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SIBF Publishers Conference kicks off next Sunday with 33 speakers

Senior decision makers and 33 inspiring speakers will present a vibrant and inspiring vision of the future of publishing at the 12th Sharjah International Book Fair Publishers Conference from October 30 to November 1, 2022, at Expo Centre Sharjah.

The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) has announced that the annual industry-wide event for the publishing sector, held ahead of the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), will host eight panel discussions and two keynote fireside chats to provide comprehensive insights into the trends, challenges and opportunities in the industry.

The three-day conference enables literary agents, authors, rights professionals and other stakeholders to gain knowledge on new perspectives and trends, and engage in inspiring thought-leadership sessions led by a curated panel of industry experts.

A key highlight of the inaugural day’s proceedings will be a session on the process of application for the US $300,000 SIBF Translation Grant, offered exclusively to participants at the Publishers Conference.

Italy, the ‘Guest of Honour’ at SIBF 2022, will take the spotlight on Day 1 of the conference as three prominent publishing professionals from across the European nation discuss ways to bring Italian literature closer to the Arab audience and explore ways to forge stronger ties between Italian bookmakers and publishers with their counterparts in the Arab world.

Day 1: Digital publishing and audiobook trends in focus

Against the backdrop of the geographical and cultural diversity that is the hallmark of the Arab publishing industry, senior professionals in the region will lead discussions on ‘Digital publishing in the Arab World: How are Arab publishers embracing the digital landscape and who are the major operators?’ as they explore the local players who are making a big impact globally.

The lucrative potential for the audiobook industry with the growing momentum in the use of smart home technologies worldwide will be the focus at the session titled, ‘Emerging Audiobook markets’, led by panelists from Asia and Africa.  

Day 2: Multilingual publishing and manga popularity in the spotlight

A keynote fireside chat between Karine Pansa, Vice President of IPA and publishing innovator Perminder Mann,  CEO, Bonnier Books UK, will set in motion the proceedings on Day 2 of the Publishers Conference.

Speakers from Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria will discuss a challenging aspect of the African book sector in the session titled ‘Publishing from Northern Africa – Multilingual Publishing’ while the session on ‘New forms of content licensing’ will explore how companies are working with publishers to maximise their intellectual property and develop new revenue streams.

A comprehensive overview of the regional and global manga market and popular titles will be discussed in the session, ‘The growing global market for Manga’. Panel members will also explore the raging popularity of the genre, the impact of anime and licensing on manga, e-books and audio books in manga, and content licensing for manga.

Day 3: Supply chain solutions and translations take centre stage

‘The Future of the Supply Chain’ will be in focus at the first discussion on the concluding day of the conference. Promising solutions for publishers to overcome obstacles of increased freight and printing costs and resource scarcity and pave the path for a sustainable future will be spotlighted.

Speakers from Latvia, Germany and Georgia will be joined by a moderator from New Zealand to discuss how countries can grow the market for literature in translations through their respective national initiatives. Grants for translation, guest of honour programmes, and other initiatives to boost translations will be discussed at the session titled, ‘Promoting a Nation’s Literature for Translation’.

Day 3 will conclude with the session, ‘Global vs Local: How are multinational publishers working to ensure a global strategy with a regional focus’ which will offer insights on how publishing subsidiaries work in their local markets and operate editorially vis a vis their home office.

A robust platform for buying and selling rights, signing book deals, exploring translation opportunities and serving other commercial interests of the sector, the SIBF Publishers Conference will also facilitate participants to network, matchmake and do business with each other on all three days of the conference.