Simon & Schuster's US team will not be attending the London Book Fair this year over "health and safety" fears following the coronavirus outbreak. The Macmillan Trade US team has also pulled out of the Fair.
A spokesman for S&S US confirmed this afternoon (28th February) that staff from all its imprints and divisions would be staying in the States.
He said: “After much consideration, and out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, Simon & Schuster has decided it will not be attending the London Book Fair.
“Those staff who were scheduled to attend are looking at alternate means to have meetings with their contacts in the international publishing community, as they already do on a year-round basis.”
Meanwhile company spokesperson Erin Coffey also confirmed today that Macmillan Trade US would not be participating in the London Book Fair.
The Penguin side of PRH US’s rights team, representing the Viking, Riverhead, Penguin Press, Putnam and Dutton imprints, are understood to be skipping this year’s London Book Fair. Penguin Random House US said it couldn't comment on individual itineraries but was making international travel to London optional for staff; however it would be loading its booth on schedule as planned, the publisher said.
LBF said this week the event would still go ahead despite some attendees pulling out due to health concerns and travel restrictions. Organisers of Bologna Children’s Book Fair have postponed their event until May due to the outbreak.