How publishing marries tradition and cutting-edge

Posted by: Tale Heydarov
Category: All, Heritage

I am sometimes asked why I have chosen to focus part of my career on the business of books. Many of my contemporaries have pursued leading roles in tech start-ups, trailblazing in the digital arena – considering industries like publishing relics of the past.

However, throughout my career I have learned that it is not as simple as print publishing being ‘old’ and online and digital being ‘new’. Indeed, this contrast is false – the two can easily coexist. A number of traditionally online outlets are increasingly choosing to create print versions – even Facebook, an icon of the social media age, last year launched a printed version of its exclusive platform, Grow. When it comes to books, the boom in e-readers was hugely over-hyped – sales of physical books did not continue to fall, instead staying consistent and even increasing in recent years, proving that even those who invested in eBooks were not ready to leave the traditional book behind. In my view, nothing beats the feeling of turning the page to continue the story…

Having founded both TEAS Press and Libraff in Baku, Azerbaijan, I have seen how a publishing house and network of bookstores have gone from strength to strength over the years. Both prioritise high quality local and international publications, and have been able to ride the wave of increasing interest in the literature of my native Azerbaijan, as well as enthusiasm for international classics translated into Azerbaijani. We have brought the classic fiction of authors like Robert Louis Stevenson and Jack London to new readers, and are continuously expanding our scope into new languages. These classic stories from centuries gone by continue to be relevant to today’s readers, irrespective of their nationality. I can think of no more future-proof industry than one which allows people to explore new cultures and worlds just by picking up a book…

As the business people behind the return to print understand, all over the world good quality products and enjoyable experiences are valued above all. Bookstores, and the companies which supply them, will continue to provide both of these things.

Author: Tale Heydarov

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