Despite assurances from the Frankfurt Book Fair that the event will go on and the health and safety of attendees will be a top priority, publishers continue to pull out of attending the fair in person. HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster have all said they would not be sending staff. Today, Hachette Livre and Bloomsbury Publishing also said they would not attend in person.
"Frankfurt Book Fair is a very important date in the global publishing calendar and the Hachette Livre Group has always had a strong presence at the event," said Sophie Cottrell, senior v-p of corporate communications for Hachette Book Group. "After carefully reflecting on the situation and also taking into consideration the health and safety of our employees and partners, we’ve decided that Hachette Livre France, Hachette UK, Hachette Book Group and Grupo Anaya (Hachette España) will not exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. We’ll follow with great interest the virtual and digital solutions which are being developed by Frankfurt Book Fair to provide new ways of connecting and working with the global publishing community."
In the U.K., Bloomsbury Publishing CEO Nigel Newton announced the company would also not be sending staff to Frankfurt, or any other international trade show, this year. "It is inadvisable for Bloomsbury to send people by plane, train, bus and car to an international trade fair," he said.