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The ebullient guest director of BolognaBooksPlus (BBP), Jacks Thomas, was on characteristically upbeat form at Sharjah Publishing City when she addressed publishers to talk about next year’s second offering of the trade addition to the famous children’s book fair. Once again, BolognaBooksPlus will have an offering for general trade publishing comprising a variety of exhibiting options, alongside the return of its second successful training and content programme.

Guests were welcomed by Ahmed Al Ameri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority, and Thomas was joined on stage by Elena Pasoli, director of Bologna Children’s Book Fair (BCBF).

Thomas, who is widely known internationally for years as director of the London Book Fair which she reinvented, said that BolognaBooksPlus was born “from Elena’s vision in what must be termed the pre-pandemic age…It builds on the strength of Bologna’s brand and its six decades of history and well-loved and respected place in the market. BolognaBooksPlus is an expansion of BCBF into the world of general publishing.  It is an exhibition in the halls of BCBF, it has training course and content.  All-in-all it is just like an exhibition and in 2022 we are not only hopeful but confident in our ability to hold a physical event”.

She added that the BBP “seeks to fill gaps, enhance opportunities and look to the future of this great, adaptable, ever-moving book industry of ours.  Translation, rights trading, self-publishing, bookselling, and publisher pitching are all there to be enjoyed”.

She also said that BBP would be joining the Global Rights Exchange platform in 2022 and that the icing on the torte was BBP’s partnership with the Italian Publishers Association.