Booksellers predicted an increase in prices for their products due to problems with payments to rights holders

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Russian publishers fear that problems with payments to foreign rights holders may lead to price increases for their books due to tightened bank rules on currency transfers. Raiffeisenbank has reportedly increased its minimum payment to $50,000, and for individuals, the bank has set a threshold of $10,000. This situation is worrying for some publishers, as the share of foreign books in the assortment of some publishers reaches 70%. In addition, the average price of books increased by a record 25% from January to August 2021. Although some suggest that smaller financial organizations may offer more profitable tariffs and conditions.

Booksellers predicted an increase in prices for their products due to problems with payments to rights holders

Representatives of the book market told “Komersant” about fears of price increases for their products due to problems with payments to foreign rights holders. The reason was the tightening of bank rules on currency transfers to legal entities. The share of foreign books in the assortment of some publishers reaches 70%.

Raiffeisenbank, which previously acted as “the last transfer channel for many publishers”, increased the amount of the minimum payment to $50,000, said the general director of the “Alpina” group Oleksiy Ilyin. For individuals, the bank has set a threshold of $10,000.

Currently, Raiffeisenbank provides up to half of transactions originating from the Russian Federation in foreign currency. About 70% of the books in the “Alpina” assortment are translated, notes Ilyin. He explains that royalties are $50,000 to $100,000 based on calculations with large contractors, but the main payments do not exceed $3,000. If the publisher does not find payment options, he will be forced to raise book prices.

The average price of books from January to August last year increased by a record 25%, the “Exmo-AST” group notes.

Publisher Fedir Yeremeyev from the Comic Factory project assures that there are at least ten banks with foreign capital on the market, whose services publishers can use to pay for foreign rights. In addition, small financial organizations, against the background of sanctions, began to develop international business, their tariffs and conditions in some cases turn out to be more profitable, said the managing partner of the Veta expert group Ilya Zharskyi.

Difficulties with money transfers will inevitably cause the price of books to rise by 1-2%, according to the director of the Rosmen publishing house, Borys Kuznetsov. According to him, the increase in prices will be 10-15%, as printing and materials have become more expensive.

In 2022, publishing houses increased sales by 4% in monetary terms, although the margin decreased twice, Ilyin reported. Market participants are forced to adapt by releasing books in paperback and paperback format or by offering discounts on the assortment.

Retail book chains have similar difficulties. In some cases, discounts there reach 40%.

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