Officials from BookExpo in the US have said the event is scheduled to go ahead as planned in May, as book fairs around the world cancel or postpone events due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Following the cancellation of the London Book Fair and growing concerns about coronavirus, BookExpo officials said they "do not anticipate any changes or delays" to the event, which like LBF is part of Reed Exhibitions.
Event director Jenny Martin said "the COVID-19 virus is at the forefront of our customer’s minds" and BookExpo will "continue to monitor the status and guidelines closely".
In a statement, Martin said: "The effect of the COVID-19 virus on the publishing business and our people is significant and difficult to navigate. Many industry events outside of the United States, have had to make difficult decisions about proceeding with their events. We understand the impact that has on the publishing industry and we want to be proactive and transparent about BookExpo.
"BookExpo & BookCon will proceed as planned May 27–31st, 2020. We do not anticipate any changes or delays to our event. Our mission is to serve our customers as best we can, and we plan to provide a place for you to conduct business in these difficult times. The publishing industry is based on personal connections—and many rely on the important business relationships made during BookExpo. We will continue to be take necessary precautions to facilitate an environment for the entire community to unite, make meaningful new connections, and discover new titles.
"To prepare for BookExpo & BookCon, Reed Exhibitions and our partners are monitoring the COVID-19 virus situation daily. We are collaborating closely with the Javits Center and following guidelines and precautions suggested by the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and other federal, state and local government agencies, including the New York City Department of Health which provides live, daily updates.
"We will continue to monitor the status and guidelines closely. Should anything change we will, of course, promptly keep our customers informed of the action to be taken."
The Londom Book Fair made the decision to cancel next week's event "with reluctance" yesterday, following Livre Paris and Leipzig Book Fair who also pulled the plug. Organisers of Bologna Children's Book Fair have postponed the Italian event, which was originally due to run from 30th March to 4th May.