India makes its mark @ London Book Fair 2019

The London Book Fair 2019 was successfully held from March 12-14, 2019 at Olympia, London. LBF is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. This year, LBF celebrated its 48-year anniversary.


Staged annually, London Book Fair 2019 saw more than 25,000 publishing professionals arrive in London for the week of the Fair to learn, network, and kick off their year of business.

London Book and Screen Week was celebrated from March 11-17, 2019. This week-long event brings storytelling and the written word to life, uniting the capital’s avid readers, writers, game, film and TV fans with a whole host of events taking place right across literary London. The LBF week began with the Quantum Conference.

At the opening of LBF, Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, said, “This has been a wonderful start to The London Book Fair, featuring some inspiring writers as well as fascinating sessions covering the key topics facing the publishing industry.”

Authors galore…

Some of the prominent authors at the show included bestselling author Karin Slaughter, who opened the pop-up Club at The Ivy. Karin is an American crime writer. The author of eighteen novels, Slaughter has sold more than 35 million copies of her books, which have been published in 37 languages

Author of novels including Atonement and On Chesil Beach Ian McEwan, was interviewed for the Vintage Books podcast, hosted by Trailblazer Award winner Leena Normington. Ian is an English novelist and screenwriter. In 2008, The Times featured him on its list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945” and The Daily Telegraph ranked him number 19 in its list of the “100 most powerful people in British culture.”

Esteemed novelist Deborah Moggach, whose book These Foolish Things inspired the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was interviewed by author and podcaster Daisy Buchanan for her podcast You’re Booked.

As part of the International Literature Showcase, novelist and women’s rights activist Elif Shafak, revealed her selection of some of the best female writers working in the UK today.

Illustrator of the Fair, David McKee, whose iconic children’s book Elmer the Patchwork Elephant turns 30 this year, was in conversation with Ren Renwick from the Association of Illustrators. He also unveiled the Elmer design for the upcoming Children’s Bag as part of the Books are My Bag campaign. Elmer is now published in more than 20 languages and has spawned a range of merchandise, including soft toys, from London Emblem and other companies worldwide.

Other activities

In his session ‘Rebuilding the Library Is Destroyed’, Dr Alaa Hamdon of the University of Mosul discussed how he founded Mosul Book Bridge Campaign, dedicated to rebuilding the collection.

The Usborne Farm Yard proved popular with visitors young and old. The multiple award-winning publisher’s stand was packed all day long.

Market Focus

This year, Indonesia was the Market Focus country, and their stand had been a hive of activity, showcasing the country’s dynamic publishing industry and beyond. After opening their pavilion, Market Focus Indonesia held a session on the Many Identities of Indonesia in the afternoon, discussing the changing identities of modern Indonesia.

As many as 50 different activities took place at their stand, connecting international publishers, translators and agents with a wealth of literature from across the Indonesian archepelago.


The LBF’s International Excellence Awards were organised in association with the Publishers Association and produced by Agile Ideas. The Literary Translation Initiative Award went to India’s Tulika Publishers while The Educational Initiatives Award went to Tata Trusts, India. The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award went to Jessica Kingsley, Founder, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (UK), among others.

The CAMEO Awards took place in a glittering ceremony, recognising the integral role books play within the creative industries.

The LBF’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Swedish publisher Dorotea Bromberg at the LBF’s International Excellence Awards was warmly received.

Also presented were the British Book Awards for Exports and the launch of the Publishers Association’s new Export Toolkit.

Gandhi 150

At London Book Fair 2019, Gandhi 150, commemorated the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, displaying works that tell about this life and his message. This stand was developed in partnership with the Publications Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. There was a talk on Gandhi 150 on the last day where Dr. Sadhna Raut of Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Govt. of India, shared more about Gandhi 150: Publications action plan.

Content Beyond Print

– Excerpts of FICCI Seminar at the London Book Fair 2019

In an endeavour to promote Indian publishing industry globally, FICCI partnered with The London Book Fair 2019 for the fourth consecutive year. This year, they organized an interactive seminar on “Content Beyond Print”at the London Book Fair 2019. The session aimed to focus on the emerging trends and technologies in publishing sector.

The session touched upon some of the new technologies that have entered the market such as e-books, audio books and mobile books. Modern day publishers are developing content on these platforms. Mudit Mohini, Director, Vishv Books emphasized on how content creation and delivery is undergoing paradigm shift, specifically the educational publishing content. Due to emergence of digital delivery platforms, there are the various options available to consumers. She also mentioned that the learning with videos is a new trend in education publishing.

While, Kailash Balani, Chairman & Managing Director, Balani Group, shared his views from the perspective of distribution in new age. He emphasised that the role of distributors will undergo a change.

They will have to evolve themselves and be a partner with context to the emerging delivering platforms.

Stefanie Lamprinidi, Global Content Acquisition Manager, Storytel Sweden AB mentioned about tremendous opportunities in audiobooks in India. She highlighted that the penetration of smart phones, digital devices and internet are the growth drivers.

Carles Farre, Director – Commercial PageWide Industrial Web Press Division, HP Inc. shared the role of the technology providers such as HP in the current scenario.

On one hand the technology companies provide opportunity of digital printing and Print on Demand (PoD) services, they also provide solutions of security of the published content by using technology for protecting IP and countering piracy & counterfeiting.

While, Sumeet Gupta, Senior Director, FICCI, moderated the session and mentioned that the publishing industry has gone beyond the current print or digital mindset and has explored ways for one to complement the other. Both the digital and printed books are capturing the market globally.

FICCI also launched the 3rd edition of “Rights Catalogue of Indian writing” across languages and genres, which has been created in partnership with The London Book fair. It is an endeavour to find the business collaborations for the Indian publishers and authors with International publishers / distributors across the globe.

The session was well attended by the participants from publishing houses across the globe.

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