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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  11 May 2010

PUBLISHING: Backing The Publishing Business


Recent Western Cape Business News

The 2010 Cape Town Book Fair has geared up to service the industry by hosting a dedicated day for members of the publishing trade.

For the first time in its five year history, the opening day of the Cape Town Book Fair (CTBF), 30 July 2010, will be solely for members of the publishing industry in an effort to facilitate networking between them and their national and international partners.

A unique opportunity for publishers, printers, agents, booksellers, librarians, institutional buyers, teachers and others from around the world to gather in one place and exchange contacts, ideas and products, the CTBF is a place “where books mean business …” An ideal environment for building relationships, arranging rights deals, comparing printing, shipping and distribution prices, all players are set to benefit from this new commercial focus, according to CTBF Director Claudia Kaiser.

Stephen Johnson, Managing Director of Random House Struik said, “Having a specific trade day has the potential to significantly increase the commercial benefits because it attracts a larger variety of international visitors looking for the kinds of business prospects a day like this offers.”

He added that in recession times, it is important not to lose sight of the business imperatives essential to any commercial operation. “Profit is not a four letter word,” said Johnson. “If one loses sight of it, one runs the risk of damaging the book industry, which will in turn reduce the availability and quality of books.”

For small independent publishers like Colleen Higgs of Modjaji books, this development provides an opportunity to boost their profiles and grow their businesses. “Obviously the book fair is important for the public, but selling rights is really what international book fairs are about. This new focus bodes well as it enables us to meet with international publishers looking to do foreign rights deals,” explained Higgs.

And of course, the usual celebration of all matters related to reading and literacy, where publishers proudly display their latest titles, canvas the market for potential new books and publicise their best-selling authors, has the added ability to inspire and invigorate those in the market.

A gathering like this has the invaluable ability to stimulate competition and foster mutually beneficial partnerships,” said the Director of the CTBF, Claudia Kaiser.

Also adding new flavour to the South African fair is the marked presence of African publishers. Kaiser, who has strategically repositioned the event to make it more attractive for internationals to participate in, added: “We want it to be a truly African fair, one which serves the whole of Africa.”

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