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Post-modernism: book advertising

The native post-modern literature has already appeared in Ukraine. Yet this tendency is extending to the life style that has to be rich with information, eclectic, with little pathos and kitsch. However, according to theorists, the task of post-modern media should be not informing and influencing the masses, but upbringing of the audience and cultural development of their readers, spectators and listeners.

This tendency was immediately sensed by media specialists. The NGO "Ukrainian media alliance and the magazine "Teleradiocourier" present all-Ukrainian media-project "Ukrainian media stand for the book!". So far the three Media Clubs were organized which were attended by representatives of almost 100 electronic and printed media, publishing houses, book stores and other interested organizations.

Its not worth telling about the state of the book industry in Ukraine. We can observe ourselves the counters full of low quality Russian detective stories and afterwards go to Lviv for the International Publishers Forum to be amazed at the number of Ukrainian books there. Why cant we find them on the counters among Marinina, Dontsova and others? The publishers grumble at the book distributors. The book distributors in turn grumble at the readers, who "do not buy and do not read". Advertising of the reading is the constructive solution of the problem! 
All Ukrainian media project "Ukrainian media stand for the book!" is unprecedented!

One of the priority tasks of this project is formation of the Data Bank about media and journalists that cover book themes. Earlier there was no full-scale cooperation between media market and book industry entities in Ukraine. There are positive but single instances showing more or less systematic interacting between the regional media and local publishing houses or book stores. The example of electronic media could be Volynska TV and radio company, "Rudana" TV and radio company (Kryvyi Rih), "Alex" TV and radio company (Zaporizhzhia). Sometimes publications about books appear in all Ukrainian newspapers or items about books are run on the national TV channels and they are induced by the bright promo-actions. However, the media is lacking the systematic and correct approach in covering of the publishers activities. Nevertheless, today we can speak about interesting precedent created by the national TV Company of Ukraine.

"The First National" channel has launched in September the long term project "Read Ukrainian" that envisaged producing and showing the series of rolls for the support of the domestically produced books. However, such promotion in the opinion of some participants of the project presentation at the Publishers Forum in Lviv gives the feeling of the less value of the Ukrainian book rather than the incentive to read. Thus, only by using and smile, epatage and high quality product appealing to the young generation of the readers one can draw their attention to the book. The example could be the media project "Teza" (Thesis) "Wild Energy. Lana." The next task of the project "Ukrainian media stand for the book!" will be establishment of the long term and fruitful cooperation between the publishers, book traders and mass media. The main trends are also informing profile journalists about interesting literary events and actions, carrying out advertising and commercial campaigns devoted to the book theme and attracting the publishers to participation and financing the book media projects.

Eleonora Simonova, Director of the publishing house "Nora-Druk" spoke at the Media Club in Kiev: "Issuing the book is an information occasion, however, everything leans on the finance. Assuming we have 200 or 500 journalists, so if I send a book to each of them that would turn to be great expenses for me. Im counting on those ready to write but I also want this to be effective afterwards.

The journalists have responded quite pathetically. Heres the statement of Lesia Ganzha: "In fact we all want to do something nice and wise but we do not always know how to do it because we have little experience. All we do now is upgrading our experience based on our own mistakes."

The publishers have skeptically noted that media advertising is too expensive for them. But do not forget we live the post- modern world! Today we see effective "synergetic effect" i.e. gaining the additional profit based on creation of the mega projects and merging different market segments. The media do not necessarily need money since the broadening of the audience thanks to book readers is also a profit.

Dmytro Kapranov, Director of publishing house "Zelenyi Pes" (Green Dog) the writer has indicated: "It is worth talking about the process of mutual rapprochement and this process is interesting not only in terms of economy but also ideology. If we fail to restore the leading role of the book in the society there is hardly anyone who can work in mess media. We all contribute the same affair we retain the kind of "homo sapiens" because we build our life concepts on this kind".

Cooperation between the media employees and the publishers is possible under the terms of mutual understanding. That is why in the context of the project "Ukrainian media stand for the book!" the Media Clubs will continue where the representatives of the book market and mass media will participate in discussions, training workshops and master classes.
During these events the publishers will be taught how to work with journalists and media. Vasyl Yatsura, the editor-in chief of the publication "Teleradiocourier" has stated that the training workshops are the most important aspect for the publishers. "No publisher was trained to work as PR manager or to create TV rolls". At the same time, the current condition of the publishing houses is not financially strong, thus they can hardly afford the PR managers or press secretaries in their staff. The newsmen do not have to be taught how to write. Apart from that, the media experts are also active participants of the book publishing. Vasyl Yatsura reminded that among media employees "every third employee is a poet and every firth is the prose writer".

On 10 October Iryna Kuchma, manager of the program "Social capital and academic publications" for the International Fund "Vidrodzhennia" (renascence), has shared the Funds international experience at one of the Clubs. Once the Polish publishers when advertising their presentations announced as follows: "The media are not allowed". The newsmen were outraged and nervous and eventually had to draw their attention to the book producers. After all between Polish publishers and media the professional relations were established in the format of "media patronage" and "cooperation agreements".

Iryna Kuchma has stated: other countries experience show that even if the TV advertising doesnt give impetus to the book sales, it makes the book an element of day-to-day life. If publishers want their books to be sold the book has to appear on TV screen. The people must see that the book is not an exotic object it is an everyday thing. They need it every day and every week".

One of the priority tasks of the project is production and distribution of the book related media products, and, when necessary, showing the television series on the book theme for all interested regional TV channels. This is principal provoking - that is encouraging channels to independently prepare their products.
The most important and the most pleasant for media expects is All-Ukrainian professional contest called "Ukrainian media stand for the book!" to be held in the next year.

The awards are waiting for you, post-modern newsmen!

Zhenya Shidlovska


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  Expert's Column  
The president of the Ukrainian Publishers and Booksellers Association, the head chairman of the expert committee of Ukrainian National Council of culture and spirituality at the Presidents Office

Oleksandr Afonin

Highly respected Viktor Andriyovich! Ukrainian Association of book publishers and distributors addresses you with a question that needs your immediate personal intervention, because, as the experience shows, this problem can totally overcome your Decree About some measures for development of book publishing business in Ukraine (March 21, 2006) and lead to a serious crisis in one of the branches of publishing business book trade, which is in very critical condition already.

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