Industry converges once again at London Book Fair


The London Book Fair (LBF) was successfully held at Olympia from April 5–7, 2022, the first in-person iteration of the event since 2019.

Market Focus…
Sharjah was the Market Focus this year with a series of cultural events celebrating Emirati authors and books, and a professional programme designed to enable and enhance business opportunities to support UK and international publishers as they expand into this culturally vibrant region.

Keynote speakers…

Booker Prize winning novelist and poet Ben Okri and Penguin Michael Joseph Managing Director Louise Moore were the keynote speakers for this year’s fair.

Trends revealed…

At the fair, Nielsen Book revealed interesting trends: the British public have turned to cosy crime, celebrity memoirs and manga since the pandemic, with print books experiencing a surge in popularity.There was significant growth in both audio and print, with the latter seeing a distinct resurgence during the pandemic.

Physical book sales reached a record high of £1.82bn, with 213 million being purchased in 2021. It also said that book sales show no sign of slowing down post-lockdown, with 2022 volume sales up 13% year-to-date on 2020, and Adult Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children’s, YA and Education all experiencing year on year growth in Q1 of 2022. The year 2021 also saw arts biographies and autobiographies, take a share of over 40% of all biography & autobiography sales, a percentage not reached for over a decade, in 2010.

One of the other notable trends in book sales was the rise in popularity of manga, with the Japanese graphic novel format selling £19.2m in just 42 weeks in 2021, an increase of 111% on the total sales through the whole of 2019. This trend was helped by bestselling manga titles including Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui, The Cat and the City by Nick Bradley, and My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi.

Andy Ventris, Director of The London Book Fair, said, “So many of us turned to books during the pandemic for comfort and escape, and it is heartening to see how much the publishing industry thrived during such a difficult two-year period. It is fascinating as ever to hear from Nielsen Book on the trends powering the industry, with manga, cosy crime and celebrity memoirs shaking up bestseller lists and bookshop shelves alike.”

Lifetime achievement award…

The London Book Fair honoured Hiroshi Hayakawa, President of Japanese publisher Hayakawa Publishing, as the recipient of the LBF Lifetime Achievement Award 2022.

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