Opportunities from the International Young Publisher Award

Octavio Kulesz


Octavio Kulesz, a young publisher from Argentina, benefited from British Council programmes to help promote his own company, learn new ways of working and contribute to International Publishing Association meetings.

Finding out about the International Young Publisher award

In 2005 I was working as director of a small independent publishing house, which was quite successful but not advanced technologically.  I thought we should be using more technology, but did not really know how.  I heard about the International Young Publisher award and applied.  It offered an opportunity to participate in the London Book Fair and a tour of the UK publishing industry – a chance to make contacts and learn about new technologies being used in the UK.

Visiting the UK

My participation in the programme in 2006 was a very beneficial experience.  I made a pitch at the London Book Fair for work published by my company and visited publishers in England

and Scotland.  It was a huge boost for me - a very encouraging and motivating experience for a young publisher.  It led to many changes in my professional life and changed my way of thinking.  This was my first visit to the UK – I had had no real contact with British culture previously.  It showed me that ideas can be transformed into actions.  I learnt what networking really means.  I got to see the most up-to-date technology, and learnt more about e-books.

Applying my learning to my work in Argentina

I returned to Argentina determined to apply what I had seen and learned in the UK.  I realised that to be effective I needed to start from scratch with a new company – a new model for a new way of thinking and working.  I continued with my original company, but 90% of my time became devoted to the new – applying technology to help, for example, universities distribute content, producing e-books and books printed on demand.

Thanks to the British Council and the International Young Creative Entrepreneur scheme, I have met publishers from the UK and around the world.

From India to London to Korea – taking part in International Publishing Association meetings

My first visit to the UK started off a period of intense travelling.  In April 2007, 19 previous International Young Publishing Entrepreneur (IYPE) finalists from different countries were invited to the UK and an alumni network was started.  I was nominated chair.  Early in 2008, with the support of the British Council, as chair of the network, I travelled to India and attended book and trade fairs.  Two months later, again as chair and with the support of the British Council, I returned to the London Book Fair, where the IYPE network had our own stand.  Also in my function as chair, I met the President of the International Publishers Association (IPA).  They asked me to attend their meeting in Korea in 2008 and gave me the chance to invite two other young publishers.  I invited two vice-chairs of the IYPE network, one from Malta and the other from South Africa.  There are very few young people within the IPA and so our participation was a big step forward.

Thanks to the British Council and the International Young Creative Entrepreneur scheme, I have met publishers from the UK and around the world.  We have developed a network which enables us to share ideas and experiences.