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The Sharjah Book Authority, SBA, has announced the 10th Publishers Conference to be held at the Expo Centre Sharjah from November 1 – 3, ahead of the official opening of the 39th Sharjah International Book Fair, SIBF, on November 4.

The three-day event will host eight-panel discussions on the key issues and challenges facing the publishing sector in the region and around the world and will witness a key session on the first day, which will shine a light on the application process for the US$300,000 SIBF Translation Grant, available exclusively to the conference’s participants.

A matchmaking opportunity will be presented to all attending businesses on the final day of the professional conference.

The inaugural day of the conference on November 1 will begin with a welcome address by Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA.

The conference will see the participation of more than 317 publishing professionals and 33 speakers including traditional and ePublishers from around the globe, rights professionals, publishing consultants, lawyers and other industry experts. Perminder Mann, CEO of Bonnier Books UK, will deliver the keynote address.

The conference will begin with a discussion titled ‘Global publishing spotlight: Surviving and thriving during a pandemic’ with publishing professionals from around the world speaking on how the global publishing industry has risen to the challenge of the ongoing Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, and the lessons they learnt in the process. The second session titled ‘Publishing pivoting for the future: How virtual events and social media are connecting publishers and readers across the globe’, will throw light on successful campaigns being organised by publishers and authors to connect with readers, as well as impart information on the Publishers Club, and Book Club.

‘Translated books: Finding new audiences’ will be the last panel discussion of the day, followed by a session that imparts tips on how to apply for the SIBF Translation Grant, a $300,000 fund exclusively available to participants at the conference.

‘Emirati authors in conversation’, will be the first panel on day two of the conference, with the authors participating in The London Book Fair 2021, where Sharjah is the Market Focus, discussing their work. This will be followed by ‘It’s a woman’s world: Global women in publishing’, focusing on the mark made by women publishers. In the last session of the day, titled ‘Home schooling and virtual learning: What is next for education publishing’, publishers will throw light on where the sector is headed in the wake of the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The last day of the conference, November 3, will feature two panels. The first session, titled ‘Book piracy: What is the damage?’, will see publishers and legal experts discussing ways of curbing the scourge of piracy.

The second session, ‘Listen up! The audiobook phenomenon: Growth and listening habits’, will focus on the growth of the audio subscription platforms globally, their audience, listening habits and more.

The 10th Publishers Conference will conclude with one of its most-anticipated features, the hugely popular Matchmaking session, where publishers and industry professionals meet to discuss buying and selling of rights and strike new deals. This is meant for international publishing rights professionals who have a catalogue of translation rights to buy or sell and are interested in exploring the Arab market.