The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) has announced several initiatives, which aim to support the local publishing industry to overcome the current challenges facing the sector posed by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, and offer them the required impetus to continue production of quality content.
The announcement was made during EPA’s fifth board meeting, conducted remotely, and witnessed the participation of several EPA officials including Ali Bin Hatem President of EPA, Iman Ben Chaibah Vice President of EPA, Dr. Alyazia Khalifa Secretary & Member of The Board, Abdulla Al Kaabi Member of The Board, Rashid Al Kous, Executive Director; Mariam Al Obaidli, Corporate Communications Director; Rawan Dabbas, International Relations Manager and Majd Al Shehi, Publishers Relations Manager.
During the meeting, board members discussed new plans, which will be implemented to ensure business continuity of the publishing sector under present circumstances.
EPA announced that it would sponsor the publishing of 100 digital books by Emirati publishers on major online publishing platforms, including Amazon Kindle, iBooks, and Kobo.
EPA will also organise online matchmaking and networking meetings between Emirati publishers and their international counterparts, enabling them to explore new business opportunities and possible book deals.
Locally, EPA will convene several local entities in virtual discussions about ways to reduce publishers’ participation costs in book fairs, lower trade and publishing tariffs, and offer discounted licence issuance and renewal fee structures.
Ali bin Hatem, President of EPA, said: “The current crisis is unprecedented. It has posed several new challenges to our traditional work environment, and motivated us to come up with out-of-the-box solutions. Through these innovative workflow and business solutions, EPA seeks to continue supporting local publishers to successfully navigate the restrictions imposed to their businesses and continue to expand their reach into new markets worldwide. At EPA, we are looking at the current situation as a catalyst for positive change, and a time to consolidate efforts on all levels.”
“Since its inception, the EPA has been keen on adding value to the local publishing business through new ideas and initiatives, and activate partnerships among multiple entities in the cultural and financial sectors to benefit publishers. This global challenge requires us now more than ever to coalesce cross-sectoral expertise and offer an environment in which homegrown publishers will continue to prosper,” he added.
The Emirates Publishers Association (EPA) was founded in 2009 by Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi who has led the efforts to advance the publishing industry in the UAE. The organisation is dedicated to serving and developing the publishing sector and advancing the role of Emirati publishers through training and mentorship programmes. EPA represents the interests of professionals in the UAE’s publishing industry by working on advancing their rights and has a remit to improve the conditions of the profession and its related laws in coordination with concerned authorities locally and internationally.