A reader’s journey doesn’t end with the book, but is an adventure that goes on towards oblivious paths in search of new horizons. The ultimate ‘stop’ during this journey where the knowledge seekers attain some rest is either at a bookstore or in the heart of different book fairs!
Book fairs have been organized in the vicinity for as long as there’s been the publishing industry. Some boast of unique benefits to attract publishers, agents, booksellers or librarians (purely for business), while some genuinely invite book-lovers who appreciate great work across different genres.
All in all, book fairs provide ample business opportunities to the publishing industry, yet if we compare the Indian book fairs to the one’s conducted on an international level, there are certain points that we can definitely learn from.
To begin with…
- Indian Book Fairs focus on entertaining the customers, whereas most international book fairs host a guest-of-honor country, which showcases the key aspects of the publishing industry.
- Educational sessions in international book fairs are about the emerging markets and trends that help publishers and agents discover new opportunities to widen their international audience.
If I had to think of an example, then it would be of the Frankfurt Book Fair, which is the world’s largest trade book fair, and is based on the number of publishing companies represented. In fact, many publishing organizations consider it to be the most important book fair in the world when it comes to negotiating international rights and licensing deals.
While speaking of international book fairs, I would also like to shed more light on the London Book Fair, which started off as a platform for small publishers to exhibit their work, but has grown over time to become a massive international affair, which is considered to be second best in the world, right after Frankfurt.
The one USP that the london book fair provides their audience with is the innovation around the LBF application, which makes the book fair a lot more interesting and engaging. This particular mobile app provides a hassle-free experience for the user. Right from the fair’s schedule to who’s exhibiting, the seminar and social media updates allows users to find their way around the floor easily.
Beyond promotions, internationally organized book fairs also provide a platform for publishing professionals who wish to build on sales and meet trade service providers such as distributors, wholesalers, PR and marketing service providers, packagers, technical services audio and ebook creators.
To be fair, Indian book fairs are great and provide the perfect platform for publishers and readers, but if we do take some key pointers from the west, it will not only cater to the needs of the publishing industry, but will also widen the opportunities for publishers across the country.