Authors of the Day line-up for London Book Fair 2023 announced

Colson Whitehead, Ann Cleeves, Robin Stevens and Dapo Adeola will headline fair

London Book Fair
Colson Whitehead as International Author of the Day

London – The London Book Fair has announced the Authors of the Day line-up for the 2023 edition, which will feature Pulitzer Prize winner Colson Whitehead as International Author of the Day, bestselling crime novelist Ann Cleeves as Adult Author of the Day, Murder Most Unladylike creator Robin Stevens as Children’s Author of the Day, and Nibbies winner Dapo Adeola as Illustrator of the Fair. 

Gareth Rapley, director of The London Book Fair, said: “The Authors of the Day and Illustrator of the Fair have long been a beloved mainstay of The London Book Fair, and we are delighted to announce the line-up for next year’s event. The London Book Fair has a well-earned reputation for bringing together the best and brightest publishing talent from around the world. Colson, Ann, Robin, and Dapo perfectly encapsulate the passion, creativity, and intelligence to be found within the industry. We cannot wait to welcome them to Olympia next April and look forward to hearing fascinating insights into their own careers, book trends, and the future of publishing.”

According to Ann Cleeves, the London Book Fair is always a thrill. “Now, it’s a huge honor to be invited to join this year’s line-up of guest authors and I can’t wait to be there with the people, from all over the world, who bring books to readers.”

Ann Cleeves is the author of over 35 critically acclaimed novels and the winner of the CWA Diamond Dagger 2017. She’s the creator of detectives Vera Stanhope, Jimmy Perez, and Matthew Venn, who can be found in ITV’s Vera, BBC1’s Shetland, and ITV’s The Long Call. Her latest book is The Rising Tide, her tenth Vera novel. She lives in Northumberland where the Vera books are set.

Expressing similar views, Robin Stevens said he is delighted to have been asked to be Children’s Author of the Day at the 2023 London Book Fair. “It’s a huge honor and an incredible opportunity, and I can’t wait to help celebrate the importance of children’s reading for pleasure on a global stage.”

Robin Stevens was born in California and grew up in an Oxford college, across the road from the house where Alice in Wonderland lived. She has been passionate about detective fiction since she read her first Agatha Christie at age 12. Her first murder mystery for children, Murder Most Unladylike, was published in 2014, and the series is now internationally award-winning and bestselling. Her latest book, The Ministry of Unladylike Activity, is a spy murder mystery set during World War Two that follows from her original series. She lives in Oxford.

Dapo Adeola added: “I’m beyond honored to be The London Book Fair’s Illustrator in Residence for 2023. I’m looking forward to all the fun and shenanigans – hopefully, there’ll actually be shenanigans. Jokes aside though, The London Book Fair is a staple of the global book world’s calendar and it’s an absolute honor to be actively involved in it.”

Dapo Adeola is an illustrator, author, and character designer who was awarded Illustrator of the Year at The British Book Awards in 2022. Dapo rocketed into the picture book world with his greatly acclaimed illustrator debut, Look Up!, written by Nathan Bryon and published by Puffin in 2019, which won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize in 2020.

Dapo illustrated My Dad is a Grizzly Bear and My Mum Is a Lioness, written by award-winning author Swapna Haddow (both published by Macmillan Children’s Books), and collaborated with Malorie Blackman on their picture book We’re Going to Find the Monster. Dapo made his author debut in 2021 with the Puffin-published picture book Hey You!: An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black, featuring 18 talented Black British illustrators, which also went on to win Illustrated Book of the Year at The British Book Awards in 2022. Born in Britain and of Nigerian heritage, Dapo is an avid believer in the importance of equal representation in the creative arts. He currently lives in London.

Colson Whitehead is the author of The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, The Colossus of New York, Apex Hides the Hurt, Sag Harbor, Zone One, and The Noble Hustle. His novel, The Underground Railroad, was an international and #1 New York Times Bestseller and won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Fiction, the 2017 Hurston/Wright Award for Fiction, the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Science Fiction Literature. He was featured on the cover of Time Magazine and included in the list of the “100 Most Influential People” compiled by Time.

His most recent novel The Nickel Boys won the Kirkus Prize, The Orwell Prize for Political Fiction was a finalist for the 2020 Southern Book Prize, and was longlisted for the National Book Award, the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and the Aspen Words Literary Prize. It was a long-running New York Times bestseller and winner of the Pulitzer Prize 2020, making him a two-time winner of the award. His next novel, Harlem Shuffle, was published by Doubleday in September 2021 and won the UN Thriller of the Year. The sequel, Crook Manifesto, will be published by Doubleday in the summer 2023.

The Authors of the Day and Illustrator of the Fair will participate in ‘In Conversation’ events on different days throughout The London Book Fair. Colson Whitehead will attend the fair on 18 April, Ann Cleeves and Dapo Adeola will appear at events on 19 April, and Robin Stevens will be speaking on 20 April. ”

The London Book Fair (LBF) is the world’s largest spring book trade and publishing event and will return to its home at Olympia London from 18 – 20 April 2023.

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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