Industry experts from 101 countries to converge at SIBF Publishers Conference

Conference to convene publishers and thought leaders from 101 countries, with 7 participating for the first time, providing a global platform for discourse and collaboration.


The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has officially unveiled the 13th edition of the annual Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) Publishers Conference. Scheduled to be held from October 29th to 31st at the Sharjah Expo Centre, this prestigious event will serve as a global gathering point for publishers, distributors, and book experts hailing from 101 different countries. Notably, seven of these nations — Benin, Ivory Coast, Czech Republic, Mauritius, Paraguay, Burkina Faso, and Zaire — are making their debut appearances at the conference, marking a significant milestone in international literary exchange.

The conference, which precedes SIBF, will feature a distinguished lineup of experts who will delve into the latest developments and challenges in the publishing industry.

The event, renowned for covering various aspects of the publishing industry, will converge topics such as marketing, licensing, sales, procurement, and the effective implementation of recommendations from renowned publishing experts. These insights are designed to have a positive and far-reaching impact on all stakeholders in the publishing world, encompassing authors, publishers, translators, literary agents, and readers alike.

Facilitating the expansion of the book market within the region

The discussions will explore an array of innovative solutions and experiences aimed at expanding the reach of books and creative industries into new markets. Notably, the conference’s agenda includes various topics, such as the mechanisms and opportunities in digital publishing and the production of audio books, both of which have seen significant growth in recent years.

The SBA has also introduced a significant transformation in the conference format, moving away from the conventional model of seminars and dialogues to embrace dynamic professional workshops. This change is designed to foster increased interaction among participants and to prioritise the discussion of critical issues, with the objective of benefiting publishers and literary agents, enhancing their contributions to the publishing sector and ultimately elevating the industry as a whole.

The conference’s agenda offers participants valuable opportunities to tap into the expertise of renowned specialists and trainers in creating a sustainable future for publishing. It prioritises expanding participant numbers to facilitate coordinated meetings with individuals, and facilitate discourse in successful and inspirational experiences. Additionally, networking opportunities will forge connections, advancing the publishing industry within their respective countries and help the exchange of effective strategies. This multi-faceted approach ensures the success and growth of participating businesses and organisations.

The conference will also serve as a platform and an opportunity to finalise copyright and translation deals between parties, while bolstering collaboration between literary agents from different countries, across several languages.

Sharjah Rights Connection Award

Another major highlight of the conference will be the second edition of the Sharjah Rights Connection Award, through which the SBA celebrates the invaluable and innovative contributions made by rights professionals. The recipients of this award are recognised and rewarded for their remarkable efforts to protect the intellectual rights of creative publishing experts.

Submissions for the second edition of the award concluded on August 31, 2023, which comprised two distinct categories. The first of these categories is exclusively for translation rights professionals employed within publishing companies, while the second is open to independent professionals and those affiliated with agencies specialising in the sale of copyrights to publishers and licensors.

A communication opportunity for publishers and literary agents

Mansour Al Hassani, Director of Publisher Services at SBA, stated, “In the 13th consecutive year of the SIBF Publishers Conference, we present an inclusive programme that meets the needs and expectations of publishers from various countries, cultures, and languages. This reflects SBA’s visionary commitment to supporting and developing the publishing industry, nurturing cultural content in the region and the world, our belief in the importance of exchanging ideas, solutions and opportunities between publishers, and keeping pace with the technological advancements that impact the publishing industry, remains a priority.”

“The SIBF Publishing Conference stands out as a remarkable platform for networking and communication, attracting literary agents, translation experts, and intellectual property rights professionals from both the local region and around the world. This global event serves as a source of inspiration, spurring participants to continue their dedicated work in the publishing sector. It culminates in the prestigious Sharjah Rights Connection Award, which recognizes and celebrates their exceptional contributions to the field,” he added.

Literary luminary Ibrahim Al-Koni honoured as ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has named Ibrahim Al-Koni, the acclaimed Libyan writer and novelist, as the ‘Cultural Personality of the Year’ for the 42nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF). This honour recognises his profound impact on both the Arab and global cultural and literary spheres, in credit to his invaluable contributions. Al-Koni’s exceptional efforts has enriched the literary world and has been instrumental in spotlighting Arab authors on the global stage, with his literary works being translated into over 40 languages, finding a place in the curricula of universities worldwide, including those in Europe, America, Japan, and beyond.

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