Association “Latvian Publisher’s Association” (LPA) is a public organisation, established on 2 April 1993, in which 30 professional Latvian book publishers have united voluntarily to promote foreseeable development of the publishing sector. 

Since the very beginnings of its activities, LPA has been involved in dealing with issues important for book publishing, its representatives are actively working in the Council of Book Publishing of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia, the Memorandum Council, and the National Council for Culture.

Since 2008, LPA is a member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Since 2014, a member of the Federation of European Publishers.
Since 2021, a member of the association “For Legal Content”.

Annually, members of the Association publish approximately one-third of the new titles (books) published in Latvia and two-thirds of the total number of copies published.

areas of activities

  • advocacy of publishers’ interests in state institutions;
  • involvement in policy development issues, drafting of regulatory legal acts and draft laws;
  • organization of sectoral professional events, seminars, and conferences;
  • supporting publishers’ participation in professional sectoral fairs in Latvia and international book fairs;
  • raising publish awareness about the development trends in publishing, recent developments and the impact up society’s education.

Marika Celma

Executive Director
+ 371 23 5580 85
marika@gramatizdeveji.lv

Ilona Geile

achievements

“The roller coaster ride” of the VAT rate

Aligning the taxation policy in book publishing is one of the most important tasks for the Association.

  • Immediately after its establishment, the Association turned to the Government, urging reviewing the taxation policy with respect to books published in Latvia.
  • In May 1994, the first editions of Latvian literature, scientific books, textbooks, as well as books for children and adolescents were exempt from the value-added tax (VAT).
  • The achievement of 1995 was that also the print production of such books was exempt from VAT.
  • The year of 2001 brought news: henceforth, VAT had to be paid only after the book was sold and not after it was printed, as before. The Association maintained its stance, demanding releasing books from the tax and 0 % VAT rate for all books.

  • Thanks to the Association’s activities and in compliance with the EU Directives, as of 1 May 2004, 5 % VAT rate was introduced for all supplies of books.
  • Upon the onset of the global financial crisis, on 1 January 2009, notwithstanding publishers’ active protests, the reduced rate of VAT was revoked and the VAT rate of 21% was introduced, which was detrimental to the sector. The aftermath of this Government’s decision was still felt for years.
  • Following discussions that lasted for eight months and the Association’s activities, as of 1 August, 2009, 10 % rate of VAT was reinstated for books.
  • Since 2011 up to the very end of 2021, VAT rate of 12% was applied to printed books, whereas the tax rate for e-books was 21%.
  • In 2019, LPA resumed discussions with politicians regarding the need to reduce the VAT rate for books of all formats. At the very last moment, the issue related to reducing VAT was excluded from the list of priorities.

  • In 2020, the sector, affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Association organized a campaign “Return the 5 %VAT rate to books”. It did not bring the expected results.
  • In May 2021, the campaign “Return the 5% VAT rate to books” was re-launched. The publishers visited 11 Ministries and presented books, sources of knowledge, to Ministers as gifts. It also collected aggregated data, characterizing the sector, to increase the Government’s awareness of the processes ongoing within the sector, in order to achieve a reduced VAT rate for all books published in Latvia and to promote the development of the e-book and audiobook segment in the market. The publishers’ efforts were supported by the President of the State, the media, and some political forces.
  • On 15 November 2021, upon adopting the budget for 2022, the Saeima decided that from 2022 the VAT rate of 5 % would be applied to all books (printed, e-books and audiobooks).

Involvement in solving other issues, important for the sector:

  • In 2020, a discussion was initiated about the legal deposit copy.
  • In 2021,  a discussion was initiated about the need to increase public awareness of copyright issues and fair remuneration to authors and publishers.
  • In 2021, representatives of LPA participated in the Copyright Working Group, convened by the Ministry of Culture, which is drafting the new Copyright Law.

Since 1997, LPA, in cooperation with partners – the Riga City Council, organizers of exhibitions, the SCCF (State Culture Capital Foundation), etc., has been organizing events to promote reading, books and trade: “The Street of Books”, “Riga Book Fair”, “Christmas Book Fair”, as well as culture and professional programme of the annual “Latvian Book Fair”.

Over the years, the book design competition, organized by LPA, “The Golden Apple tree” has evolved into an important event for the entire sector, it has always been supported by partners of cooperation and, since 2016, has been included in the list of Culture Awards of National Importance, for the organization of which financing has been allocated by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Latvia.

LPA organises also educational seminars and conferences for publishers, implements awareness-raising campaigns to inform the public about relevant trends in book publishing and retain the prestige of a book as a commodity of culture consumption

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To implement the Association’s aims and foster integration of the Association’s members into the circulation in the single market, international cooperation is an integral part of LPA’s activities.

areas of activities

  • involvement in ensuring Latvian national stands at international book fairs;
  • participation in the Federation of European Publishers;
  • ensuring the participation of the best books published by Latvian publishers in international book design competitions;
  • international cooperation in implementing projects “Aldus” and “Aldus UP”;
  • organization of professional conferences.

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History of association

In 2023, the Latvian Publishers’ Association will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Insight into the achievements of 25 years is provided by the jubilee catalogue