A rejuvenated London Book Fair 2015 @Olympia!


The London Book Fair 2015 was fresh, buzzing and full of people passionate about publishing. Here’s a sneak peek into the world’s leading publishing event. The London Book Fair, the world’s leading spring publishing event, was successfully held from April 14-16 at its new home, the newly renovated Olympia. Now in its 44th year, the Fair is the global marketplace rights for negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

The Fair welcomed 25,000+ attendees over three days, with visitors from over 110 countries and exhibitors from over 60 countries. The International Rights Centres hosted 602 table holders and new countries exhibiting for 2015 included Armenia, Indonesia and Malta.

Besides, the fair celebrated a wealth of publishing rights deals, launches and announcements made over the three days. Over 220 seminars gave insights across the world of publishing and audiences heard from top authors including David Nicholls, Deborah Moggach, Valeria Luiselli and Anthony Browne.

Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book Fair, said, “The 44th London Book Fair was buzzing – the seminar and conference programmes were inspiring and informative, the deals being struck were plentiful and the literature showcased from Mexico will be travelling around the world as translation rights continue to be sold. People been very generous in their compliments about LBF 2015 and we thank everyone for participating in the Fair at our new home so enthusiastically.”

Opening ceremony…

To celebrate its new home Olympia, LBF hosted its first official Opening Ceremony; with bestselling cookery author and TV personality, Mary Berry opening the Fair, a Creative Industries Day, plus the launch of a ground-breaking new initiative London Book and Screen Week – a week-long calendar of events across the capital.

The winners of the 2015 European Union Prize for Literature were announced at the Opening Ceremony by European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics. The award recognises the best new and emerging authors in Europe. This year’s winners are: Carolina Schutti (Austria); Luka Bekavac (Croatia); Gaëlle Josse (France); Edina Szvoren (Hungary); Donal Ryan (Ireland); Lorenzo Amurri (Italy); Undin? Radzevi?i?t? (Lithuania); Ida Hegazi Høyer (Norway); Magdalena Parys (Poland); David Machado (Portugal); Svetlana Žuchová (Slovakia) and Sara Stridsberg (Sweden). This year’s prize winners will be presented with their awards during a gala ceremony at the Concert Noble in Brussels on June 23, in the presence of Tibor Navracsics, European commissioner for education, culture, youth and sport; silvia costa, MEP and chair of the culture and education committee and representatives of the Latvian Presidency of the EU.

LBF Mexico Market Focus…

LBF’s Mexico Market Focus programme brought the best in contemporary Mexican writing and publishing to the UK. It is a cornerstone project of the year of the UK in Mexico and the Year of Mexico in the UK, a twelve month celebration of cultural, educational and business exchange between the two countries.

The cultural programme, curated for LBF by the British Council in partnership with Conaculta (The National Council for Culture and Arts in Mexico), gave UK audiences a rare opportunity to meet and interact with both established and emerging Mexican writers, including leading journalist and author Elena Poniatowska, winner of the Cervantes Prize 2014. In the Professional Programme, in partnership with The Publishers Association, the cream of Mexican publishing community in a series of business-to-business events, facilitated rights matchmaking, and the Insight into the Mexican Publishing Industry.

The Mexico Market Focus welcomed representatives of Caniem, Conaculta, FCE, Planeta and Sexto Piso to shine the spotlight on Mexico’s publishing industry. In an official handover ceremony on the final day of the fair, the outgoing Mexico Market Focus country was represented by Ricardo Cayuela Gally from Conaculta (The National Council for Culture and Arts) and esteemed Mexican author Elena Poniatowska. Next year LBF will host the IPA Congress 2016, which was represented by IPA president Richard Charkin.

The handover ceremony took place at the Market Focus Pavilion, with Mexico handing the baton to the IPA Congress for 2016.

Jacks Thomas, director, The London Book Fair said, “Mexico has been a wonderful Market Focus at this year’s Fair. We have learnt so much about contemporary Mexican literature and publishing and we have been honoured by having the inspiring pavilion and events programme at the heart of our Fair. I look forward to news of publishing deals over the coming months and years and to the growing success of Mexican literature abroad. I am delighted that next year we will host the internationally renowned IPA Congress.”

Other highlights…

The seventh Publishing for Digital Minds Conference welcomed over 400 delegates from 31 countries and 50 speakers. In his keynote speech, Digital Author of the Day David Nicholls emphasised the importance of buying books from physical bookshops, saying that the practice of showrooming is like a ‘genteel form of shoplifting’.

The first Creative Industries Day, with cross sector Rights Trading, gave an opportunity for visitors to learn from experts in the worlds of film, interactive, games and app development, as well as publishers of comics and graphic novels. The Literary Festival Forum drew speakers from The British Council, Edinburgh Book Festival and Latitude Festival who shared their expertise with audiences involved in the festival industry. Industry professionals gathered for first Research and Scholarly Publishing Forum, where a half day of seminars helped international publishers navigate fundamental changes in the sector, improve business and develop new models and markets.

Crowds gathered at Author HQ on the show floor, where a full seminar programme over the three days provided clear, concise advice for how authors can interact with the publishing community. Agent one-on-ones were fully subscribed and agents, authors and publishers imparted insight to a host of aspiring authors.

The third edition of What Works? Successful Education Policies, Resources and Technologies welcomed an international line up of top level policy makers and publishers as well as speakers from major universities and international organisations to discuss the use of technolog

y, policy and content in education. The inaugural London Book and Screen Week offered visitors a week of stimulating events across the capital – ranging from Guardian Masterclasses to Game of Thrones screenings, a Literary Death Match movie special and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015.

LBF International
Excellence Awards…

The LBF International Excellence Awards were presented, with a truly global list of winners, including Library for All (US), BooXstream (Netherlands), China Publishing Group and Fraktura (Croatia). This year saw winners from every corner of the globe: from Belgium to Bangladesh; from the US to the UAE. Jacks Thomas, said, “In the last few years, we have seen the rise and rise of international publishing and it is brilliant to see this celebrated at The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards. Each one of our winners brings something special to the industry. We are proud to give them the recognition they deserve as they are the people and organisations who make publishing the significant, powerful global industry it is today.”

While, Richard Mollet, chief executive, The Publishers Association (UK), said, “It is great to see publishing innovation and excellence receive such international recognition. The sheer spread of countries whose publishing industries are recognised tonight demonstrates the continuing global relevance of our industry in the digital age. Many congratulations to all the winners this evening.”

The winners include: The International Literary Agent Award – Nicole Witt, Literarische Agentur Mertin Inh. (Germany); The Award for Best Use of IP across Multiple Media Platforms – Mojang (Sweden); The International Literary Translation Initiative Award – Asymptote Journal (Singapore); The International Academic and Professional Publisher Award – Sage Publications (US); The International Education Initiatives Award -Library for All (US); The International Educational Learning Resources Award – Uigeverij Van In (Belgium); The Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher Award – Fraktura (Croatia); The International Trade Children’s and Young Adult Publisher Award – Clavis Publishing (Belgium); The Publishers Association Copyright Protection Award -Nigerian Publishers Association (Nigeria); The Mexico Market Focus Outstanding Contribution Award – Daniel Hahn, British Centre for Literary Translation (UK); The Market Focus Achievement Award – Sharjah International Book Fair (UAE); and The Publishers Weekly International Book Industry Technology Supplier Award -BooXtream (Netherlands).

Also hosted on the night was a selection of awards held in association with The London Book Fair: The London Book Fair Chairman’s Award; The Publishing for Digital Minds Innovation Award; The Association for Publishing Education Dissertation and Project Prizes; Best Dissertation for a Postgraduate: Nigel Graves (Anglia Ruskin); Best Dissertation for an Undergraduate: Sarah Wild (Oxford Brookes); Best Overall Project: Victoria Love (Anglia Ruskin); Accessible Books Consortium Award for Accessible Publishing: Initiative – Young Power in Social Action, YPSA (Bangladesh); Accessible Books Consortium Award for Accessible Publishing: Publisher – Cambridge University Press (UK); and The London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Usborne, founder and managing director of Usborne Books (UK). The awards which celebrate international excellence in the book industry cover all areas of international publishing including: academic and scholarly, children’s publishing and digital innovation.

Dates announcedfor 2016!

The dates for The London Book Fair 2016 Fair are: April 12-14, 2016 at Olympia, with Publishing for Digital Minds Conference taking place on April 11, 2016.

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