Why are we abandoning the 27-year experience of the provincial fair? / The pattern of removing the publisher should not be extended to the Tehran book fair – rahnam

According to the cultural correspondent of rahnam News Agency, Iran Book and Literature House will organize the book fair of East Azerbaijan using the capacity of the published works of active publishers across the country in integrated halls in person and also with the participation of booksellers across the country in virtual form from Wednesday, November 17th to Sunday, 20th. Held in Tabriz in November 1402. In this way, the return of provincial book fairs, which had many supporters and opponents, was done after a few years.

According to Ali Ramezani, the CEO of Iran Book and Literature House, the resumption of these exhibitions was possible with various studies on various aspects of its past periods. has been

Finally, for the method of holding, there are two face-to-face sections; with the integrated supply and sale of the works of the country’s publishers and the presence of the provincial publishers and the virtual sector; They have arrived with the presence of bookstores all over the country. Publishers’ lack of acceptance of the way of holding previous book fairs and regardless of attending or handing them over to others, reducing the content quality of provincial fairs, unconventional discounts and not distributing subsidies properly, and the high cost of holding fairs for publishers and other factors made it necessary to hold provincial book fairs with The new method should be verified.

Simultaneously with the announcement of Tabriz Book Fair, the invitation for publishers to participate in this exhibition was also published. Some of them considered the new method to provide a wide presence of publishers and some of them spoke about the development of book distribution. However, the opponents were more critical of the way it was held, which was mentioned in the interview of the deputy of the General Department of Culture and Islamic Guidance of East Azarbaijan province, and it was the hypermarket way and the exclusion of the publisher from the exhibition.

Now, on the last day of the East Azerbaijan Book Fair, Ahmad Ataei, the director of Qadr Velayat Publishing House and one of the publishers of the Revolutionary Front, believes that the publisher’s loss from the exhibition is the most important damage, and this pattern should not be allowed to spread to the Tehran Book Fair. According to Atai, the achievements of 27 years of holding the exhibition should not be left out, the achievements that have been created in the interaction of the publisher with the audience, provincial managers, etc. The text of rahnam’s conversation with Atai is as follows:

* rahnam: Mr. Atai, you were one of the absentees of the East Azerbaijan Book Fair, why did you not participate in this fair?

Qadr Velayat Publications did not participate in the East Azarbaijan provincial exhibition (Tabriz), of course, we did the initial registration, but when we noticed the way of attendance and read the interviews of the CEO of Khane Kitab and the person in charge of the guidance department of East Azarbaijan province, we noticed the manner and method of holding We became an exhibition, then we withdrew. By the way, after the withdrawal, Khaneh Kitab and Mr. Ramezani contacted me and asked me the reason for the withdrawal. But Telvija said that the book house has adopted this method to see what the result will be? This is despite the fact that things in the field of culture cannot be done by trial and error, and culture is not an area where everyone can do trial and error. .

* rahnam: Tell us about the reasons for the withdrawal of “Qadr Velayat” publication from the exhibition that is being selected?

Since 1371, when the provincial book exhibitions started, 26 editions have been held, among them, 5 years due to the spread of Corona and 2 years due to the new government coming to power, etc., these exhibitions have not been held. Therefore, we are faced with an experience of 26 to 27 years, which in all periods, including the current period, the officials of the Ministry of Guidance, such as the cultural deputy, the director of the library, etc., have honored it and defended the nature and goals of the provincial exhibitions. have done, so it is not acceptable to suddenly abandon this 26-year experience and go to trial and error with a few problems.

* rahnam: To what extent do you consider the faults that have been brought to the provincial book fair?

What the gentlemen put forward is that the publishers have a weak presence in the provincial fairs, some publishers have a strong presence, and some leave it to the distributor, and the distributor participated in the fair on behalf of several publishers, another weakness that has been brought to the provincial fairs. What has happened is that holding the exhibition in a centralized manner prevents the presence of book makers and with monitoring, they will prevent the presence of weak and copied books. At the same time, they have argued that they will strengthen the bookstores, while in the previous plans, the booksellers of the province had independent booths and participated.

But in response to these objections, I have to say that I don’t know how old these officials were in 1371 and what they were doing. We, who participated from the first courses, know that exactly the publishing managers participated in the exhibition and the managers were present in a province to consult about the situation. publishing, the market situation, etc., between themselves and the cultural officials of that province, they met and interacted with Imam Juma, the governor, etc., interaction with the scientists and cultural elites of the province, etc., another part of the publishers’ interactions in the years It was the first of the provincial exhibitions that brought brilliant results.

In the statutes of provincial exhibitions, they extracted 10 achievements for the presence of publishers, and the implementation of these achievements is possible with the presence of publishers.

I expressed my criticisms in a letter to the deputy director of cultural guidance

In the letter that I sent to the Deputy Minister of Culture of the Ministry of Guidance Mr. Ahmadvand last week, I mentioned these 10 achievements and the role of the publisher in realizing them and asked what they want to replace these achievements with? In this letter, I wrote that is it possible to ask a cleric to write any sermon he wants to give on the pulpit and let someone else read it? Does it work? Can the teacher be told not to go to the school and tell the explanation to an official at the school, who will pass it on? Can the role of preacher or teacher be removed? Can the face-to-face and breath-to-breath presence be replaced by something?

If the presence of publishers in the book fair has weakened in the past years, it is due to the policies of the Cultural Vice-Chancellor and the Book House, in the first years, the travel and accommodation fees of the publishers were either paid or the facilities available in the province such as guesthouses and guesthouses to provide services to the publishers. used to be used, at that time, the publisher used to send himself or his business manager, but since the end of the 10th government, they canceled these expenses, they said that we do not pay for accommodation or travel expenses, everything is the responsibility of the publisher. .

Investing in publishing and culture works in the long run. If the government expects the publisher to participate in the exhibition with full power, it is an unreasonable expectation that the publisher will accept all the expenses alone and then face a weak exhibition. In the provincial fairs, the provincial advertisements gradually weakened, the coordination of the provincial institutions to hold etc. decreased, the differences of the provinces gradually overshadowed the fading of the provincial fairs, other events were also involved in reducing the quality of the provincial fairs, for example The exhibition was held outside the city, or along with the book fair, other exhibitions were held, such as food fairs and handicrafts fairs, which caused the book to be overshadowed. As a result, the publishers turned to the distributors to make the presence affordable.

Of course, until the last exhibition that was held at Qadrolight Institute, I always personally attended the openings and sent the commercial manager for the exhibition as well.

Why does the Ministry of Guidance abandon the 27-year experience of holding provincial exhibitions?

Now, my question is that instead of correcting the shortcomings of the 27-year experience and returning to the strengths, why do the friends of the Ministry of Guidance abandon this experience altogether?

The reason for the poor presence of publishers in the recent provincial exhibitions was the wrong policies of the bookstore

Mr. Ramezani, the CEO of the Book House, gave a detailed interview and said that we have reduced the cost of publishers to zero, well, you have also reduced the role of the publisher to zero. Where did you get this 27-year-old achievement? The reason why the publisher participated poorly was the policies of the Cultural Vice-Chancellor and Book House, these policies should have been amended, not to cut off the publisher from the exhibition and take the proceeds from the publisher and the exhibition.

I am not a food manufacturer that I produce and others distribute my product. I produce thought and culture, I correct non-cultural orientations; I modify the lifestyle; I have to be in direct interaction with the audience, this was taken away from me.

Why are bookstores also offered in the book store system?/ The publisher should not be cut off from the exhibition.

The second reason given for the new method of the exhibition is that bookmakers have been prevented from attending with the new method. Meanwhile, now the bookstore has a store system that has turned into a book market; Does the bookmaker not participate in this system? Can’t a person buy any kind of book? Why didn’t they fix it, which is virtual and they have mastery over it? The publisher should not be cut off from the exhibition with these excuses.

* rahnam: What is your suggestion as one of the publishing veterans to minimize the shortcomings of provincial exhibitions?

In my opinion, Irshad could have set a series of criteria and conditions for the participation of publishers in the exhibition and asked the publishers to comply with these conditions in order to participate in the provincial exhibition. These criteria are that there are no smuggled or manufactured books, such books can be easily recognized from the list of publishers.

Also, they should have mentioned the criterion that the publisher can only participate in the exhibition himself or his commercial manager and cannot represent the distributor. With a little investment, we could open the publisher or one of the officials and members of the publishing board to the exhibition and strengthen its presence.

The pattern of publisher exclusion should not be allowed to spread to Tehran book fair

In my letter to Mr. Ahmadvand, I also stated that I am against the exclusion of the publisher from the provincial exhibition and that this model should not be allowed to penetrate the Tehran International Book Fair as well. As I said, the publisher’s presence in the provincial exhibition has at least 10 achievements that cannot be replaced. We engaged the publisher with the audience 26 times, what will replace this interaction? If I, the publisher, sell 100 million books in the provincial exhibition, but lose the intangible achievements of my presence, it will not be spent. I have sacrificed the long term for the short term profit, what did we publish for? We just didn’t have economic concerns, which would have been better guilds if we had. We came to publishing to play a role in the field of culture.

Publishers of the Revolutionary Front do not exchange the cultural achievements of publishing with anything

I am saying from the words of the cultural publishers of the Revolution Front that we, the publishers, do not exchange the cultural achievements of publishing with anything, we stood firm with different governments to play a role in the interpretation of Hazrat Agha.

Why should the Association of Children’s Publishers, which has a profit, take over the affairs of the exhibition?

*rahnam: Does your criticism of the new way of holding provincial exhibitions only go back to the exclusion of publishers? or other matters are also considered؟

The main issue is the elimination of the presence of the publisher, but there is another issue, the 13th government, by the grace of God, announced that it takes the conflict of interests seriously, so anyone who has interests should not be at the head and decision making of that issue. The book house has announced that we have handed over the matter to the children’s and youth publishers’ association, well, this association is made up of children’s and youth book publishers who are all stakeholders, they cannot be told to arrange the publishers’ works. Sell ​​it, settle it, what happens then?

Why should the Association of Children and Youth Publishers take over the provincial exhibition today?

There are political and financial differences between some publishers, there is a lot of competition between publishers, why should the Association of Children and Youth Publishers, which has shown its performance in the book fair in the children and youth section, do this? It is clear which books and which publishers are available, which books are better introduced and…

* rahnam: Mr. Atai, in the past few days, some booksellers, including the booksellers of Tabriz, criticized the plan. In general, booksellers have always criticized the establishment of the provincial exhibition and the presence of publishers. How serious do you consider their criticism?

The criticism of the booksellers is correct, in any case, the booksellers have invested and are looking for sales and profit. By setting up an exhibition in each province, the purchasing capacity of families will be filled during the exhibition and will be reduced to a minimum after that, but the audience also has the right to whatever they want. In order to have access to all published titles, how much capacity does a bookstore have to make all titles available? Is it possible at all? no

20% of published titles are not showcased in provincial bookstores

But we don’t have bookstores in many cities. I lived in Azerbaijan province for two years and traveled to many cities and villages in the province. Many cities don’t have bookstores, let alone villages. Secondly, bookstores advertise a lot throughout the year. They do not sell books and promote reading. If we consider the publishing capacity to be 100,000 titles per year, 20% of this capacity is not displayed in bookstores. But at least 50% of it is showcased in provincial exhibitions. So, it must be said, Mr. Bookstore, you are criticizing the provincial exhibition, the criticisms are also true, but what is your alternative? Is it the right thing to entrust the culture of the province to a few bookstores?

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