Paris Book Fair cancelled due to coronavirus outbreak

Major publishers decide not to attend London Book Fair

Paris Book Fair canceled due to Coronavirus outbreak
Paris Book Fair canceled due to Coronavirus outbreak

Paris’ annual book fair, also known as Livre Salon de Paris supposed to take place later this month from 20 to 23 March, has been canceled due to measures taken by the French government to contain the coronavirus outbreak, the French publishers’ union said in a statement.

Following the government’s decision to forbid any gathering of more than 5,000 people in a closed space, it is with regret that we have taken the decision to cancel the 2020 edition of the Paris’ book fair,” the union said.

There will be no attempt to shift the event back, as happened with Bologna Children’s’ Book Fair. The next edition of the Paris Book Fair will now take place in 2021. To date, the coronavirus has killed two people in France and infected some 130.

London Book Fair 10 to 12 March is the next question mark

Apart from this, over a dozen book fairs across the globe on the danger mark over the next six weeks. Amazon too recently pulled out of the London Book Fair along with US businesses of HarperCollins and Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillian and Penguin Random House who withdrew a number of rights staff from the fair amid coronavirus outbreak. Hachette Book Group has also confirmed that none of its staff will attend LBF.

In fact, both HarperCollins and Hachette Group in the UK are also reviewing the attendance of their teams ahead of the trade fair scheduled to begin on 10 March 2020.

The UK government is expected to announce its action plan later today (3 March 2020) that will likely have to be taken cognizance of by the organizers of the LBF.
Among the Indians planning to attend, we spoke to one of the printers who made travel plans to attend and was planning to leave by 8 March 2020.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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