Publishers have waited three years to reconvene at the London Book Fair, and the level of enthusiasm for a near return-to-normal book fair is riding high. The first hours of the fair saw lines forming outside the venue for the obligatory Covid vaccination checks and the largely mask-free crowd streamed into the still-under-renovation Olympia hall.
Though the presence of the large American publishing conglomerates is muted compared to previous years, English publishers have crowded the floor and numerous international stands—ranging from the United Arab Emirates to Indonesia, Lithuania to Germany—have taken even more prominent positions.
Here are a few sights from the first hours of the fair:
The Ukraine stand at the London Book Fair entreated publishers to "translate, translate, translate," and warned them that "war in Ukraine is not fiction."
A panel discussed the future of the publishing industry after Covid-19 on the fair's Main Stage. Panelists included Kate Wilson, managing director of Nosy Crow; Meryl Halls of the Booksellers Association; Chantal Restivo-Alessi, chief digital officer at HarperCollins and CEO of the company's International Foreign Language division; Eoin Purcell, head of Amazon Publishing's U.K. and Germany branches; and Jenny Geras, managing director of Bookoutre,
In a session entitled "Beyond the Bookshop," a variety of professionals working in the self-publishing space addressed the value of intellectual property for the "creator economy." Panelists included Joanna Penn, founder of the Creative Penn; Orna Ross, founder and director of the Alliance of Independent Authors; and Michael Anderle, founder of LMBPN Publishing.
A view of the show floor depicting several prominent international collective stands.