Just a few days ago, on 10th April 2018, the 47th London Book Fair kicked off. This event, which runs annually, sees about 25,000 publishing professionals come together to negotiate rights and to sell content across various different platforms including print and TV. The fair was originally conceived by Lionel Leventhal in 1971 and started off life as the Small and Specialist Publishers’ Exhibition. In this article on Publishers Weekly, published in 2000, Leventhal remembers how the festival began ‘as a tabletop affair in the basement of a London hotel’. The festival has evolved over the years and is now held in one of the largest exhibition centres in London. In the video below you can take a look inside at the fair inside Olympia where it is currently held:
The London Book Fair Market Focus initiative was launched in 2004 and sees one country or region showcased at the fair. The objective of this initiative, according to the London Book Fair website, is ‘to put the spotlight on publishing trade links with the country or region that is showcased, highlighting its publishing industry, and the opportunities for conducting business with the rest of the world’. In 2017 Poland was the Market Focus in 2017 and it is the Baltic Countries this year. To see what kind of activities took place to mark Poland’s year as Market Focus, you can click here and to have a look at what events are being held to celebrate Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia’s literatures this year, you can click here.
Other popular book fairs across the world include the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, the Bookexpo America, the Frankfurt Book Fair, Guadalajara International Book Fair, the Hong Kong Book Fair, and New Delhi World Book Fair. Yet, the second one we are going to look at in this blog post is the Bologna Book Fair, a trade fair dedicated exclusively to children’s literature.
The Bologna Book Fair has been held in Bologna, Italy since 1963 in either March or April. According to the International Publishers website this book fair attracts about 26,000 visitors annually. Like London Book Fair, it also focuses on a different country or region each year. This year the focus was on China and there was a China Pavilion at the event where visitors could take a look at some 3,000 titles across 4,000 books. You can read more about the events and stands China organised here and if you’d like to follow the Bologna Book Fair on YouTube, you can do so here.