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The National Book Development Board (NBDB) recently concluded the Limbag Kapihan, a first in a series of fora for book industry stakeholders. The Limbag Kapihan, held onTuesday, March 3, at the NBDB office in Pasig City, tackled issues concerning authorsvwith regards to publishing.

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The Kapihan was well attended with 69 authors and various industry stakeholders
joining the discussion on various issues relevant to the publishing industry.
The forum, dedicated to authors, began with NBDB Executive Director Graciela
Cayton explaining the publishing industry supply chain, which included content producers, publishers, printers, paper suppliers, booksellers, etc. Atty. Louie Calvario of the
Intellectual Property Office gave the basics on writers’ rights and copyright issues.
Retired book publisher and distributor Lirio Sandoval recounted his experience in
publishing a 10-volume encyclopedia of Philippine history. Sarge Lacuesta, fictionist
and literary editor, discussed writers’ royalties, fees, and advances. Sandoval and
Lacuesta led discussions on current publishing practices here and abroad.
Writers Isagani Cruz and Ricardo Lee began a discussion on writers’ experiences.
Both opined that, ideally, writers should be able to earn a living from writing books.
They and many attendees discussed the writing process, alternative sources of income
for writers, and issues such as taxation and publishers’ contracts.
Book blogger and book club organizer Honey de Peralta talked about Filipino readership
and reading habits, referring to the NBDB 2011 readership survey as well as an informal
reader survey she conducted. She refutes notions that Filipinos do not read, emphatically stating that reading in the Philippines is alive and well.
Writer and literary agent Andrea Pasion Flores explained what it is that literary agents
do and posed the question of whether there is a need for literary agents for Philippine
authors. Poet Ruel De Vera was on hand to give the closing remarks.
The Limbag Kapihan for authors is a first in a series of public consultations and
discussions with various book industry stakeholders. The kapihan aims to tackle current publishing realities and issues, with an eye towards facing the challenges of ASEAN
economic integration in 2015.
The NBDB is a government entity tasked with the development of the book publishing industry in the Philippines. It holds the annual Philippine International Literature Festival,
the National Book Awards, the National Children’s Book Awards, and various reading advocacy activities and bookselling events. The NBDB is under the Department of Education and works with other government entities and private organization in formulating policy affecting book development in the country.