According to the Georgian Book Market Survey conducted by LEPL Georgian National Book Centre in 2013-2015: “By 2015, about 100 publishing houses were registered in Georgia, of which 55 were active publishers, most of them were small businesses.
In 2013-2015, the largest share of revenues received by publishing houses came from sales of fiction. Editions and sale of academic/professional literature (20%), children’s literature (11%) and supporting textbooks (9%) are the most profitable after fiction for publishing houses.”
According to the Geostat data, the total circulation of books and brochures published in 2016 was 3.1 million copies, and the circulation of published magazines – 27.8 million copies. There is no data for subsequent years.
In recent years, the number of printed newspapers has sharply decreased: in 2016 there were 317 newspapers, in 2017 – 218, in 2018 -175, in 2019- 177 and in 2020 – only 98. Such a decline is due to the sharp increase in consumption of electronic publications and social networks.
About 80% of the book publishers registered in Georgia are members of the NNLE Georgia Publishers and Booksellers Association. The Association was founded in 1996. (http://www.gpba.ge/ ) and it defines and protects the interests and copyright in the book sector and freedom in publishing. The Association has developed a code of professional ethics as well as legislation to improve the book sector.
In 1997 the Association held the first Tbilisi Book Festival, which has become annual since 2000 and is the largest international book fair in Georgia.
There are also other local book fairs: Tbilisi Book Days, Book and Music, New Year Book Festival, Autumn Book Festival, Tbilisi Book Fair, New Year Book Fair, and International Book Day.
The largest forum for the international popularization of Georgian literature and books is the Frankfurt Book Fair, where the Georgian national stand has been presented since 2007. In 2018, Georgia was represented at the Frankfurt Book Fair as an honorary guest.
Tbilisi is the World Book Capital (UNESCO) from April 23, 2021 for a year.
The Tax Code of Georgia specifies some preferences for the importation of scientific, creative editions and fiction, books and periodicals where the authors are citizens of Georgia as well as for the importation of Georgian classics published abroad. Guidelines are also set for the distribution, import, sale and printing of periodicals and fiction. The state supports publishing activities through governmental programmes.
In 2021, 900 000 GEL was allocated for the priority area “Promotion of Georgian Books and Literature” of the Culture Promotion Programme of the Ministry of Culture, Sport and Youth.
LEPL Writers’ House and LEPL Creative Georgia are the state organizations supporting the development of literature and creativity of writers with this funding through various literary competitions.
The strategic document “Culture Strategy 2025” (01.07.2016), Chapter III: Sector-specific Tasks lists priorities for Literature and Publishing:
- In order to develop reading habits/skills and literacy of the public, particularly among children and youth, and promote literature in general, it is important to work with different organizations (e.g.: the National Parliamentary Library, the Writers’ House, the Literature Museum, the Service Development Agency, etc.) and support special projects and events;
- For the protection and development of national literature, including literary heritage, to setup necessary mechanisms and a convenient environment to create, publish and translate new works and also make them accessible; introduce residency programmes for Georgian writers;
- Support participation in international events, such as festivals, exhibitions and competitions in order to develop and ensure international promotion of Georgian literature;
- Sustain the teaching of creative writing at all levels of education and encourage the development of literature studies and criticism;
- Support the development of children’s literature through special funding mechanisms;
- Support the translation of Georgian literature into other languages and vice-versa; provide training programmes for the translators of the Georgian literature and develop professional networks of translators;
- In order to ensure the development of print distribution networks, to study the ocal market and in accordance with international best practices, to elaborate measures for encouraging book quality control and incentives for publishers and distributors;
- Facilitate the production and distribution of different types of (cultural, scientific and technical) literature in order to support publishing companies;
- Taking into consideration innovative approaches and new technologies, to elaborate special training programmes, in order to develop, distribute and promote e-books.