Ukrainian samizdat shows steady growth – the literary platform Booknet sold 100,000 books in the first half of 2022, while a total of 133,000 books were sold in the whole of 2021.
Serhiy Grushko, one of the co-founders of the samizdat platform, announced this to Ukrinform.
“The growth of electronic samizdat became possible due to the refusal of Ukrainians from Russian-language fiction in electronic form. This is despite a drop in sales in March, when many authors made books free to help Ukrainians take their minds off the war. The growth was also influenced by the civic position of Ukrainian authors, who before the war wrote and published fiction in electronic form exclusively in Russian. Today, these authors translate their books or immediately publish novelties in Ukrainian, despite the fact that books in Russian brought more income,” he said.
According to him, in March, Ukrainians had no time to buy books, but in April people began to return to reading, and Booknet decided to increase investment in Ukrainian literature. This made it possible to double the daily audience – up to 40 thousand readers per day. The result was a record high in June, when the platform managed to sell 23,000 books and accrue UAH 600,000 in royalties to authors – this is 20% more sales compared to May and almost 50% higher than January results. In July, there are also records – the author Booknet sold 1,100 copies of one book in the first 24 hours of sales.
“By the end of the year, we expect to sell 250,000 – 300,000 books in Ukrainian,” Grushko said.
According to him, for the development of literature, it is necessary to create a market. “Hollywood makes Oscar-winning films because it “stands on the shoulders” of films for the mass audience. It’s a mistake to think that without thousands of books for TV series fans, you can create powerful literature. People should get used to reading their own literature, not translations,” he added.
Literary platform Booknet is an electronic library and a social platform at the same time, aimed at the mass reader of entertaining literary genres. It has been on the market since 2018.