A crucial part of IPA's mission is to inform member associations and the wider global publishing community about breaking developments which will impact publishers. We do this through a number of channels. the IPA website, our monthly e-newsletter, press releases and the IPA's dedicated social media feeds.

The IPA has today released its new Global Book Fair Report, the annual compendium of world book fairs that complements the IPA International Book Fair Calendar and provides insider insights and interviews with the people behind the events.

Together these resources provide the most authoritative atlas of the world book fair sector anywhere. Web analytics consistently show that high numbers of visitors to the IPA website, www.internationalpublishers.org, especially first-time visitors, are seeking information about book fairs

A key finding of the 2017 report is that – despite the ascendancy of e-commerce in all kinds of business – book fairs remain an overwhelmingly important aspect of the publishing industry. They are a place for publishing professionals to meet face to face, trade rights and build networks, and they are a platform from which to reach the readers of today and tomorrow.

The IPA Global Book Fair Report 2017 is split into geographical regions: the Americas, Africa, Asia / Oceania, Europe, and the Middle East / Central Asia. In each region it places a special focus on one country and one key book fair in that country. This way readers – typically book industry professionals – gain a flavour of the book fairs as well as useful tips for planning a business trip there. Data, such as numbers of exhibitors and visitors, are provided by the organizers based on 2016 results and give a useful indicator of the character and scale of the events.

In compiling the report, the IPA found that European book fairs have plateaued in terms of growth, but are focusing on innovation in the services and activities available. At the same time, a number of emerging book fairs are catching up fast, for example in Asia and the Caucasus. Everywhere, book fairs’ formats vary depending on scope, target audience, and who is organizing them – be they private sector, trade union, governmental, or a joint initiative.

In addition, this year’s IPA International Book Fair Calendar has 77 entries – the most yet – with 35 book fairs in Europe, 15 in the Middle East and Central Asia, 11 in the Asia Pacific region, 10 in the Americas and six in Africa. The book fairs are presented in chronological order, and the tool offers a handy search function so users can quickly find the fairs they need. The IPA updates the calendar regularly, since it is common for book fair organizers to reveal the dates of their next edition some time after the end of the latest event.

Without question, the sheer extent of this year’s calendar attests to the continuing importance of book fairs as an engine of the book market, and their vibrancy as a cultural hub where literacy and reading are celebrated and promoted.

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Michiel Kolman
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