Book Fairs are fertile ground to meet people

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Genre: Children’s books like story books, picture books, activity books, novelty books, fairy tales and sticker books.

Book fairs attended: New Delhi World Book Fair and the Kolkata Book Fair. Bologna Children’s Book Fair, London Book Fair, Abu Dhabi Book Fair, Beijing Book Fair, Frankfurt Book Fair, Liber Book Fair, Shanghai Children’s Book Fair, and Guadalajara Book Fair.

Most important book fair: Every book fair helps our business, though I will admit it’s a slow process. Any relationship or networking opportunity take its own time to mature.

Importance of book fairs: At its heart, the publishing industry is driven by emotion, feeling, and connection. Book fairs are as crucial to the publishing industry as the jugular vein is to the human body.

Expectations from book fairs: Book fairs always provide fertile ground to meet both existing and prospective business partners, with the benefits of the duality of interaction in both formal and informal moments. We expect relevant and stimulating conversations that lay the groundwork for meetings which will graduate to instances of serendipitous resonance of intent and purpose.

Interesting incident: At Frankfurt 2016, I met Gaurav Sabharwal – Managing Director at Prakash Books. That is where we first discussed the idea of starting Wonder House Books as an imprint of Prakash Books.

On online vs, offline book fairs: I think it’s unfair to compare the success of a real-world book fair to that of a similar online event.

I will always gravitate to offline, real-world book fair as my first choice. While interaction over screens can always be meaningful and motivating, it cannot hold a candle to seeing the expressions play across a person’s face, and reading their energy as you converse.

Prashant Pathak, Publisher, Wonder House Books

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