Last year the Frankfurt Book Fair and Publishing Perspectives launched a new conference, the Markets: Global Publishing Summit. This year, on October 18, the conference will once again precede the official start of the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 19–23) offering a deep dive into these seven international markets.
Long a focus market for publishing, Brazil has faltered in recent years, following a decline in government book-buying programs, which used to make up about a third of the market. But international players continue to see Brazil as a good investment because of the continued growth of the education market and innovation in digital publishing.
Flanders and the Netherlands
The guests of honor at this year’s fair. Books in translation represent an estimated 75% of the books produced in the Netherlands—with English being by far the dominant language. Though e-books have advanced slowly there, companies such as Kobo, Tolino, and Amazon are hoping to ramp up the market.
One of the more promising markets for exports from English-speaking countries because of its political and cultural connection to the United States and the importance placed on English-language literacy. And, in the last several years, digital players such as Amazon, Wattpad, and Smashwords have made an impact.
The gateway to the Central and East European market, Poland is a huge market for both importing and exporting translations—and it is also the Global Market Forum Guest of Honor country at Book Expo America this year and the Market Focus for the London Book Fair in 2017.
Spain’s book market took a hit during the financial crisis, but a rebound is taking shape following recent political developments. And because the Spanish market is still the driver for the larger Spanish-language publishing market, the news here will be telling for much of Latin America as well.
The United Arab Emirates
Still a relatively young international publishing market, the UAE is making up for lost time. Arabic books are among the least translated, but the Emirates Publishers Association hopes to change that with translation grants and programs—and, with two major international book fairs, the UAE has welcomed an influx of foreign-language publishers and educational programs.
The United Kingdom
There is still much to learn about the world’s second-largest market. With increasing digital innovation and a rise in export sales, there are a lot of exciting developments that will be of interest to attendees.
Holger Volland is the Frankfurt Book Fair’s v-p of business development.