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Mstyslav Chernov says his publisher has not paid him for a novel; the publisher explains why

26.09.2023, 17:32
Edit by IMI
Edit by IMI

Associated Press visual journalist, filmmaker Mstyslav Chernov says that the publishing house "Summit Knyha", which published his novel "Time of Dreams" ("Chasy Snovydin") over two years ago, has still not paid him the fee and is withholding the book sales from him.

Chernov wrote about this on Facebook and shared the details with IMI.

"All the while the owner and CEO of the publishing house constantly capitalizes on my name. They've been saying 'Tomorrow' to all my requests for over a year, taking advantage of the fact that I am busy working at the front," Chernov wrote.

He also stressed that he forbids the "Summit Knyha" founder, Ihor Stepurin, and the publishing house itself to use his name and his book for advertising.

In his comment to IMI, Mstyslav Chernov noted that he does not see the point of going to court on this issue yet, because "the Ukrainian legal system does not have the sufficient mechanisms to protect authors."

"And it's not about the fee for me. I don't think the sum is in any way significant (although I don't know, because the publishing house doesn't report the sales to me), it's about unscrupulous conduct. It is important for me that my name is not associated with the 'Summit Knyha' and that they stop exploiting me," said Chernov.

According to him, the "Summit Knyha" founder, Ihor Stepurin, regularly makes social media posts about his work, includes Chernov and "Time of Dreams" in the publishing house's portfolio and projects.

"That would be quite acceptable, but only if the publishing house fulfilled their obligations. Even if they pay me the fee, what matters to me is that I will no longer be associated with 'Summit Knyha,'" Chernov stressed.

Later, he clarified to IMI that after he made the situation public, the publishing house did sent him part of the reports and apologized to him. "But this is only a part of the reports for two years and does not fundamentally change anything," Chernov noted.

Photo source: Mstyslav Chernov on Facebook

The "Summit Knyha" founder, Ihor Stepurin, confirmed in a comment to IMI that the publishing house had sent the author some of the reports.

He explained that the situation arose because after the start of the full-scale invasion, bookstores stopped sending reports to publishers automatically – only on request.

"Today we asked Knyharnia Ye how many copies of Mstyslav Chernov's 'Time of Dreams' were sold in this entire time. We were told that it was 75 copies that there were 50 copies in bookstores overall," said Stepurin.

He assured that Mstyslav Chernov would receive his fee: "The book was published in 2021, then there was a full-scale invasion, and the book, unfortunately, was not so actively sold and promoted."

As reported by IMI, the documentary "20 Days in Mariupol" by Ukrainian journalist, photographer, and writer Mstyslav Chernov will contend for a nomination at the Oscars in the category "Best International Feature Film".

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