London Book Fair: truly a delight!


The London Book Fair was successfully held from April 8-10, 2014 at Earls Court Exhibition Centre, London. Here are a few highlights of the fair. Now in its 43rd year, the London Book Fair (LBF) is the global marketplace for rights negotiation and the swale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels, covering all aspects of the publishing industry. A truly international event, The London Book Fair hosts business professionals from all over the world, who travel to London to an exhibition that provides them with the perfect platform to engage with customers, demonstrate their products, build brand awareness and conduct face to face business with international colleagues. The London Book Fair attracted the leading names from the world of publishing and Film & TV, with over 25,000 attendees over three days.

Duchess tours the LBF ’14

The Duchess of Cornwall toured the 43rd annual London Book Fair. During her visit The Duchess, who is an avid reader herself, met publishers, authors and editors, as well as representatives of literacy charities. One of the first stops on her whistle stop tour of the Fair was to meet authors Anthony Horowitz and Kate Mosse, as Anthony Horowitz revealed the title of his new Sherlock Holmes book, Moriarty. The Duchess also met gardening writer Bunny Guinness who, together with The Prince of Wales, has authored Highgrove: A Garden Celebrated – a book to commemorate The Prince’s Garden at Highgrove in Gloucestershire, which His Royal Highness started over thirty years ago. Bunny was signing copies of the book, which was officially launched by The Prince and The Duchess at Clarence House in March. She also met Korean author Sun-Mi Hwang, who presented The Duchess with a copy of her book, The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly. The Duchess thanked her for the gift and said, “I will enjoy reading this to my grandchildren very much”.

Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book Fair said, “It was a delight to tour the Duchess of Cornwall around The London Book Fair today. Her knowledge and passion for books was evident in every conversation she had. We gave her a whistle-stop tour through publishing and she engaged with every moment.” Two Indian publishers honoured at LBF International Book Industry Excellence Awards 2014

Tara Books and Motilal (UK) Books of India were honoured in the categories of the International Trade Children’s and Young Adult Publisher Award and the Market Focus Achievement Awards, respectively. The London Book Fair International Book Industry Excellence Awards, in association with The Publishers Association, provide recognition from the UK for the best companies and individuals from across the international publishing industry. The line-up of winners was truly global with India, Belorussia, Pakistan, Denmark, Australia, Malaysia, the US and China all coming up trumps.

The winners of the LBF International Book Industry Excellence Awards included:

  • The International Trade Children’s and Young Adult Publisher Award: Tara Books, India
  • The Market Focus Achievement Award: Motilal (UK) Books of India
  • IPA Freedom to Publish Award: Ihar Lohvinau, Belarus
  • Korea Market Focus Outstanding Contribution Award: Eric Yang Agency
  • The Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher Award: Fixi, Malaysia
  • The Crossmedia Award for Best Use of IP: Robert Kirkman, Skybound, US
  • The International Academic and Professional Publisher Award: University of Chicago Press, US
  • The International Education Initiatives Award: Indigenous Literacy Foundation, Australia
  • The International Educational Learning Resources Award: Penguin Australia
  • The International Literary Agent Award: Anneli Høier, Leonhardt & Høier Literary Agency, Denmark
  • The International Literary Translation Initiative Award: Best Translated Book Award, US
  • The UK Publishers Association Copyright Protection Award: Oxford University Press, Pakistan
  • The Publishers Weekly International Book Industry Technology Supplier Award: Publishing Technology, China
  • The Publishing for Digital Minds Innovation Award: Bookmate (Russia)
  • British Council International Digital Publishing Entrepreneur of the Year Award: Ricardo Almeida, president of Clube de Autores

According to Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book Fair, “In the course of our preparation for The London Book Fair, my team and I are lucky enough to meet so many inspirational individuals and learn about fascinating initiatives from publishing companies around the world. So it’s wonderful to be able to celebrate the best international talent at our Awards. From new companies like Fixi in Malaysia to publishing stalwarts like renowned Danish agent, Anneli Høier, the winners provide a fascinating showcase for international publishing.”

While, Richard Mollet, chief executive, The UK Publishers Association, said, “The London Book Fair is the perfect location to celebrate the achievements of international publishing and the range of talent on display across the industry. Around the world, publishers are innovating and developing new ideas of how and what publishing could and will look like in the future and these awards are a great opportunity to demonstrate our success as an industry.”

Chit chat with Gita Wolf of Tara Books

Tara Books, Chennai, who won an Excellence Award in recent London Book Fair, coinciding with their 20th anniversary were agog with pride and sense of satisfaction. Gita Wolf, founder and publisher of the organization, shares her happy moments with D Ramalingam from AABP.

DR: Your first reaction to receive the Award?

Gita: We are happy to be recognized by significant contemporary persons in the field. To be awarded by an international expert panel was an honour bestowed upon us.

DR: Over the years, Tara Books has made a niche for itself. What keeps it going?

Gita: We are innovating continuously. We always go for innovative ideas, that help us in creating our books and which is what keeps us busy and going.

DR: What is best thing about publishing for children and young adults?

Gita: The best thing is about opening a new world to them. We reach children through art. To young adults, we reach through political ideas. Here political is to be understood in sophisticated sense like the world around them, gender equality, rights, etc.

DR: What next can readers expect from Tara Books?

Gita: Art is our strength. We pick up our ideas through folk art around us. We have a new conceptually innovating Prop-up book with Bhil tribe that will be out soon.

LBE Lifetime Achievement Awardee Deoborah Rogers no more!

The eleventh annual Lifetime Achievement Award in International Publishing was recently awarded to Deborah Rogers, CEO of Rogers, Coleridge & White (RCW). An agent all her professional life, she worked with Peter Janson-Smith before setting up her own agency in 1967, later to become RCW. Deborah has made Rogers, Coleridge & White, has been one of the most important literary agencies in the world. 

She has been renowned for her talent in identifying, developing and supporting authors throughout their careers. However, she is not only tireless in the pursuit of her author’s careers; she is widely recognised as a force for good in publishing. A past President of the Association of Authors’ Agents, she served on the management committee of the Man Booker Prize and on the inaugural committee that set up the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS). 

On April 30, 2014, Deborah left for her heavenly abode. She would be always remembered fondly by the publishing community. Seminars & conferences…

‘The Publishing for Digital Minds’ conference was once again a resounding success. It was attended by all those serious about the future of their content businesses in the digital now. Panel sessions and ‘Join the Conversation’ sessions made up the programme, with additional presentations and announcements. View the highlights of the day and catch up on what happened.

Attendees to the show benefited from a range of informative and educative seminars and conferences. A few of them at Publishing for Digital Minds included: Who Pays? Democratisation of Content, Crowdsourcing and Crowdfunding, chaired by Alison Jones, Palgrave Macmillan; Marketing Case Studies, chaired by Jo Henry, Bowker; Children and Young Adult Consumers: Reaching Them Safely and Effectively, chaired by Anna Rafferty; Ones to Watch: Important Market Updates. Russia, Korea, China and Mexico, chaired by Simon Littlewood, Random House; Copyright at Risk: Warning Signs From Around The World by Michael Healy, Copyright Clearance Center; Hybrid And Author Publishing, chaired by Rosie Goldsmith, Journalist; Beyond The Book: Multiplatform IP chaired by Nathan Hull, Penguin Random House. Besides, there was an interesting discussion – Baroness Martha Lane Fox in Conversation with Anna Rafferty – highlighting female entrepreneurs in the digital publishing world.

Other interesting sessions included Subscription Models: Pros and Cons, chaired by Rebecca Smart, Osprey Publishing; LBF and IC Tomorrow Innovation Award, etc.

While, the Great Debate seminar questioned the idea that ‘It’s All About Size: Bigger is Always Better.’ Sponsored by Bowker and moderated by Susan Danziger (Ziggio), a range of contributors spoke for and against the motion. The debate wrapped up with an audience vote, resulting in 28-54 against the motion. So, bigger is NOT always better it seems!

London Book and Screen Week

London Book and Screen Week celebrated the importance of the book and the written word at the heart of creative content across all formats. Comprising a week of events, the axis of which is the highly acclaimed London Book Fair.

Taking place in a variety of venues across the capital, London Book and Screen Week welcomed all those involved in writing, reading and creating content for book and screens in all formats from e-reader to silver screen. It incorporated, among others, the Publishing for Digital Minds Conference, the recently launched Tech Tuesday, writers from this year’s Market Focus and a direct-to-consumer creative writing event.

The week focused on the business of publishing and storytelling from concept to consumer, shining a spotlight on authors, industry leaders, screen writers, agents, publishers, retailers, etailers, developers, technology gurus and start-ups.

Market focus 2015: Mexico

The London Book Fair (LBF) and its UK partners, the British Council and The Publishers Association announced Mexico as the Market Focus 2015. In an official handover ceremony on the final day of the fair, the outgoing Korean Market Focus country was represented, fittingly, by Eric Yang the chair of the executive committee of the Korean Market Focus 2014 alongside Dr Kwon Sehoon from Literature Translation Institute of Korea and the author Hwang Sok-yong. They handed the Market Focus baton to Mexico’s Conaculta – The National Council for Culture and Arts represented by Julio Trujillo and author Valeria Luiselli.

Mexico’s publishing industry is dynamic with a book market worth US$ 830 million at last count and sales growth of over 13 percent since 2010.

A celebration of Korea…

The London Book Fair Market Focus initiative has done much to open doors, creating both commercial and cultural partnerships around the world since it was first introduced in 2004. The objective of the Market Focus is to put the spotlight on publishing trade links with the country or region that is showcased, highlighting its publishing industry, and the opportunities for conducting business with the rest of the world. Korea was chosen as Market Focus for 2014 to reflect the country’s status as one of the top ten publishing markets in the world, and its expanding reputation within the international literary community, as exemplified by Kyung-sook Shin winning the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011.

Authors of the day

Writers are at the heart of the fair which is why the author of the day programme become so special. Each year LBF honour three writers, who each spend a day at the fair where they showcase their work through interviews in the Pen Literary Salon, signings and seminars. Authors honoured this year included Sir Terry Pratchett as Consumer Author of the Day, Malorie Blackman as Children’s Author of the Day and Sun-mi Hwang as Market Focus Author of the Day.

Right Centre

With the return of the Club at The Ivy, as well as new features including a Literary Translation Library, there were lot of activities at the Rights Centre.

Located within the heart of the International Rights Centre, the Club at The Ivy offered publishers and IRC table holders the opportunity to enjoy a private space to socialise, hold meetings and relax.

While, the Literary Translation Library, sponsored by the Sharjah International Book Fair, was a place to showcase works that have been translated from their original language. Each title displayed gave agents and publishers alike the opportunity to see translated works in their finished form and find out more about what additional rights may be available.

Goodbye Earls Court, hello Olympia!

The London Book Fair 2015, 16-18 April, will take place at Olympia London (Hammersmith Road, Kensington, London W14 8UX). ‘A river of ink’ leading up to the entrance to Earls Court Exhibition Centre took The London Book Fair visitors on a ‘journey’ to Olympia London, the Fair’s new home from 2015. The ‘river of ink’ was a carpet of messages about Olympia London that were displayed on the ground outside of Earls Court’s main entrance on Warwick Road throughout The London Book Fair.

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