Beijing International Book Fair: a resounding success!


Held from August 26-30, 2015, Beijing International Book Fair (BIBF) was a meeting ground for publishers from China and 82 different countries and regions around the world. The show was abuzz with activities on all five days. Here, Varsha Verma, associate editor, All About Book Publishing (ABP) brings a report. The 22nd Beijing International Book Fair was successfully held from August 26-30, 2015 at the China International Exhibition Centre (New Venue).

The statistics…

Spread over an exhibition area of 66,000 sq m, with 2,400 stands, featuring 2,302 publishing houses from not only the mainland China, but also from 82 different countriesand regions.Approximately 3,00,000 titles were on display.Over 1,000 cultural events and seminars were held,which attracted more than 2,60,000 visitors to the fair.The rights deals signed at the fair numbered to 4,721, an 8.6 percent increase from last year.

Guest of honour country…

The United Arab Emirates was the country of honour this year, with an exhibition area of 1,000 sq m. The UAE invited its cultural institutions, publishers, and writers to attend the Fair, and held activities to enhance communication amongst publishing industry and writers. These included UAE culture, art and heritage photo gallery, film screening, henna hand art, Arabic calligraphy, crafts, etc.

9th Special Book Awards of China

The 9th Special Book Awards of China was held at the Great Hall of People, Beijing. Established in 2005, it is a national-level award for foreign books that make great contributions introducing China and promoting Chinese culture and publications – it is awarded to foreign nationals, and Chinese nationals of foreign descent, working as authors, translators and publishers. Twenty people were awarded this year – Colin Patrick Mackerras, John Makeham, Carducci Lisa, François Cheng, Bellassen Joël, Schmidt-Glintzer Helwig, WL Idema, Sykhoun Bounvilay, Chimedtseye Menerel, Adam Marszalek, Perelomov Leonard sergeyevich, Mária Ferancová, Angel Fernandez Fermoselle, Robert E Baensch, Alitto Guy Salvatore, Ahmed Mohamed Elsaid Soliman, Kaung Min, Salaczne Zombori Klára ágnes, Samer Khair Ahmad Khrino and Eric Abrahamsen.

Major highlights…

This year BIBF, for the first time, facilitated the Hall of International Children’s Publications (over 14,000 sq m) for children’s publishers from home and abroad. Besides, the Rights Trade Zone, the 1,500 sq m BIBF Picture Book Exhibition and the Illustration Exhibition were set in this hall. The new hall attracted over 40,000 children and parents during public days.

This year, BIBF continued to organise brand activities such as 2015 Beijing International Publishing Forum, BIBF Advanced Seminar on International Rights Trade, CLT-ELT Seminar, BIBF 10+10 Roundtable Meetings, and IDPF@ BIBF International Digital Publishing Forum. Moreover, BIBF launched the first International Children’s Publishing Forum, Rights Managers’ Salon and the International Translation Grant Presentation. These activities contributed to enhancing communications between publishers from home and abroad.

BIBF literature activities…

The show brought together a galaxy of writers, translators and artists from various countries and offered a reading retreat for literature fans. Over 50 renowned authors from China, Britain, Spain, Russia, Mexico, Sweden, etc participated in a series of activities like 2015 BIBF Literature Night, Introduction to New Books and Close to Reading. The activities were held in Writers Zone and offsite venues like One Way Space, Kubrick and Courtyard Institute and TrainspottingCulture Salon.

Print on Demand

At the show, there were a few companies showcasing their POD facilities. One such exhibitor was Xerox. According to Arie Levi, general manager, Xerox Impika Inkjet Solutions, Asia Pacific, Xerox started their operations in China in late 2014. “Many big publishers, with encouragement of Chinese government, have now begun to save cost (waste) and the market is now on a stage of looking at saving cost on printed material. We are in the process of getting an order for Xerox Impika soon,” he said.

2015 Beijing International Publishing Forum

The 2015 Beijing International Publishing Forum was held on August 25, 2015. The forum kicked off with an address by Yan Junqi, vice chairwoman of the Standing Committee of the National People Congress and the chairwoman of the Central Committee of China Association for Promoting Democracy. The keynote address was given by Tuo Zhen, vice minister, the Propoganda Department of the Central Committee, CPC while the theme speech was given by Wu Shangzhi, vice minister, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television PRC.

The rewere three sub-forums – One Belt, One Road and the Publishing’s opportunities and challenges; Integrated Development of the Publishing Industry; and Reading and Publishing. Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman, National Book Trust (NBT), India was one of the speakers at the sub-forum – One Belt, One Road and the Publishing’s opportunities and challenges. He gave an overview of NBT, India, which is a 58-year-old organisation, which publishes books in over 50 languages. He said that Sanskrit remains as one of the oldest languages of the world.
Preps on for ‘guest of honour country’ China @ NDWBF ‘16

China will be the guest of honour country at NDWBF. Here, Wang Yuyan and Xiao Guanglu from Events and Media Department of China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corporation (CNPIEC) unfolds their plans for their participation, in conversation with Varsha Verma. “For the first time, China would be the guest of honour country at New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF). We would not only focus on publishing but will have a plethora of other activities as well. We will bring renowned Chinese authors to the show and will also arrange a picture exhibition,” told by Wang Yuyan and Xiao Guanglu at the beginning of the conversation.

On asking about the size of Chinese delegation to the fair, Wang Yuyan, Director, Events and Media Department of CNPIEC, replied that we expect it to be a delegation of more than150 authors and publishers.

They are also collecting a book list, which may be over 5,000 titles for the show. “This will include titles on literature, history, tourism, picture books, Chinese culture, education, STM and digital,” Wang shared. “We hope Indian publishers would be interested in buying rights of such books,”added by Xiao Guanglu, Deputy Director, Events and Media Department of CNPIEC. Talking about the cultural events to be organized during the fair, Xiao informed that they will organize a great exhibition on China-India cultural contacts to unfold the friendship through the ages between the two countries. “There will be a tea show as well,” added by Xiao.

Further talking about the two countries, Xiao remarked, “India and China are two important countries for global economy. We know about each other in different industries but publishing can bring together the cultures of these two countries.”

“We have a general impression that India publishing market share is increasing in educational and children publishing. While, in China, digital publishing is increasing at a rapid pace of 20% per annum, though we cannot compare it to the US. These ebooks are more attractive to younger generation,” Xiao added. Replying to a query on the kind of books Chinese publishers would be interested from India, Xiao replied, “We are looking for titles on current economy in India and the educational system. Also, India is strong in STM and literature, so these would obviously be on the top list.”

2015 BIBF International Copyright Trade Advanced Seminar

With the theme the Extension of Copyright Industry Chain in the Omnimedia era, the 2015 BIBF International Copyright Trade Advanced Seminar was held at BIBF. Yu Cike, Director General of Copyright, Administration, State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television, PRC, introduced the theme of the forum and key guests. The first topic of discussion was new trend of rights trading and international book fair, hosted by Kong Yan, Deputy Director, BIBF and Jacks Thomas, Director, London Book Fair. There was a panel discussion on how international book fairs can help with rights trading, with Adbul Thadha, Managing Director, Sweet Cherry Publishing; Steven Rosata, Event Director of BEA; Jacks Thomas and Lin Liying, Director, BIBF.

The second topic of discussion was trans-media rights trading, hosted by Kong Yan and Jacks Thomas. Two case studies were discussed by Meng Mingfei, President, Qingdao Publishing Group and Barney Duly, Head of Rights, Laurence King Publishing. Also, there was an interesting conversation of Chinese writer Liu Zhenyun with Romania writer Eugen Uricaru.
Roundtable discussion on the state of literary exchanges between India and China

On the sidelines of BIBF, a roundtable discussion on the state of literary exchanges between India and China was organised at Embassy of India, Beijing. Vinod Jacob, counselor (political) gave the welcome remarks, followed by a keynote speech by Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman, NBT, India. He said that China is the guest of honour country at New Delhi World Book Fair 2016 and he is happy that China has begun publishing and translating literary works of India.

Bai Gengsheng, member of secretariat China Writers’ Association said that literature bringsW two countries together. He also mentioned prime pinister Narendra Modi’s visit to China, which has further strengthened the two countries relations. While, Dr K Sreenivasrao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi, said that China and India have a vast amount of interaction and exchange of ideas. “They are two big nations and can become knowledge capital if join hands,” he said.

Professor Jiang Jinkui, Peking University (translation projects), told that China has a long tradition of translations. “The first translation in China was of Buddhism. China started translating Indian works in 1920s,” he said. He told that books from Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatama Gandhi are very popular in China. He also mentioned about the translation projects between India and China, under which they have translated 25 books in five years.

An overview of the Indian publishing industry was later given by Indian publishers. PG Bandhu of CBS Publishers & Distributors gave a brief overview of general trade books and medical books. He told that there are 350 medical collages, 2000 nursing collages, 300 dental collages and 2000 engineering collages in India. While, Sandeep Kaushik of Macaw Books gave a brief overview about children’s literature in India. He mentioned about the Panchtantras, Puranas and the Jakata Tales. “Indian folklore is vibrant and has stories riddles, plays and poems,” he said. “Indian children book industry is changing rapidly and is creating a global space for itself,” he added.

An overview of Chinese publishers was also shared by Liu Zhi, vice president, Rinmin University Press, said, that first publishing house was set up by Chinese government in 1990s after China joined the International Co-operative Association. While, Wang Zhuang, vice president, Beijing Language and Culture University Press said that key to literary Exchanges is translation. Besides, Atul Aneja of the The Hindu opined that China is very strong in skill development and if such literature from China is translated into Indian languages, it would be very useful as our prime minister has been focusing on skill development.

The roundtable discussion was followed by felicitation of Prof Jin Dingham by Sahitya Akademi. Audience were spellbound with the ease and warmth with which Prof Dingham delivered his speech in Hindi and Chinese. He expressed his gratitude to Sahitya Akademi for motivating him and felt that his biggest achievement in life was to act like a bridge between India and China, by translating the works from both countries. CAPEXIL takes Indian contingent @ BIBF 2015

Book Division of CAPEXIL took a contingent of Indian publishers at BIBF 2015. The CAPEXIL and NBT, India stand was inaugurated by Vinod K Jacob, counselor (political), Embassy of India, Beijing. Siddharth Malik, second secretary, Embassy of India, Chaoyang District was also present on the occasion. Since Ramesh K Mittal, chairman, Book Publications & Printing Panel, CAPEXIL could not attend the fair due to immense work pressure, PG Bandhu, a veteran from the book trade, was entrusted the responsibility to lead the delegation of Indian publishers.

Sunil Kumar, executive officer, CAPEXIL remarked, “CAPEXIL has taken this initiative for the first time at BIBF. We have brought 13 publishers who are looking for business opportunities and the response has been good for them. A round table discussion has also been organised between Indian publishers, writers and Chinese writers and publishers at the Embassy of India.” Besides, CAPEXIL also facilitated and encouraged Indian trade visitors to the show.

These publishers include CBS Publishers & Distributors, DS Publishers India, Future Books, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers Pvt Ltd, Macaw Books, National Book Trust, India, Om Book International, Quixot Multimedia, Shivsagar Publishing, Sterling Pixels and Tara Books. Other exhibitors included RP Printers and National Handicraft Exports.

Many of these publishers were firsttimers to BIBF, but were happy with their participation. As Amit Sharma of Future Books, puts it, “We are happy with the participation and there could be good business here. We wish to sell rights for our children books like story books, activity books, pop up books, 3D and colouring books.”

Another first-time exhibitor Ashish Kapoor of Quixot was also there to sell rights and look for co-edition partnerships. While, C Manivannan, Manager-sales, Tara Books, said that he was happy with the response and might participate next time as well. Similar views were shared by Dinesh Kumar Sardana of DS Publishers. Gaurav K Ghai of Sterling Pixels Pvt Ltd were offering e-learning solutions at the show.

Sandeep Kaushik of Macaw Books, a regular at BIBF, shared, “It is good to be here since it is a copyright fair. We are looking for co-editions.” While, Souman Chanda, global licensing manager, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd, said, “We have 50 books translated in Chinese and many more are in the pipeline. We are here to look for further possibilities to export printed books and sell ebooks.”

Bandhu of CBS remarked, “China is a slow market as they first review the books thoroughly and only then go for rights. Exhibitors need to make two-three visits to be successful.”

Other participants from India included NCB Exports, UBSPD, Karadi Ta l e s , N a r o s a Publishing, to name a few. Amrit Sharma of UBSPD shared, “Chinese publishers are on a lookout for all sorts of books but we are able to sell academic books at the moment.” While, Shobha Viswanath, publishing director, Karadi Tales, who was at BIBF for selling rights, was a first-time exhibitor and she looked forward to some fruitful leads.

There were quite a few Indian trade visitors as well. SK Sharma, general manager, Researchco Books & Periodicals Pvt Ltd and Studium Press (India) Pvt Ltd, shared that he is there to explore market possibilities in Chinese market. “There could be lot of scope for our products, particularly Indian survey from nanoscience and nanotechnology as we are ahead of China in this respect,” he told.

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