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Bibliodiversity - Supporting Small Independent Book Publishers

Working together for a green, competitive and inclusive Europe

Bibliodiversity is cultural diversity applied to the world of books. Echoing biodiversity, it refers to the critical diversity of products (books, scripts, eBooks, apps, and oral literature) made available to readers. Bibliodiversity is a complex, self-sustaining system of storytelling, writing, publishing, and other kinds of production of oral and written literature. The writers and producers are comparable to the inhabitants of an ecosystem. Bibliodiversity contributes to a thriving life of culture and a healthy eco-social system. While large publishers do contribute to publishing diversity through the quantitative importance of their production, it is not enough to guarantee bibliodiversity, which is not only measured by the number of titles available.

Independent publishers’ books bring a different outlook and voice, as opposed to the more standardised publications offered by major groups. Independent publishers’ books and other products and their preferred diffusion channels (independent booksellers, among others) are therefore essential to preserve and strengthen plurality and the diffusion of ideas.

BRAK perceives itself as a small independent publishing house and in that respect we fully agree with the above stated definition of bibliodiversity. Even if there is an Association of Publishers and Booksellers in Slovakia, it mainly represents the interests of the large "players," and many small publishers and bookstores are not members. However, we believe that particularly the small “players'' contribute significantly to the diversity of the market and to the quality of the book industry.

Based on our previous experiences with organising a unique book festival, we would like to follow-up with further and more complex activities with the aim to support and promote the concept of bibliodiversity in Slovakia and to empower small publishers.

The goals of our project are:
- to continue with the tradition of a unique festival of small book publishers
- to establish a cooperation with the Norwegian publishing house(s) and exchange experiences in the field of business and advocacy strategies
- to strengthen cooperation between small, independent publishing houses
- to reach new types of audiences

 

The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.

There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.

The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €2.8 billion.

The priorities for this period are:
#1 Innovation, Research, Education and Competitiveness
#2 Social Inclusion, Youth Employment and Poverty Reduction
#3 Environment, Energy, Climate Change and Low Carbon Economy
#4 Culture, Civil Society, Good Governance and Fundamental Rights
#5 Justice and Home Affairs

Eligibility for the Grants mirror the criteria set for the EU Cohesion Fund aimed at member countries where the Gross National Income (GNI) per inhabitant is less than 90% of the EU average.

The EEA Grants scheme consists of two financial mechanisms. The EEA Grants are jointly financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, whose contributions are based on their GDP. Norway Grants are financed solely by Norway.

All projects are co-financed by the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of 15%.

Partners

Solum Bokvennen
Solum Bokvennen is one of Norway's largest independent publishers, established in 2005 by Gunnar Rebnord Totland. Solum Bokvennen has an extensive publishing profile, with around 100 new titles a year, in addition to Norway's only literary monthly BLA . The publishing areas include translated fiction and non-fiction, Norwegian fiction and non-fiction, publications in philosophy and society, translated and Norwegian children's and youth literature, hobby books, textbooks in Sami and minority languages, as well as books for upper secondary school, college and university, and professional subjects. In addition, we develop digital learning tools.

https://www.solumbokvennen.no/

 

KPTL
Civic association KPTL was established in 2018 with the mission of critical reflection of the society. Its main activity is the publication of a culturally and socially engaged monthly newspaper Kapitál. It provides critical journalism in the field of social sciences and arts. It emphasizes the topics of minorities, the environment, contemporary art and social justice. Professional reflection comes from authors from domestic and foreign environments. The texts of the magazine are in the form of essays, critiques, interviews, reviews and reflections. KPTL also organizes cultural events Kapitalks. These follow the current topic of the issue. They take place in the form of discussions, lectures or performances. Other activities of the association include publishing books and creating podcasts.

https://kapital-noviny.sk/

The "Bibliodiversity - Supporting Small Independent Book Publishers" benefits from a € 158 116 grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA Grants. The project has been co-financed from the State Budget of the Slovak Republic in the amount of 27 903 €.

If you want to know more about programmes and projects financed by the EEA Grants in Slovakia, visit www.eeagrants.sk.

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Project activities

BRaK 2022 - Bratislava Book Festival / 9th Edition

The multi-genre 9th edition of the Bratislava Book Festival #BRaK took place from May 11th to 15th, 2022 in the cultural center Nová Cvernovka. This time the festival was held under the slogan Not afraid to grow. In addition to the weekend sales exhibition of books, the festival also included discussions with authors, workshops, a children's program, concerts, theaters and exhibitions.

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„Bibliodiversity - Supporting Small Independent Book Publishers (conference)

Part of the 9th edition of the BRaK festival was also a conference called Not affraid to grow, which took a deeper look at new trends and challenges in the publishing environment. David Piovesan, researcher from VSE Prague, Jana Rakúsová from Arctic Paper, Barbora Baronová from the wo-men publishing house, Jiří Hlinka, founder of Walden Press / BioBooks.cz, Antoaneta Koleva from the International Alliance of Independent Publishers and Karolína Voňková from Knihex made contributions at the conference.

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Autoriáda 2022

The festival of Slovak literature Autoriáda 2022 took place on 28.11. - 04.12.2022 in Rómerov dom in Bratislava.

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