Croatian Book Market Project 2002 – 2005
The project included support for an online Books in Print catalogue, a reliable book information service for general public (Moderna Vremena Info), market research, distribution, improvement of the skills and standards of publishers and booksellers, and enlargement of the market in Croatia and across the borders through regional cooperation.
Legacy of the Croatian Book Market Project (See also CEEBP Newsletter No 18, December 2005)
The Croatian Book Market Project, which ended in December 2005, has left an extensive legacy of essential tools and building blocks for the country’s book trade infrastructure.
The online Books in Print catalogue and the book portal Moderna Vremena Info consist of a large online database of new and antiquarian books available on Croatian market, information about Croatian authors, publishers, and booksellers, book market news, and book trade services. The Serbian-Montenegrin counterpart is to be found at www.KnjigaInfo.com.
Analysis of the book trade and book market consumer research were developed in cooperation with the CEEBP and carried out by the Croatian GfK in quarterly surveys since September 2004. The CEEBP has made the results freely available on the project website for the duration of the project, and organized workshops for publishers, booksellers and distributors on the use of the research in daily book trade practise.
The project supported the development of a distribution network, intended to serve all publishers, booksellers, and libraries on equitable terms, to increase efficiency and decrease the currently high distribution costs, introduce buying of books instead of consignment or barter trade, and make supply of titles possible country-wide. New sale channels were created in places where none had existed outside the capital, and professional specialised book trade software for distributors, wholesalers and bookstores was developed to enable them to increase their efficiency (see below further details about the “Insight” software).
The project supported the improvement of bookshops through training, consultations, and assistance in initial investment in equipment and the book trade software that would enable the integration of the bookshops in the distribution network.
Training was also provided for publishers and distributors in a series of seminars, workshops, and
expert consultations for publishers, distributors, and booksellers on topics such as Cooperation within the book chain, Publishing strategies, Management in publishing, Marketing and promotion, Distribution, Bookselling, New technologies in the book trade, Market research, and a “trainers’ training” visit in The Netherlands. Training material, including the Croatian translation of the Booksellers course made available by the Training Centre VOB of the Dutch Royal Book Trade Association for the project, was published on the project website.
Books across Borders
The project provided matching funds for working visits of publishers, booksellers and distributors aimed at cooperation with colleagues in Serbia & Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Slovenia, which resulted in a number of joint projects and co-production of books.
Last but not least, the Books across Borders Library programme, assisted Croatian libraries with matching funds for acquisition of books from from Serbia & Montenegro. The books were selected by participating libraries.
In Serbia & Montenegro a parallel project took place in 2003 – 2006: BibliOdyssey.
The Croatian project was co-financed by the CEEBP, the Croatian Open Society Institute, the Next Page Foundation, and the Matra program of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.