Book Fair

Salon du Livre 2012: success of the 32nd edition

April 4th, 2012 by Chrysothemis_Armefti | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Salon du Livre 2012: success of the 32nd edition
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The Paris Book Fair (Salon du livre) constitutes an important time of the year for publishers, booksellers and authors. People are paying to get inside this giant bookshop and buy books, but the Salon du Livre is also a professional fair where publishers and booksellers are being informed about the new developments in the book industry.

The final figures of the Salon du Livre show an increase of 5% compared to 2011, with 190 000 visitors from the 16-19 of March, according to Reed Expositions France. More than 36 000 visitors were students, a rise of 30% since last year. A little more than 30 000 were professionals, with representatives from 40 countries; 2000 were authors that participated in more than 500 meetings organized during the four days of the Salon du Livre.

However, the Salon du Livre showed once again its taste in an international literature with multiple faces: authors from Moscow, illustrators from Buenos Aires, Romania representing a conference on the literary vagrancy of Panaït Istrati and more specifically the Japanese literature and culture.

Japan was the country guest of honour, one year after the disaster, and Kenzaburô Oê, Japan’s second winner of Nobel Prize of Literature was celebrated properly. In addition, the manga hero Naruto celebrates his 10 years of circulation this year and since France is the country the more “Naruto maniac” with 1.5 million copies sold, fans came to see the cosplay parade and support the manga culture. Different activities took place at the Japanese Pavilion, demonstrating the culture of the country: tea ceremony of Sadoh, demonstration of ikebana (floral art), calligraphy, language lessons and kimono trying.

The fair was crowded with people trying their books signed by their favourite French authors. Between them, François Holland that signed 200 copies in one hour and a half, Daniel Pennac that signed also 200 copies of this new novel Journal d’un corps, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Katherine Pancol, Amélie Nothomb and many others.

Despite the commercial success of the Salon du Livre, publishers and booksellers are concerned about the digital evolution of the book industry and the role of the giant players on it. Amazon occupied a big stand at the Salon du Livre in partnership with Géant Casino, supermarket chain and Virgin Megastore who are handling the Kindle distribution since last autumn. Amazon sold hundreds of Kindles at the price of 79 euros. Four other e-readers were present at the Salon du livre: Kobo in partnership with Fnac, Sony was presenting mostly its new touch colour tablet with 20 magazines and 10 comics at the price of 399 euros, with the cheapest e-reader in the fair at 55euros of the German manufacturer Trekstor and the Odissey, a French e-reader proposed by Bookeen with E-ink, wifi, touch screen at 130 euros. In addition, Google announced the opening of its digital bookshop the night of the inauguration, increasing the concerns of the booksellers.

In conclusion, the Paris Book Fair was a success in number of sales and visitors. The digital publishing occupied a great part of the fair despite the fact that e-books sales represent only a 2% of the book market in France. Publishers and booksellers seem to handle the changes during the digital evolution in the book industry and are taking into consideration suggestions of the readers that attended their public round-table discussions.


– Chrysothemis Armefti

Liber 2011, International Spanish Book Fair

October 11th, 2011 by Almudena_Santalices | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Liber 2011, International Spanish Book Fair
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Last week, Liber, the 29th International Spanish Book Fair took place in Madrid. Three days of exhibition, 443 businesses stands from 21 countries and 12,000 visitors from all over the world validated its status as “the main book business industry platform dedicated to the Spanish language and one of the most important international book gathering”.

An improvement of this year was the introduction of a new section: Liber Digital. Twenty-five specialized firms have participated. Arantxa Mellado, space coordinator, says, “It has been extremely well received by professionals. It has not only met the expectations of the participants, there are, also those who even have confirmed that only on the first day have achieved a return.” Also, David Sanchez, the creator of 24symbols, affirms, “in addition to meeting the expectations, we found that the sector is launching and customers are willing to change”.

A study by the Federation of Spanish Publishers’ Guilds, suggests 75% of Spanish publishers are either selling digital works already, digitising existing content or creating exclusively digital material. It found that by 2012, a quarter of Spain’s 900-plus publishers expect to sell digital versions of more than half their backlist and a third will distribute a higher number of new titles as e-books, principally for tablets and mobile telephones rather than e-readers.

Amazon Spain, launched last month, is one of the first attempts of the shift that is taking place in the publishing industry. The webpage offers books in Spanish, Catalan, Galician and Basque languages. Moreover, we should not forget about Libranda, “a company whose mission is to provide logistic, technical, commercial and, administrative services to publishers, bookshops, enabling them to efficiently manage the digital environment in which they are immersed”.

Even though the digital revolution is starting, it is really slow in the high street. Robert Strokes considers that “sales of e-readers are concentrated mainly in larger stores. In general, the smaller the store the less likely it was to sell either”.

Andres Has thinks that “no matter how many startups there have been and how much potential there is in the market, there is much to be done: not only are there a limited e-books available, those that wish to read them still have very few options for devices on which they can be read”. What Has believes is true,but the Spanish publishing industry is aware of the importance of the change and is on track to become a massive phenomenon.

By Almu Santalices


References: Ifema, Publishing Perspectives, The Independent, The Bookseller (2).