The promotion of books and press is in the remit of the Ministry of Culture and specifically of DG Libraries and Copyright. The DG’s activities range from promoting reading, to coordinating libraries and the national library system. It promotes the digitization of Italian library heritage and from 2020 assigns the “quality libraries” brand to the points of sale that have specific requirements.
From 2017, a specific Tax Credit is envisaged for small independent bookstores. In the context of the Covid-19 health emergency, data analysis reports a considerable increase in reading and buying books and, due to the digitalization of the press industry, in the use of audio books as a complementary to exploit the book industry. This new way of enjoying reading is also one of the elements of growth in the sector’s sales. Furthermore, it represents a transversal tool that allows publishers to expand their distribution channels and to collaborate with cross-sectoral production subjects such as radio and the web as well as new devices such as podcasts, ebooks, etc.
The promotion of Italian books abroad is managed by a project of collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Cultural Institutes abroad, the Treccani Encyclopedia, a private foundation, the “Foundation for Art and Culture Lauro Chiazzese” and the Associazione Italiana Editori (Italian Publishers’ Association).
In addition to the financial support that the government allocates annually for books and reading, the tools provided to support the sector are also an incentive to purchase by means of vouchers: the Culture Card worth 100 Euros is dedicated to lower income families, while the 18App card is dedicated to the youngest. The Ministry of Culture also supports important fairs (national and International) and many initiatives: The Turin International Book Fair, the “Book City” in Milan, the “Più Libri più Liberi” in Rome, just to name the most important. There are numerous projects held by the Ministry of Culture to raise awareness of the book heritage of historical libraries and archives. The publishing sector is supported by the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Department for Information and Publishing, which has among its institutional tasks the promotion of support policies for publishing and grants direct and indirect contributions to publishing companies. The support activity for the publishing sector is aimed both directly at publishing and radio companies and indirectly through support for schools and training programmes that stimulate the reading of newspapers and magazines.
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