Jacks Thomas is director of LBF.
Welcome to the London Book
Fair 2017, spring’s biggest
gathering of the global book
industry, writes Jacks Thomas.
Here in our cosmopolitan
capital city, one of the creative
capitals of the world, we are
delighted to welcome more than
25,000 delegates from more
than 130 countries, and look
forward to the huge buzz of
seeing so many creative minds in
one place, all passionate about
bringing the written word to a worldwide audience.
This is a year of anniversaries–2017 will mark 20 years of Harry
Potter, 160 years since Joseph Conrad’s death, 350 years since
Jonathan Swift’s birth and 200 years since Jane Austen’s death.
We’ll have events to mark all these anniversaries throughout the
Fair and during London Book & Screen Week, our public-facing
celebration of books and the films, television and virtual worlds
they have inspired, which runs from 13th to 19th March.
Our Market Focus country this year is Poland. It is a
fascinating country with both a great literary heritage and a
lively contemporary literary scene, and the Polish
programme promises to inspire, inform and entertain. With
our partners at the Publishers Association and the British
Council, we are delighted to bring such a wonderful line-up
of Polish publishers and authors to the Fair this year.
Authors are, of course, at the heart of the London Book
Fair, and we are thrilled to welcome as Authors of the Day this
year Roddy Doyle, Olga Tokarczuk, Andrzej Sapkowski and
Michael Morpurgo. Additionally, David Nicholls is our first
London Book & Screen Week ambassador.
We are also looking forward to celebrating the UK-India Year of
Culture with our Spotlight on India. We’ll be hosting a delegation
of authors from the prestigious Sahitya Akademi, plus we’ll have a
programme of author talks and professional seminars aimed at
celebrating the special bond that exists between our two countries.
Our 200-strong events programme goes from strength to
strength, and this year we are proud to launch our new seminar
stream dedicated to inclusivity: Pride not Prejudice. This follows
on from the Building Inclusivity in Publishing conference we
launched in November 2016; it is great to continue the dialogue
and debate aimed at making the publishing industry more
representative of wider society in both writing and staffing.
Also new for 2017 is the launch of the CAMEO Awards, in
partnership with the Publishers Association, which takes place
during London Book & Screen Week. The Awards aim to bring
attention to the power of the book as an inspiration for plays,
films, TV and games. The prizes will be awarded in four categories:
book to film, book to game, book to stage and book to TV.
Thank you for attending the London Book Fair 2017! We
hope that you enjoy everything that the Fair has to offer. ■
New look BookExpo Welcome to LBF
With America’s five-day annual book meeting less than three
months away, organizers have released more details about
plans to reimagine the show, writes Jim Milliot. Last fall,
ReedPOP announced that BookExpo America has been
renamed BookExpo and will begin with a full day of meetings
and other events on Wednesday 31st May, with 1st and 2nd
June to feature full days of exhibits. BookCon, the consumer
event, will be on 3rd and 4th June.
According to ReedPOP officials, BookExpo has been recrafted
to provide global book professionals with a focused environment
to discover emerging authors and the next blockbuster titles,
engage with the world’s most influential publishers and learn
from industry leaders in conference and networking sessions.
With BookExpo and BookCon returning to New York in 2017
after a one-year trip to Chicago, BookCon is back to a two-day
event with as many as 25,000 readers expected to attend. Brien
McDonald, event director of both BookExpo and BookCon,
says BookCon continues to tweak its programming to connect
“fans, brands and authors” through face-to-face interactions,
panel discussions, social media, sales and premiums.
According to McDonald, the role of the consumer is an
overarching theme of both BookExpo and BookCon, as the events
will explore new methods for engaging readers in all markets.
“Virtually every industry has been disrupted by changes that
put the consumer in the driver seat,” says McDonald. “The wall
between creator and consumer is growing thinner, which means
face-to-face events like BookExpo and BookCon must embrace
Although this year’s BookExpo trade floor will only be two
days, ReedPOP is betting that by focusing the event on high value
attendees (booksellers, librarians, retailers, rights professionals
and media) and content that is driven by business meetings, an
innovative conference and author interactions, publishers and all
attendees will have a more productive experience.
As part of the remade conference schedule, the Global
Market Forum will have a new vision. In order to appeal to a
wide array of professionals, McDonald explains, the conference
will no longer focus on one country. Instead it will address the
diverse topics and relevant issues that define the new publishing
universe in multiple markets. The new forum, McDonald says,
is designed to create meaningful connections through insightful
panel discussions and networking opportunities.
The full-day conference will be Wednesday 31st May and
feature sessions on emerging markets, translation, new
international copyright regulations and more. Confirmed sessions
include Reaching the Arab World: The Sharjah Publishing City
Initiative and The Else Ferrante Model: How Independent
Publishers Excel in Promoting International Literature.
The show floor will feature pavilions from China, Italy,
Korea, Sharjah, Turkey and stands from many more.
With the changes to BookExpo and BookCon, McDonald
says: “Our goal is to be a highly impactful event that serves as
an end-to-end solution for the book industry to launch books
to the trade and consumers.” ■