Stacey Haber, who runs the publishing company Hope & Plum, was the first distribution partner…
Andrew Afonin is the founder of Double A Publishing, the second publisher to sign a distribution agreement with QuoScript. Andrew is a Ukrainian academic whose passion is Ukrainian literature, particularly fiction. He says that Ukraine has some very talented authors, but it is difficult for them to gain traction outside their own country. “We have a real problem getting our books to the rest of the world. We’re not part of the EU. Although we are recognised by international publishing organisations like IPA, we still have little access to co-operative funding.” Another hurdle to negotiate is that the look and feel of Ukrainian books is sometimes different from the standards Western readers are used to. Many Ukrainian authors don’t speak English, either; but this may be compensated for by giving Double A Publishing access to the wider Ukrainian diaspora in English-speaking countries – primarily the UK, USA, Canada and Australia – and eventually by winning translation grants from organisations that promote the dissemination of literature from different cultures and in different languages.
Andrew believes QuoScript can help him to overcome many of the obstacles he faces in bringing a wider readership to Ukrainian authors. As well as publicising the books he chooses for Double A Publishing, QuoScript has set up for it a robust supply chain and organised a straightforward payment process – important because Ukraine does not have financial facilities such as Paypal. There are also no book wholesalers in Ukraine.
At present, QuoScript is supporting a capsule collection for Double A Publishing, as a trial. There are five titles, all originally published by Victor Walker. Four are available in both Ukrainian and Russian editions; the fifth, the Santa Muerte Salon, is available in English as well. Andrew would like to publish all Double A titles in all three languages and is at present exploring translation opportunities.
Eventually, Andrew hopes to draw works from about 35 Ukrainian publishing houses under the Double A Publishing umbrella and bring out 10 – 15 books every fortnight. He is an accomplished software engineer – he works as a university lecturer, teaching Computer Sciences at Kyiv Mohyla Academy, one of Ukraine’s foremost universities, and has a PhD in Maths and Physics. His various skills have enabled him to create fully-automated workflows for Double A Publishing.
Off duty, Andrew is married with one adult son, who is currently studying in Finland. Andrew’s work and his passion for publishing leave him little time for hobbies. He is not a big football fan – though he does support the Ukrainian national team. His favourite sport is snooker. He watches all the UK snooker competitions on television.
Andrew Afonin is a huge fan of QuoScript, which he says makes realising his dream possible. “This is something I have always wanted to do. Now QuoScript is showing the way.” For our part, we at QuoScript are delighted to welcome Andrew on board and to share with him his vision.