IBBY-Yamada 2009: Mongolia

Workshop to improve publishing methods

Mongolian children’s publishers have been experiencing changes and reforms for last over 20 years since Mongolia shifted to open market economy and multi-party, democratic system.  Before the 1990s, development of children’s literature and publishing was strongly influenced by Russia. 

The development of the country and economic issues are still challenges to local publishing houses.  The majority of the children’s publishing houses have only been operating for about ten years and therefore lack experience and practice in terms of management and marketing.  Also as the Mongolian home market is very small, contact with international publishers is very important, but the standards have to be raised to be able to compete.  Mostly children’s stories and books by local authors are based on Mongolian traditional culture and history.

Australian publisher Rosalind Price travelled to Ulaanbataar in October to give a workshop on the basics of sound publishing practices.  She talked about, among other things: the scope and range of children’s books; from writer to reader – the whole process; internal management within a publishing house; publishing picture books, fiction and non-fiction (case studies); and, accessing foreign markets.  She also gave an overview of children’s book publishing in Australia, with which she is very familiar.