisher Eksmo Publishers and tried to combine it with selling Russian non-fiction worldwide.
Now she represents and sells adult fiction and non-fiction rights for Eksmo, making Russian voices heard all over the globe.