With discounts and new tricks.. How do publishers face the high prices of the exhibition?

With discounts and new tricks.. How do publishers face the high prices of the exhibition?
With discounts and new tricks.. How do publishers face the high prices of the exhibition?
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I wrote – Heba Khamis:

The Cairo International Book Fair, in its 54th session, comes amid global economic crises, which have affected all commodities, including the world of books, whose production costs have increased. To come up with initiatives to support the publishing industry and maintain the process of selling paper books, despite the high price.

The exhibition will start on the 25th of this January. Among the initiatives that work to reduce the prices of books, for fear of readers turning away from them because of their prices, was Amr Ezzat, the writer and director of the “Wazeez” publishing project, which is a new project that will be launched at the next book fair. The project set a price consistent with the purchasing capabilities of readers, while working to significantly improve the quality of books before printing by working with editors and writers.

Bearing the loss of the printed matter in front of the electronic gain is a way out for publishing houses, according to “Ezzat”, and considering “Waziz” as an unconventional project that dilutes the institutional form of publishing. And platforms for selling books such as Amazon reduce the costs of the book: “If the public accepts massively electronic copies, this saves printing costs, so it makes us focus more on improving the content, but it does not cancel the paper book, even if it is in limited copies.”

The project proposed by “Ezzat” follows the change of the traditional style of publishing, so that the editor has a major role in the process of following up on work with writers, as well as calculating wages for writers and taking special care of them, as they are the core of the publishing industry: “Part of the costs of publishing before printing that we must calculate as wages for editors, because we believe in the role of The editor works with the writer to develop ideas through to the book’s completion.”

As for Muhammad Mofeed, who is the director of the “Don” house, the house has made many plans for the upcoming exhibition, including many offers that encourage readers to purchase, while making sure to download all the house’s publications on electronic platforms, including an application in the name of the house, which was launched years ago to upload all the house’s works to it. With an annual subscription price that allows the reader to read all the books on it: “The exhibition is the only time when readers can buy all the books they want at a reasonable price and benefit from discounts less than the bookstore price,” says Muhammad.

The house intends to offer many discounts, and great publicity on social media, to counter the high prices, and discounts on the house’s application itself to encourage readers to subscribe: “We in Don were among the first people to download books on electronic platforms, and we worked on the special application for audio books, for which I was the producer.” Because I believe in the role of technology in encouraging people to read.”

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Mofeed believes that the reader who does not have time to read can now enjoy the books he loves and also read them on his phone in a simple way. However, the crisis of the high price of paper still affects the number of titles that the publishing house publishes. After the publishing house was keen for years to print works for new writers, it reduced the number. Last year it printed works from 5 to 7 new writers, but that year the issue did not exceed 3 books, so with those prices in printing it became The risk is difficult: “Unfortunately, we are not in the mood, and this puts pressure on the publisher. It is normal for it to happen because we are governed by a publishing plan according to the types of books that will be published by us.”

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Ten years ago, “Muhammad al-Masri” inaugurated the “Painting with Words” publishing house to be a youth house concerned with issuing books for young people and addressing all readers, but after years the house faced the problem of high prices and the costs of printing the books themselves doubled: “We cannot raise the price of books with the same increase that occurred, of course, because At that time, it will be very expensive.”

Al-Masry was able to explain the matter to the house’s writers so that they would give up their profit percentage while reducing the profit rate of the house itself so that the two parties could offer the books at a reasonable price while reducing the number of copies of each title. The house’s plan for the book fair was mainly based on discounts, so it launched a campaign under the name “Discount Bookstores Now for Readers” to offer a 40% discount on the price of the book, which is the same discount with which libraries buy books from different publishing houses, so the reader takes advantage of the discount and buys the books he wants. Al-Masry also provided free shopping vouchers to the house’s customers and a daily raffle draw for high-value vouchers: “Books are a commodity of a special nature. It is not a basic commodity, nor is it a luxury commodity. The reader is the only one who understands the value of a book.” He also set up a book installment plan with one of the famous installment companies.

The idea of ​​installments is based on large guarantees for six months without interest, and it is an installment plan similar to the plan launched by the Publishers Union, all of which are plans for the interest of the reader, for whom the book fair is an annual opportunity to buy the titles of the books he needs, thus becoming more like a carnival for book lovers, including writers, publishers and readers.

The Egyptian Publishers Union had announced an agreement with Banque Misr to pay the book purchase money that Al-Qari will spend at the Cairo Book Fair in installments over six months, without interest. Abdel Moneim Kamel, Vice President of the Publishers Union, said that this initiative is suitable for readers to be able to buy the books they want: “The exhibition is an opportunity for readers in general because of the many discounts, especially academic books whose readers are very limited.”

The Vice-President of the Publishers Union also stressed the publishers’ desire for the success of the exhibition, as it does not impose a specific discount, but the presence of the exhibition is a great opportunity for the publisher and the reader alike: “We have gained time, but now we must see a solution to the crisis.”

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