Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book Fair, pens her experience at the New Delhi World Book Fair and how London Book Fair is similar, yet different, from the same. Last month I experienced my first New Delhi World Book Fair and came away both overwhelmed and inspired by the scale, the diversity of books and languages and the crowd! It was a truly exhilarating experience. While the fair is truly unique and unlike any book fair I’ve ever attended, there were also many similarities to The London Book Fair that I noted during my time there. Both fairs attract a diverse range of publishers of all shapes and sizes, from across different sectors, both place a high importance on discussing the major industry trends through comprehensive seminar streams, and, overall, a buoyant mood and positive disposition engulfs the halls at both exhibitions. It served as the perfect prelude to The London Book Fair and got me excited about what 2016 has in store.

Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book FairLike London, New Delhi is one of the most culturally vibrant cities in the world. There are so many languages spoken in the city, more than any other city in the world. It has over 800 bookshops and more than 380 public libraries – true testament to the power of the book and the enthusiasm for the written word. Back in London the book fair is a truly international event with companies from over 60 countries regularly exhibiting, 1,500 global organisations represented and visitors from over 124 different countries.

From giant publishing houses such as Penguin Random House and Elsevier, to the smallest independent, all sectors of the industry attend the fair. There are the publishers of blockbuster novels and academic texts, and the producers of children’s books and graphic novels. A key part of the exhibition is the increasing number of technology players who explore the myriad of ways in which content can now be treated and delivered.

From Quantum Conference, the thoughtprovoking, agenda-setting publishing industry conference on the Monday before the fair, to the comprehensive Insights Seminar Programme lasting the duration of the fair, offering over 16,500 minutes of informative and provocative debate over the course of the three days. The London Book Fair brings together the greatest minds in the industry.

Every sector of the industry is celebrated throughout the spacious halls of the fair. The Faculty is home to all things academic publishing, Author HQ equips writers with the knowledge they need to get published, The International Rights Centre is where some of the year’s landmark book deals are made, and recent additions such as The Gaming Zone highlight the industry’s status as a vital player in the world of multimedia content.

Furthermore, to mark the 400 year anniversary of the death of Shakespeare, we are launching The Shakesperience to honour the Bard’s impact on the global publishing industry. From multi-lingual performances of some of Shakespeare’s most-loved works, to retellings of his plays by esteemed authors Howard Jacobson, Jeanette Winterson and Tracey Chevalier, this year’s fair will celebrate the anniversary in style. And look out for the daily performances of sonnets in Hindi which is just part of our enhanced presence from India at this year’s book fair.

And finally, now in its third year, The LBF International Excellence Awards, which we run in association with The Publishers Association, is perhaps the only event that recognises publishing achievement from all corners of the globe. Born from a desire to showcase developments around the world, these awards celebrate new voices, innovative design, cutting edge technology and ground breaking initiatives. In 2014, inspiring Indian publisher Tara Books won the children’s publishing award and last year Indian imprint Purple Turtle and others were nominated.

There is a lot to be excited about at this year’s The London Book Fair and I look forward to greeting more Indian delegates and exhibitors than ever before.

The London Book Fair 2016 will take place at Olympia, West London from 12-14 April.

India publisher to speak at 31st International Publishers Congress -Chiki Sarkar, CEO of Juggernaut Books will address the audience.

Pullman and Alaa Al Aswany will headline 31st International Publishers Congress in London in April 2016. The world famous authors join a line-up of influential publishers including Hachette CEO, Arnaud Nourry, for what promises to be a stimulating and thought-provoking conference.

The Congress from April 9-12, 2016 will take place at The London Book Fair for the first time. Delegates to this truly international gathering will hear from speakers from 17 countries including Chiki Sarkar, CEO of Juggernaut Books (India), Francis Gurry from the Geneva-based World Intellectual Property Organisation, and Singaporean publisher Fei Chen Lee of Times Publishing Group.

Philip Pullman said, “I’m very happy to have the chance to speak to this important congress, and to express some thoughts that have occurred to a novelist about the present state of the field in which we all work.”

The Congress is organised by the International Publishers Association in partnership with the UK Publishers Association and The London Book Fair. The comprehensive programme will address the key policy and practical issues of the day for publishers. The programme, strategically timed to coincide with The London Book Fair, ensures that delegates will not only benefit from the Congress but also a curated agenda throughout the book fair itself. Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) is the official Gold S p o n s o r f o r t h e 3 1 s t International Publishers Congress.

Programme for IPA Congress delegates include:

  • Saturday 9 April: Day 1: Networking reception
  • Sunday 10 April: Day 2: Publishing Now: Creativity, Anti-Censorship, Commerce
  • Monday 11 April: Day 3: Quantum: Publishing & So Much More
  • Tuesday 12 April: Day 4: The London Book Fair, Research & Scholarly Publishing Forum, or What Works?: Education Publi s h ing Conference


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