The National Book Council (NBC) is publishing its comprehensive Annual Report for the year 2020.

With all the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic – establishing ever-changing targets, generating additional tasks and imposing steep learning curves –, this was by far one of our most challenging years. Over the past year, the NBC has kept adapting to the evolving situation, and while some initiatives like trips related to literary exports were brought to a halt, we kept on offering full support to the publishing industry during a year of unprecedented financial and logistical challenges for all its stakeholders.

The Council implemented many measures throughout the year to mitigate the financial crisis, including emergency book purchases from the publishers, and increased online advertising and promotion of online sales. There was an increase in the monetary value of the Malta Book Fund, which now includes funds for both Publication and Translation from and into Maltese, for a total of €105,000. Further capital funds were also added for the restoration of the NBC government premises, the 16th century baroque palazzo in Valletta in Old Mint Street. Albeit with some delays, great progress was made in this project. The NBC signed the much anticipated Education Exception contract; we also proposed laws and measures that have strong support from authors and publishers, and the backing of the National Writers’ Congress. These legal reforms are necessary for the industry to survive hard times and turn to growth, while simultaneously complying with EU regulations and standards.

The NBC would like to thank everyone who in 2020 worked hard and supported the publishing industry notwithstanding the numerous obstacles. More projects and bigger challenges await us, and we look forward to a 2021 characterised by stability and growth.

Keep visiting our website for updates about the NBC’s important dates and deadlines for 2021, which will be published next week.

The Annual Report for 2020 in English can be accessed here, and the mobile version here.

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