London Book Fair: 12th – 14th March 2019

The IPR team had a successful and highly enjoyable London Book Fair last week, with back-to-back meetings with our customers and potential new partners. Between the meetings, we also managed to find time to attend some of the fascinating scheduled events London Book Fair had to offer and dived into discussions on the translation rights market and publishing industry trends. Here is a short overview of what the IPR team got up to at Olympia.

On the first day of London Book Fair, IPR Account Executive and native Chinese speaker, Lingyu Zhang and Senior Account Manager, Neil Walker met with representatives from Chinese publishing conglomerate and IPR stakeholders, China South Publishing & Media Group (CNS). An invigorating start to the London Book Fair week! At IPR, we’re really proud of the relationships we’ve forged with publishers in China like CNS and are enormously excited to see where our partnerships will take us next.

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Left to Right: Lingyu Zhang (IPR), Zeng Zhao Lai (CNS), Neil Walker (IPR) and Zhang Xin (CNS)


Our stand was part of the German Collective Stand (6D80) shared with our colleagues at Frankfurter Buchmesse, and the first night saw the first round of celebrations at the Collective Stand with German publishers meeting together over a chilled glass or two after an intense day of non-stop meetings.

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German Collective: Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Stand, including IPR, hosting their drinks reception at the end of Day 1


On Wednesday, we attended IPR members, Sheikh Zayed Book Award’s talk: Arabic Literature Today.  The event was chaired by our Publishing Perspectives colleague and Editor-in-Chief, Porter Anderson. Nasser Jarrous, General Manager of Jarrous Press Publishers and Mouza Al Shamsi, Director of Sheikh Zayed Book Award, spoke at length about the Arab market and how the award is helping to bring unheard voices to the rest of the world. Jarrous who has been regarded as a kind of cultural ambassador between the West and the Arab world explained that “[The award] allows Arabic Literature to be known better and for the world to become acquainted with it. It’s a very big revolution in the Arab World.”

You can read about this year’s winners just announced on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award website here.

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Stefan Tobler founder of And Other Stories and Bernat Fiolan English publisher and a Catalan literary agent met to discuss the English-Catalan literary exchange. The pair have been working successfully together on the forthcoming English publication of Eva Baltasar’s debut novel, but their collaboration is also indicative of a growing global literary trend: many Catalan books, both Modern Classic and Contemporary works, have been sold by agencies like Salmaialit Literary Agency, acquired by publishers like And Other Stories, translated into English and consumed by UK readers and vice versa. ‪“In the UK and in America, we’ve been concentrating too much on the home-grown stuff. So it does seem like a good moment [for translated literature]” – Stefan Tobler.

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Translating Affinities: Stefan Tobler, Founder of Publishing House, And Other Stories and Bernat Fiol of Salmaialit Literary Agency


In the afternoon, we hosted a successful meeting between Brazilian Publishers and our own members, with representatives from Editora do Brasil, Ciranda Cultural and Canal De Fe Liz in attendance. We chatted to publishing representatives from Brazil about their rights goals and introduced them to IPR members over tea and biscuits – safe to say, a few business cards were swapped!

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Meet Brazil: IPR hosting a productive meeting between Brazilian publishers and our own members


On the third and final day, we were delighted to see London Book Fair’s first ever Literary Translator of the Fair, Jeremy Tiang in conversation with Chris Gribble, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Writing. Jeremy Tiang’s translations from Chinese include novels by Su Wei-Chen, Zhang Yueran, Chan Ho-Kei, Yeng Pway Ngon, and Li Er having also written and translated plays into English. The two discussed the Chinese market and Tiang expressed a desire to see even more translations from China, a rapidly-growing market in the publishing industry.

Finally, we said goodbye to Indonesia and their incredible stand. Indonesia was London Book Fair’s Market Focus for 2019 and brought with them a series of fascinating talks and events from discussions on Indonesia and the Global Muslim Market, to explorations of the Nation’s graphic novels, to delicious Indonesian Coffee (Kopi) taste tests!

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Market Focus: The Indonesia team gather for a photo in front of their impressive stand at London Book Fair


We left after a successful fair feeling tired but inspired and enthused by the events and the people we met with – both familiar and new. There’s plenty to be getting on with and many exciting things on the horizon for the global translation market, but for now, we’re looking forward to seeing you again in Frankfurt later this year!


Junior Marketing and Account Manager, Maya Whatton