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17.12.10 | Felicity Wood
For the UK trade, London and Frankfurt—and, for the children's market, Bologna—are, of course, the must-attend book fairs of each year. But the trade fair is changing as publishing becomes more global and new markets become ever more crucial to the British industry, with a number of fairs rising in importance, from the Gulf region (Sharjah, Abu Dhabi, Dubai) and South America (Buenos Aires) to Asia (Taipei, Hong Kong), to name but a few. It is not only new markets, but niche and regional fairs such as Thessaloniki and the Baltic Book Fair which have become small but important rights centres.
Literature festivals, too, have more of a global reach, with English-language writers increasingly trekking to festivals in such far-flung locales as Jaipur, India and Cartagena, Colombia, while the Hay festival expands internationally year on year. Below is just a snapshot of some of this year's forthcoming events throughout the world (with two in the UK) for which you might want to mark your calendar.
DSC Jaipur Literature Festival
21st to 25th January
The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF), Asia's leading literature event, is a mix of Indian and international writers, held each January since 2006 in India's heritage site-rich "pink city". In addition to its literature programme, JLF also has film, theatre and music strands. Last year's festival saw more than 170 authors in attendance and this year's line-up offers a host of big hitters, including A C Grayling, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Dave Eggers, Mohsin Hamid, Henning Mankell, Irvine Welsh, J M Coetzee and Kiran Desai.
Perhaps uniquely in the festival world, the events are free. In 2010 about 25,000 people attended them, with around 40% of those coming from Jaipur itself, 30% from the rest of India and the remaining 30% from overseas. Speaking to The Bookseller last month, Bloomsbury editor-in-chief Alexandra Pringle described Jaipur as "the most exciting festival there is. There is a complete mix of international and home-grown writers, which is fantastic."
Angoulême International Comics Festival
28th to 31st January
This four-day festival transforms Angoulême, a small city in southwest France, into a bustling international hub for comics enthusiasts each year—and it plays a significant role in international rights sales of comics and graphic novels. The festival, founded in 1974, gives out a series of prizes for cartooning each year, with the top award, the lifetime achievement Grand Prix de la ville d'Angoulême.
Emma Hayley, publishing director at UK graphic novel specialist SelfMadeHero says: "Angoulême is the biggest and most exciting comics festival in Europe. The whole town gets completely consumed by the world of comics; exhibitions adorn the walls of churches, town halls, bars, clubs—wherever there's a space, really. There are also hundreds of comics sellers selling every comic under the sun and foreign publishers there to do rights deals. This year SelfMadeHero will have a stand in the rights centre alongside other important European graphic novel publishers. While we have stands at both Frankfurt and the London Book Fair, Angoulême is now just as important for selling and buying rights."
Taipei International Book Exhibition
9th to 14th February
Taipei City, Taiwan
One of the largest book fairs in Asia, TIBE takes place each year at the Taipei World Trade Centre and is entering its 19th year. Now organised by the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (formed by 18 Taiwanese publishers in 2004), the five-day event aims to "foster international exchanges, elevate publishing and stimulate reading culture". This year's fair drew 20,000 visitors and hosted 507 international publishing houses from 58 countries. There are three halls at the fair, one each for children's publishing, comics and general publishing, the last of which has separate international and digital sections.
Separate forum programmes on Asian publishing, digital publishing, children's literature, book design and translation are arranged, as well as librarian and editor workshops. The Guest of Honour for 2011 will be the Kingdom of Bhutan. Fair chairman Jung Wen Wang says: "Bhutan is one of the most compelling and interesting nations on Earth and this will be the very first time a book fair shows Bhutanese literature, art, architecture and religion. Exhibitors and visitors from all over the world will definitely enjoy this event."
The Paris Cookbook Fair
3rd to 6th March
Dubbed "a culinary G50 summit", the Paris Cookbook Fair is the world's largest event devoted to cookery and wine books. Created by Edouard Cointreau—scion of the family which created and still owns the Cointreau liqueur empire, and founder of cookery books specialist Gourmand International—the four-day fair mixes publisher stands (with exhibitors from over 50 countries), cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs in the two show kitchens, and wine tastings at the international bar. Now in its second year, more than 3,500 professionals attended last year's fair—with over 4,000 cookbooks exhibited in the rights centre.
Next year's fair will open with the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, and features Italy as Guest of Honour. Cointreau says: "The Paris Cookbook Fair is now at the heart of the cookbook market—we have had to push back the walls to welcome more exhibitors. The cookbook sector is booming in
an otherwise difficult book industry."
World Book Night
5th March, UK nationwide
The inaugural World Book Night, the brainchild of Canongate m.d. Jamie Byng, which will see one million books given away by 20,000 volunteers, takes place two days after World Book Day. Speaking recently, after the 25-strong book list had been announced, Byng said: "World Book Night is a unique collaboration between publishers, booksellers, libraries, writers and individual members of the public and one that I think is going to have an enormously positive impact on books and reading. There are few things more meaningful than a personal recommendation and having one million books given to one million different people on one night in this way is both unprecedented and hugely exciting."
Celebrities are coming out in force to support the event, guaranteeing headlines with Damon Albarn, Damien Hirst, Colin Firth, J K Rowling and Dave Eggers among the patrons. The editorial committee is chaired by author and radio presenter James Naughtie and also includes such trade figures as Waterstone's product director Tim Watson, Amazon's head books buyer Amy Worth and Foyles' marketing director Julia Kingsford.
Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
15th to 20th March
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Next year sees the 21st instalment of ADIBF, which is set to be bigger than ever. Running over six days, with 150 events, the 2010 fair saw 840 exhibitors from 63 countries participate and 236,000 visitors attend—a 32% increase on 2009. The fair features a business and rights centre, an eZone, a show kitchen and an interactive Children's Creativity Corner. Once again there will also be a Spotlight on Rights stream, which offers subsidies of up to $1000 per title to offset the costs of licensing rights to and from the Arabic language, if the initial discussion takes place at the fair.
HE Mr Jumaa Al Qubaisi, deputy director general of the National Library and director of ADIBF, says: "ADIBF continues to push the boundaries of the emerging publishing industry in this region and we are extremely pleased with the response of visiting publishers and exhibitors at our show … ADIBF is committed to the vision of Abu Dhabi as a knowledge-based economy. Through our work to ensure the bar of professionalism is raised in the publishing industry we can ensure that the tools for learning are accessible across our community and the wider Arab world."
World Book Summit 2011
31st March to 2nd April
The main topics of discussion at the 2011 World Book Summit in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana (2010's Unesco World Book Capital) will be the relationship between electronic and printed books and the changing business models facing publishing and bookselling. Speakers at the two-day event will include Jens Bammel, the secretary general of the International Publishers Association, and digital guru and founder and c.e.o. of The Idea Logical Company, Mike Shatzkin. Other issues appearing on the programme are the role of Google in publishing, state support policies on changing the book environment and the importance of translation.
Book Expo America
23rd to 26th May
New York City, USA
Following the eruption of a certain Icelandic volcano, BEA became even more important for UK publishers this year, and 2011 will see America's premier book fair expand back into its original three-day exhibition event format alongside four days of conferences. Steven Rosato, event director, says: "BEA 2011 will be a dynamic fair, reflecting the seismic shifts the publishing industry is undergoing. The latest technology for content will be core to what will be on display at the show and discussed in the conference program."
Just under 22,000 industry professionals were in attendance at BEA 2010, along with 8,047 exhibitors. Featured speakers included such authors as John Grisham and Christopher Hitchens and political figures Condoleezza Rice and satirist Jon Stewart. The Big Ideas at BEA Conference will continue to offer "streamlined" content focused on the industry's most pressing topics, and the International Digital Publishing Forum will run alongside BEA, focusing on all of the major digital issues facing the industry. Italy is the 2011 market focus country.
The Telegraph Hay Festival of Literature & Arts
26th May to 5th June
The Hay brand keeps on growing globally, and in 2011 there will be a renewed buzz about the flagship Welsh fair owing to its having moved principal media partner from the Guardian to The Telegraph Media Group. First launched by Norman and Peter Florence in 1988, Hay has expanded internationally and sister festivals now take place in Nairobi, Kenya; Zacatecas, Mexico; the Maldives; Kerala, India; Beirut, Belfast, Cartagena, Colombia, and Alhambra and Segovia, Spain. In 2009, Hay also took on the ailing Brecon Jazz Festival and has run a "mini-Hay" in December, the Winter Weekend, for 11 years.
Last year ticket sales exceeded 200,000, which puts Hay and Edinburgh running neck and neck as the most visited British book festival. The 2011 line-up is yet to be announced, but 2010 saw Martin Amis, Hilary Mantel, Zadie Smith and Tom Stoppard make an appearance. Time will tell what the Telegraph will bring to Hay when it takes over in January after the ending of the nine-year arrangement with the Guardian. But the festival's new media partner is promising a "year-round campaign" to reflect Hay's growing international stature.
International Fair of Intellectual Literature Non/Fiction
Non/Fiction has been running in Moscow since 1998 and is one of the Russian capital's most important and highbrow cultural events, held every year in the imposing Central House of Artists. In 2009, just under 300 exhibitors and 30,000 people attended the fair.
Non/Fiction has traditionally been a selling fair; for many of Russia's avid readers, owing to the country's issues with distribution it is one of the most important sources for new books. Yet it is becoming more trade orientated too. Each year the British Council runs "Know How" sessions for Russian publishers, helping them to engage professionally with the British book trade. UK publishers at this year's fair included Oxford University Press, Capstone Press, Random House and Wolters Kluwer Health, plus scout Rosalind Ramsay. Russia's capital also hosts the annual Moscow International Book Fair each September, which this year had 200,000 books from 60 countries on display.