Re:Connect – IPPStar again at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2021

FBF Special Edition – 20 to 24 October 2021

The opening event of the Frankfurt Book Fair Special Edition 2020 Screenshot IPP

IPPStar will once again take advantage of the FBF Special Edition. In our monthly Indian Printer and Publisher, we’ve covered the fair for the past twenty-five years, attempting to report on the evolution of the global publishing industry and its interaction with the Indian publishing, printing, and services business.

This year the Frankfurt Book Fair will once again bring the international publishing sector together. Publishers, service providers, and literary agencies from more than 60 countries have signed up for the 73rd Frankfurter Buchmesse, held from 20th October to 24, 2021, as an in-person event with digital and hybrid options.

The book fair will feature over 110 organizations for the first time. Many exhibitors, including those from Argentina, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Japan, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Hungary, will be present in 41 national collective displays. Both the French and English-language book markets in Canada will have a joint stand at the FBF. Future Guests of Honour for the show – Spain (2022), Slovenia (2023), and Italy (2024) – will be present at significant country stands.

Frankfurt Book Fair ‘Re:Connect’ is the motto, with ‘substantially’ decreased rates for physical stands and a digital program to go along with it. According to the organizers, the event will be held on a regular site, but with digital services and a particular focus on the worldwide rights and licensing market. In an email circular, the fair organizers stated, “We will be establishing a platform for the industry, authors, and readers to join together once again,” (8th March). “Last but not least, we will ensure that you work in a safe and productive environment.”

The German government will also provide funds to help keep ticket prices low. The FBF’s email added, ‘Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021 is funded by funds from the German government’s Neustart Kultur initiative, which we will pass on to you.’

At the FBF, the theme for Canada’s position as a special guest will be ‘Singular Plurality.’ “The Canadian literary scene has a hectic year ahead with over 300 published and soon-to-be-published works by 248 publishers in 2021,” organizers note. “Canada’s delegation, which includes renowned authors, illustrators, and painters, is excited to be a part of Frankfurt’s official hybrid presence in October.”

IppStar’s Indian Print Export Forum and Book Industry Research

IPPStar has done it in person most of the time, and twice we’ve taken a stand with and on behalf of Indian printers to help them export book printing under an imprint called the ‘Indian Print Exporter Forum.’

We also assisted the German Book Office in New Delhi (which has been discontinued in the past year) to organize a speed dating event for Indian book printers to meet with international publishers one year. For the second year running in the digital rights section, we will again present some of US author Tony Dunbar’s crime fiction for translation rights to Indian and European languages.

We’re waiting for the Indian publishing and print industry, particularly its fragmented book publishing and printing sectors, to recognize the importance of IppStar’s extensive research of Publishing and Book Production in India and Bangladesh – a comprehensive study into all types of books and languages that it first undertook over ten years ago and completed in 2019.

The study tries to go beyond the slick presentations of English language publishing of general books based on small samples that have overlooked a significant portion of the Indian publishing pyramid.

Note — Those interested in IppStar’s research or in being represented in its Print Export Forum or for buying and selling publishing and translation rights through IppStar at the FBF rights platform, can contact Purva Dwivedi at





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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