Liber 2018 visualises innovation, production and internationalisation in the book industry

Fira de Barcelona organises the 36th edition of Liber, the International Book Trade Fair promoted by the Spanish Publishers’ Guild Federation (FGEE in its Spanish initials), with the participation of 361 exhibitors, to take place from the 3rd to the 5th October. This professional event, the most important in the book industry in Spain, is a great boost with regards the exportation of books and also offers a current overview of the sector’s challenges. Innovation, digitalisation, commercialisation, internationalisation, intellectual properly and literary creation will be some of the key topics of the Professional Conferences and other activities in the show. In addition, this year Cuba will attend as the guest country.

For three days, Pavilion 1 of the Gran Via venue of Fira de Barcelona will become an important centre for export, business, knowledge and reflection for the Spanish book sector. It will welcome around 10,000 professionals.

The President of Liber and the FGEE, Daniel Fernández, is convinced that “for another year running, the show will be a key reference in the book market, both in Spain and especially beyond our borders, where the book sector has been making great efforts to expand its markets in the past few years”.

Fernández also said that: “at Liber we will have the opportunity to reflect on the present and the future of books and reading, as well as the challenges that this sector, the most important cultural industry in the country, will have to face. Additionally, we would like to make Liber a meeting point with other industries, such as the audio-visual industry, with cooperation agreements with the Sitges Film Festival and video game developers, in which our books can contribute a great deal”. 

The objective: more sales abroad
We estimate that the contacts and exchanges generated at Liber can account for approximately one third of the total annual international sales for the Spanish book sector, which totalled 588.86 million euros in 2017, almost 3% higher than in the previous year.

To boost this asset and generate opportunities in new markets, this year Liber has selected and invited 550 key buyers and subscribers from 62 countries who will take part in the business meetings with exhibiting companies. These include importers, distributors, booksellers, copyright buyers, as well as officials from public bodies and libraries, agents, university professors, editors and journalists. Also, a delegation of US librarians with a budget allocation to buy books will be attending this year.

These commercial missions are supported by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade and Exportations (ICEX in its Spanish initials), the Economic and Commercial Offices abroad and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E) thanks to the Internationalisation of the Spanish Culture Programme (PICE in its Spanish initials), who will be attending as visitors.

A wide editorial offer
Liber is a meeting place designed mostly for publishing companies and associations introducing their new feature in different areas and genres. We will also welcome institutions, associations and publishers’ guilds from Andalusia, Catalonia, Aragon, the Principality of Asturias, Madrid, the Basque Country, Castilla and Leon, Galicia, the Balearic Islands and the Valencian Community, with publishing groups from these Autonomous Communities. Similarly, the presence of the religious books division of the sector will be noteworthy. In turn, the small publishing businesses and start-up companies will occupy the MicroLiber area, with a dozen participants this year.

The rest of the businesses exhibiting at this year’s show includes service companies, distributors, entities, book agents and graphic art companies. In addition to Spanish firms, companies from the United States, India, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Italy and Russia will be participating in the show.

Liber will also be a meeting point for companies in the book industry and other culture-related industries, such as the film making and video game sector. Specifically, Liber and Sitges 2018, the International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia have signed a collaboration agreement to put book agents, authors, publishers and film producers in contact with one another to promote literary works with the potential of being made into films. During Liber and the Taboo’ks seminars organised by the Sitges Film Festival on October 6 there will be business meetings held focusing on the sale of book rights for audio-visual adaptations, as well as seminars and other professional networking activities. Moreover, the Spanish Association of Producers and Developers of Video games and Entertainment Software, DEV, will take part at Liber as exhibitor and will organise a panel debate and a series of interviews between publishers, mainly of general literature, comic books, and children’s and teens books, and representatives of companies producing video games and virtual reality games with regards to the sales of copyrights.

Evolution of digitalisation and self-publishing
Once again, Liber gives special attention to both the digital evolution of books and self-publishing with two specific areas. In the Digital Zone, twelve companies will display their technological products and services related to publishing, distribution and commercialisation of digital books. This will include, for instance, publishing and metadata management software, digital distribution for libraries, anti-piracy solutions, self-publishing platforms, and various solutions for the increasingly popular audiobook format.  This space is associated with a programme for the introduction of technological tools and products, as well as seminars on editorial trends in the digital environment.

On the other hand, the Authors Zone will allow independent authors to find out more about self-publishing tools and services related to the creation, production, sale and promotion of books. This will include conferences, panel debates and workshops.

Professional Seminars
Liber is a recognised platform for knowledge, reflection and debate in the publishing sector because of its Professional Seminars. The schedule this year includes a hundred debates, conferences, forums and presentations with 216 experts.

During the Professional Seminars the digital trends in Europe and Latin America, the evolution of audiobooks, the translation and proofreading of texts, copyrights, libraries, piracy, marketing and book promotion will be discussed. There will also be a space dedicated to poetry, academic proofreading, essays, illustrations and adaptation of literary works to the big screen. In addition, a study on the economic and social value of the educational publishing industry will be presented, and the community proposals for a digital single market will be analysed, as well as the changes related to the reform of management entities within the framework of the Intellectual Property Law.

Cuba, the guest country
As the guest of honour country at Liber, Cuba will show the richness and variety of its literature and the development of its publishing system, as well as the work being developed in the fields of marketing and the promotion of books and reading. The Caribbean island has prepared a programme of literary and professional activities to promote new authors and publishing houses. The show will hold talks, conferences, presentations and readings by Cuban authors and publishers, including Dazra Novak, Josué Pérez Rodríguez, Alexis Andrés Díaz Pimienta, Alfredo Galiano Rodríguez, Rogelio Riverón, Teresita Gómez Vallejo, Abel González Melo, Sigfredo Ariel, Pedro Pablo Rodríguez López and Mercedes Melo Pereira. The publishing houses: Editorial Letras Cubanas, Ediciones Cubanas, Editorial Cubaliteraria, Citmatel and Ediciones Acuario, among others, will explain their catalogues and will also present the International Book Show in Havana, Cuba, in 2019.

2018 Liber Awards
The FGEE will present the Liber Awards in recognition of the trajectory and the work developed by various people and entities associated to the world of books. The author Almudena Grandes; the Sevillian publisher, bookseller and poet, Abelardo Linares; the Director of La Vanguardia newspaper, Màrius Carol; the Director and the producers of the TV series “Cathedral of the Sea”; the Paideia Bookshop in Sant Cugat del Vallès and the Network of Public Libraries of Las Rozas will be awarded this year.

The Liber fair is held annually with the location alternating between Barcelona and Madrid. It is sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, ICEX Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade and Exportation, the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, and the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO in its Spanish initials), with collaboration from the Catalonia Publishers Guild and Acción Cultural Española (AC/E), the Public Agency for Cultural Action.

The Spanish publishing industry made 2,319.36 million euros last year and published 87,262 titles. According to the FGEE, the Spanish publishing catalogue has reached 656,080 titles.

Barcelona, 27th September 2018