2009 International Book Fairs
Here is our annual update of the international book fairs which are held throughout the year. Most of these are primarily intended as trade fairs for the book trade, but an increasing number have extensive programmes of cultural events and opportunities to meet authors. Some set out to attract the general public, others have particular days when the public can get in.
Although they're not really intended for authors, the book fairs are worth researching, as you may find that there is one you can get to. The benefits are the vast array of new and forthcoming books on display, the seminars, conferences and author events which may be planned, and, most important of all, the chance to see the publishing world in action.
John Makinson, CEO of Penguin, on the enduring appeal of book fairs: 'Yet we keep going, if we're honest, because the publishing industry is a community and it thrives on personal contact - the chance encounter, the hurried drink and the languid lunch. And as communication in our business becomes ever more electronic, that personal contact seems more vital. So my guess is that book fairs will continue to grow and grow.'
Last year's list of book fairs has been updated for 2009, including a few more new ones. The information becomes sketchier towards the end of the year, and some annual fairs seem to have been cancelled for this year. Any dates in brackets are from last year. We will try to revise this list as more information becomes available, but the new dates will mostly be around the same time.
Writing in January 2009, it's fair to add that the upward trend in the number of trade visitors to book fairs is likely to be halted this year. Many publishers will see them as a good place to economise, so there are likely to be fewer staff sent and some publishers withdrawing altogether.
2009 Book Fairs
Cairo Book Fair
22 January - 5 February
The UK is to be the guest of honour this year.
Taipei International Fair 4 - 9 Februarywww.tibe.tw
Jerusalem Book Fair
Biennial event, next in 2010. www.jerusalembookfair.com
Baltic Book Fair 12 - 15 February www.litexpo.lt
The 2009 Baltic Book Fair will be held at the Lithuanian Exhibition Centre.
New Delhi World Book Fair
Another biennial fair, next in 2010. www.fiponweb.com/events3.htm
Leipzig Book Fair 12 - 15 March http://www.leipziger-messe.de/LeMMon/buch_web_eng.nsf
Salon du Livre 13 -18 March http://salondulivreparis.com
The French book fair, an elegant meeting-point for the book trade with a large number of meetings and many events organised for the public.
Abu Dhabi Book Fair 17 - 22 March
A sell-out by mid-January, ADIBF 2009 will include the Arab world's first antiquarian book fair and an education conference. The Sheikh Zayed Awards will be announced during the Fair. Sponsored by Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage in cooperation with Frankfurter Buchmesse. www.adbookfair.com/abudhabi/en/index.php
Bologna Children's Book FairThe Bologna Children's Book Fair or La fiera del libro per ragazzi is the leading professional fair for children's books in the world. 23 - 26 March http://www.bookfair.bolognafiere.
The top international children's book fair, attended by children's publishers from all over the world. Many feel that this is the best book fair of them all, graced by a relaxed atmosphere, wonderful food and a great location in the lovely Italian city of Bologna. www.bookfair.bolognafiere.it
Bangkok International Book Fair 23 - 26 March www.bangkokibf.com
This is organised by the Thai Publishers and Booksellers Association. Free admission to the public.
Milia, now apparently called MIPTV30 March - 3 April
Bringing together content decision-makers from the worlds of digital entertainment, Internet, mobile and Interactive, this is the biggest international gathering of its kind. www.milia.com
London Book Fair 20 - 22 April http://www.lbf-virtual.com/
Europe's premier international spring book fair, increasingly seen as the key book fair for the first half of the year, balancing the Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. in the second half. British publishers are naturally out in force, but this fair now attracts visitors from all over the world. The third year in Earls Court.
Budapest International Book Festival 23 - 26 April www.mkke.hu/
Cultural events and conferences on issues affecting the book trade.
Nigeria International Book Fair 11- 16 May www.nibf.org
Designed to give existing and prospective publishers and booksellers the opportunity of exploring and exploiting the country's book market.
Warsaw International Book Fair 21 - 24 May www.bookfair.pl
BookExpo AmericaBookExpo America, commonly referred to within the book publishing industry as BEA. The largest annual book trade fair in the United States New York 29 -31 May
Primarily a trade fair which enables American publishers to show booksellers their fall lists, this big fair has been through many vicissitudes and will no doubt be affected by recessionary cutbacks. There is a programme for writers which is worth investigating. www.bookexpoamerica.com
BookExpo Canada in Toronto www.reed-expo.ca/bookexpo/
This book fair has been cancelled for 2009.
Cape Town Book Fair 13 - 16 June www.capetownfair.com
Now in its third year, this is combined trade fair and literary event open to the public.
American Library Association Conference in Anaheim
(26 June 2 July) www.ala.org
Tokyo International Book Fair 9 - 12 July http://web.reedexpo.co.jp/tibf/english/
Big event for Asian book trade, giving access to the world's second biggest book market. In 2008 it had 763 exhibitors from 31 countries and regions, and attracted 61,384 visitors.
Hong Kong Book Fair
22 - 28 July www.hkbookfair.com
Over 829,967 visitors from 112 countries in 2008, this is now becoming one of the big ones.
Beijing International Book Fair 3 - 7 September www.bibf.net
Important fair for publishers from all over the world who are interested in getting into the booming Chinese market, this has rapidly established itself as an essential stop on the international rights circuit. It will be back in Beijing in 2009 now that the Olympic Games are over.
Moscow International Book Fair (3 -8 September) www.bookfair.ru
Dates not yet confirmed, but it will be in September
London Remainder and Promotional Book Fair 13 - 14 September www.ciana.co.uk
Thousands of remainder and bargain books – not for the faint-hearted author!Admission only for trade visitors.
Goteborg International Book Fair 24 - 27 September www.goteborg-bookfair.com
Biggest meeting-point for Scandinavian literature, attracting authors and the media as well as the trade.
Frankfurt Book Fair 14 - 18 October http://www.frankfurt-book-fair.com
This is still the big one, the premier international book fair which is attended by publishers from all over the world and is also open to the German public for some of the time. This huge fair is a meeting-place and rights marketplace for the global publishing industry, but it is a trade fair and there's not much for authors except in the German halls.
Istanbul Book Fair, Turkey
31 October- 8 December www.tuyap.com
Salon du Livre, Montreal 18 - 23 November www.salondulivredemontreal.com
Feria International del Libro de Guadalajara Mexico 30 November - 8 December. This is supposed to be the largest Spanish book event in the world. www.fil.com.mx