“Defining Latvia” Book Subvention Report

Aug 6, 2023

The Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies (AABS) is pleased to recognized the successful conclusion of a Book Publication Subvention Grant awarded to Central European University Press for publishing the volume Defining Latvia: Recent Explorations in History, Culture, and Politics, edited by Michael Loader, Siobhán Hearne, and Matthew Kott.

Two men and a woman standing in front of a pond. Each hold a copy of a book entitled "Defining Latvia"
  • Matthew Kott (L) is a historian of twentieth century Latvia, with a focus on political ideologies and their consequences. He is a researcher at Uppsala University and is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Baltic Studies.


  • Siobhán Hearne (C) is a historian of gender and sexuality in the Russian Empire and Soviet Union. She is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Durham University in the UK.


  • Michael Loader (R) is a political historian of the Soviet Communist Party, nationality politics, and Soviet Latvia. He is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Glasgow. He is
    the Assistant Editor of the Journal of Baltic Studies.


The Impact of an Award: Report from Central European University Press

After the publication of Defining Latvia, CEU Press submitted the following to AABS.
We thank them for their permission to publish their thoughts here.


$2,500 was used to cover the fee of the proofreader/indexer as per the editors’ request. This proofreader is fluent in Russian, Latvian, and English. His fee would have exceeded our planned budget had we not received the subsidy.

With the production subsidy, we were able to make this title available in ebook format suitable for Amazon kindle, the biggest platform for individual ebook sales. The conversion of the title costs about EUR 65, but the real subsidy was in the price we could give it. We have set the price point to USD 9.99, which is not something we generally do for books that cost 85 USD in print, to avoid cannibalization of print sales. With this low price for the ebook, we can expect Amazon customers to choose the ebook over print sales, negatively impacting both the print sales line, and the revenue we get per sale. The subsidy has been be used to cushion the fact that we have to sell almost 5x as many titles in ebook format at that price to recover one lost print sale (or even full-price ebook sale on other platforms).  

Other marketing activities included:  paid campaigns on Amazon and social media to promote the title to increase user awareness and sales potential.

What is the AABS Book Publication Subvention?

The AABS awards its Book Publication Subvention of up to $5,000 for individually authored books, edited volumes, and multiple-authored books in English that make a substantial scholarly contribution to Baltic Studies. The applications must be submitted by publishers, not authors. Priority will be given to single author’s first monographs.

AABS awards two Book Publication Subventions each year. Applications may be submitted for review anytime, on a rolling basis.

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