One of Malta’s major publishers, Merlin Publishers will not be participating in this year’s Malta Book Festival. In a letter sent to his writers, publisher Chris Gruppetta of Merlin claimed that higher costs and the economic situation do not make participation feasible for this year.
My successor, who is my namesake and my derivative, is currently travelling to administrative and non-consequential conferences while the Maltese book industry falls apart.
Merlin Publishers have been the most active Festival participant in the Book Festival so far, never missing an edition over the years. They were pioneers in having a distinct stand and for organising many activities, even before I entered office at the National Book Council and rebranded the Book Fair into the Book Festival. Chris Gruppetta, the owner and publisher of Merlin used to make great efforts to ensure that his publishing house distinguishes itself from all the others at the Festival. Never did Merlin miss a Festival edition when I was in office.