The London Book Fair 2020: Stage Set For Another Successful Show

The London Book Fair (LBF) is the global market place for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels. Here are the major highlights of the 2020 edition.


The 49th edition of London Book Fair is set to take place from March 10-12, 2020 at Olympia London. LBF’s London Book and Screen Week will run for the third year, with the book fair as the pivotalthree-day event within a seven-day programme.

Market Focus – Sharjah

Sharjah is the Market Focus of The London Book Fair. It will feature a programme of cultural events celebrating Emirati authors and books, and a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities. It offers UK and international publishers the chance to forge new business partnerships and expand into global markets.

Jacks Thomas, Director of The London Book Fair, commented, “The London Book Fair Market Focus programme showcases not only the publishing industry and output of a country but also the culture and people its literature reflects. Cross-cultural exchange as a conduit to greater understanding is at the heart of the programme. As a significant, energetic and forward-looking participant on the global publishing stage, it is fantastic to be welcoming Sharjah as LBF Market Focus 2020.”

In the lead up to The London Book Fair, SBA and British Council will offer a reciprocal Writer in Residence programme. The SBA will offer one British author the chance to be a Writer in Residence in the UAE and the British Council will offer one Emirati author the chance to be a Writer in Residence in the UK. This will culminate with both authors visiting LBF to discuss the programme and further enhance cross-cultural dialogue.

Sharjah’s Market Focus pavilion will be coordinated by SBA and it will showcase many cultural initiatives from across Sharjah including projects by Al Qasimi Publications, Department of Culture in Sharjah, UAE Board on Books for Young People (UAEBBY), Kalimat Group and Dr. Sultan Al-Qasimi Centre of Gulf Studies.It will also highlight SBA’s flagship initiative, Sharjah Publishing City (SPC), which is the world’s first publishing and printing free zone, offering premium services and commercial advantages it offers to publishers, authors and other literary professionals from around the world.

LBF 2020’s Literary Translator of the Fair

Award-winning translator Katy Derbyshire will be the Literary Translator of the Fair.Katy Derbyshire is a London-born translator who has lived in Berlin for over twenty years. She translates contemporary German fiction, including Olga Grjasnowa, Heike Geissler, Man Book International Prize-nominated Clemens Meyer and Christa Wolf. She is now also publisher at V&Q Books – bringing remarkable writing from Germany to the UK and Ireland from autumn 2020.

Audiobook summit at LBF

The London Book Fair is launching a new audiobook summit, at Audio HQ, at LBF on Tuesday 10 March. It will feature insight, research and views on the global audiobook revolution, as audiobooks remain the fastest growing area within publishing.

The sessions include new statistics on the size of the UK market from book insight experts Nielsen Book and international trends information from Michele Cobb of Audio Publishers Association US. It will also discuss the challenges of casting, (Dan Zitt, PRH USA), the subscription economy (Javier Celaya) and the commissioning side of audio – what is being commissioned in audiobooks and podcasts (Bookwire).The summit will take place in the newly named Audio HQ area.

Jacks added,” This Audio summit is a chance to get under the skin of key areas of the audiobook success story from subscription models to the expansion of new audio content. We are delighted to welcome US speakers including Michele Cobb from Audio Publishers Association and Dan Zitt from PRH as the US market has led the way in the audio revolution and I can’t wait to hear what is next for this exciting format.”

LBF International Excellence Awards 2020: shortlist revealed

The shortlists for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2020 have been announced, this year with a record number of 29 countries represented.The awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association, celebrate publishing success in sixteen categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry. In each award category, the judging panel was comprised of experts in that sector.

This year, a number of countries have been shortlisted for the first time, including Colombia, Croatia, Mozambique, Uganda and Yemen. USA (5), India (3), Egypt (3), Canada (2), Germany (2), and New Zealand (2) all received multiple entries. From India, Karadi Tales has been nominated for The Audiobook Publisher of the Year; while Karadi Path Education Company has been shortlisted for The Educational Initiatives Award and The Educational Learning Resources Award, supported by The China Publishing & Media Journal.

The winners of several other Awards will also be presented on the night including The Simon Master’s Chairman Award and The Association for Publishing Education (APE) Student Awards. The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award will also be presented at the ceremony.

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