oleh Ilda Karwayu

Penulis, penyunting, pengarah tata letak dan perwajahan isi buku, penerjemah, serta pe- pe- lainnya yang menggeluti buku sebagai produknya, merupakan para pekerja buku. Di Indonesia, para pekerja buku belum memiliki sistem bisnis yang mapan merata, dalam artian, memberikan kesejahteraan yang cukup bagi setiap pekerjanya. Darinya, tak heran bila sejumlah pekerja buku rajin menyuarakan pikiran-pikirannya terkait kesejahteraan tersebut. Salah satunya, adalah Aan Mansyur, penyair yang baru-baru ini menulis esai berjudul “Menjadi Penulis, Menjadi Pekerja yang Rentan”.

Kemunculan tulisan, juga diskusi yang cukup intens tentang kesejahteraan pekerja buku memanglah ampuh memperluas wacana di lingkaran pekerja buku dan bias-biasnya. Selain itu, sepanjang gagasan berkembang, ada pula jalan lain yang dapat ditempuh untuk melancarkan visi kesejahteraan pekerja buku, satu di antaranya: menginisiasi serta melaksanakan sebuah program berprofit—baik materiel maupun non-materiel—yang melibatkan pekerja buku.

Gagasan tersebut tentu bisa saja muncul dari pikiran siapa saja dan di mana saja. Satu di antara mereka yang memikirkannya adalah Lily Yulanti Farid, Direktur Makassar Internarional Writers Festival (MIWF). Darinya, MIWF dengan dukungan penulis Dewi Lestari dan Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), mencetus program #BakuBantu—sebuah inisiatif dana bergulir dengan tujuan mengembangkan kapasitas dan kreativitas pekerja buku di Indonesia Timur—sebagai posisi geografis. Secara khusus, pekerja buku yang menjadi sorotan program #BakuBantu ialah para penulis dan komunitas literasi, sebab pilot project pembentukan sistem bisnis, dibayangkan, akan lebih mudah dijalankan di skala kecil terlebih dahulu.

Pendaftaran program #BakuBantu resmi dibuka di 15 November s.d. 1 Desember 2021 lalu. Sepanjang masa pendaftaran dibuka, ternyata banyak peminat yang—bila diperlukan permohonan maaf—belum memahami esensi dana bergulir dan cara kerjanya. Kenyataan tersebut, bagaimanapun, telah merepresentasikan wawasan bisnis para pekerja buku di Indonesia Timur. Menyamakan definisi dana bergulir dan dana hibah adalah persepsi yang muncul dominan di para pendaftar.

Berlanjut ke proses pendaftaran; dari sejumlah pendaftar yang mengirim proposal, dipilihlah tiga proposal, yakni (1) Usaha Kue Kering Khas Lombok untuk Kelancaran Belajar Sastra Anak-anak oleh Hurmayani dari Rumah Baca Nusa, (2) Penerbitan Buku oleh Ama Achmad dari Akademi Sastra Banggai, dan (3) Usaha Penerbitan serta Pelatihan Menulis oleh Wawan Kurniawan dari Penerbit Akasia. Setiap proposal, diharapkan memiliki rencana bisnis yang rasional dan realistis, sebab dana bergulir menuntut pengembalian dana dalam periode tertentu; sesuai namanya, dana akan tetap digulirkan agar dapat dimanfaatkan oleh penulis dan/atau komunitas lainnya di kesempatan berikutnya. Di kesempatan pertama ini, ketiga tim penggarap proposal yang lolos akhirnya diberi pelatihan rencana bisnis oleh MIWF supaya program di proposal dapat dilaksanakan serasional dan serealistis mungkin.

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#BakuBantu Program Expands Book Workers’ Business Insights

by Ilda Karwayu

Writers, editors, directors of the layout and presentation of the contents of books, translators, and others who work with books as their products, are book workers. In Indonesia, book workers do not yet have a well-established business system that is evenly distributed, in the sense that they provide sufficient welfare for each of their workers. Therefore, it is not surprising that a number of book workers have diligently voiced their thoughts regarding their welfare. One of them is Aan Mansyur, a poet who recently wrote an essay, entitled “Becoming a Writer, Becoming a Vulnerable Worker”.

The emergence of writing, as well as quite intense discussions about the welfare of book workers are indeed effective in broadening the discourse in the circle of book workers and their biases. In addition, as long as the idea develops, there are also other ways that can be taken to launch the vision of the welfare of book workers, one of which is: initiating and implementing a profitable program—both material and non-material—that involves book workers.

These ideas can of course come from anyone’s mind and anywhere. One of those who thought about it was Lily Yulianti Farid, Director of the Makassar International Writers Festival (MIWF). From her idea, MIWF, with the support of writer Dewi Lestari and Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI), initiated the #BakuBantu program—a funding initiative with the aim of developing the capacity and creativity of book workers in Eastern Indonesia—as a geographical focus point. In particular, the book workers who are in the spotlight of the #BakuBantu program are writers and the literacy community, because the pilot project of establishing a business system, it is imagined, will be easier to run on a small scale first.

Registration for the #BakuBantu program officially ran from 15 November to December 1, 2021. During the registration period, it turned out that many interested people did not understand the essence of a revolving fund and how it works. This fact, however, represents the current business insight of book workers in Eastern Indonesia. Equating the definition of revolving funds and grants was a dominant perception among applicants for the #BakuBantu program.

As for the registration process; From the number of applicants who submitted proposals, three proposals were selected, namely (1) Lombok Typical Pastry Business for the Learning of Children’s Literature by Hurmayani from Nusa Reading House, (2) Book Publishing by Ama Achmad from the Banggai Literature Academy, and (3 ) The Publishing Business and Writing Training by Wawan Kurniawan of Acacia Publishers.

Each proposal is expected to have a rational and realistic business plan, because a revolving fund demands a refund within a certain period; as the name implies, the funds will continue to be rolled out so that they can be utilized by the author and/or other communities during the next opportunity. On this first occasion, the three teams working on the proposals that passed were finally given business plan training by MIWF so that the proposed program could be implemented as rationally and realistically as possible.

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