London Book Fair

Korea Market Focus at LBF 2014

Olympia Grand, future home of the London Book Fair. Photo: IPP

ecrea has been up at the on Book Fair, 8 efrom previously 1,500), with close to 500 companies represented at the International Rights Centre and roughly 25,000 visitors. Under the slogan “Books opening the mind, doors opening the future,” South Korean publishers at this year’s Market Focus had the opportunity to present the high standards of their book market. Following Guest of Honour

appearances at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2005 and Bologna in 2009, their LBF presence was small and compact, 26 exhibitor stands, but their interaction with international book professionals multiple. Their stands included 12 stands representing the publishers, 10 premedia and digital service providers, and 4 printing houses.

Four seminars covered the South Korean book industry with an overview of the local market, South Korean technology and digital publishing, children’s and

educational books in South Korea, and translation opportunities for Korean literature. Ten acclaimed writers from South Korea attended a

series of book readings and discussions at the fair and across the UK. Several business matching and networking events were organized to have South Korean book professionals meet with colleagues from the UK, the US and continental Europe. With 38,000 publishers and 1,750 bookstores, South Korea’s book industry ranks in the top ten

worldwide, and its book retail market is estimated at US$ 3 billion. Yearly, more than 10,000 titles translated from English, Japanese and other languages are published in the country.

Richard Mollet, chief executive of the UK Publishers Association, commented: “With the emphasis placed on the importance of the publishing industry by President Park, and Incheon being elected as the UNESCO World Book Capital for 2015, the timing of this Market Focus could not be better. Korea is an

increasingly important market for UK publishing with a 22% growth in exports over the last ten years, and this year’s London Book Fair represents a

fantastic opportunity for British and Korean publishers to develop trade as well as gaining better understanding of each countries’ business, cultural and technological environments.”

After the UK with 538, the US with 216, and France with 95 stands, the largest exhibitor group were the Indian publishers, printers and service providers with a total of 53 stands.

From Asia Pacific, the second largest exhibiting group was China with 32 stands, before the 26 South Koreans and Singapore with 14, Australia 11, Malaysia 2, and Japan, New Zealand, Pakistan and Thailand with 1 stand each. Other significant groups included Germany with 44, Russia 39, Italy 34, Switzerland 31, and Canada with 28 stands.

This was the last LBF at the Earls Court premises in West London’s Kensington area. Its 44th edition in April 2015 will take place at the equally iconic Olympia, a slightly smaller exhibition space known from the memorable December 1967 Christmas Dream Party with Jimi Hendrix, the Animals, Pink Floyd and Soft Machine. It is walking distance from Earls Court, now earmarked for redevelopment, and has been preferred by the UK publishing community over the larger ExCel exhibition grounds in East London’s Docklands.

LBF’s earlier move to ExCel in 2006 had been considered a disaster. Publishers and agents mainly from the UK and the US announced they would rather hold separate meetings in Central London than return to the Docklands. Says LBF Director Jacks Thomas: “We have listened long and hard to those who participate in The London Book Fair and we fully appreciate the great affection the industry has for West London. We believe that moving to Olympia is currently the right move for the publishing industry.” She stressed that LBF will be committed to Olympia after 2015 as well.

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