International Insights: Online Book Fairs

For the next edition of the Alliance of Independent Authors International Insights hosted by Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, were proceeding to online book fairs. If you missed our intro series to international book markets, you can read them here: Africa, India and China markets in Asia, the Middle East North Africa markets, the Ibero-America markets, the Asia-Pacific markets and the European markets, and likewise a special edition on the English-language markets. This is global insights: online book fairs.

Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard

Theres the critical opportunity to get our author brand discovered and construct long-term relationships that will pay back long after the online event is over. What follows are some suggestions and links by way of example of how we might get started. There are no quick-fix just-add-water wonder cures to constructing an online audience in far lands.

This month it has been announced that Europes greatest book reasonable by visitor numbers has been rescheduled for 2021 as the pandemic continues to wreck the planet. No, not Germanys Frankfurt Book Fair however Spains Madrid Book Fair.

Frankfurt last year drew in 380,000 visitors, making it the most significant trade occasion, however as the term recommends, a lot of were market specialists. An excellent place to be if we are looking for trade connections, however not the finest location to get in touch with readers. For that we require to head to the hybrid trade-public or public-facing book fairs and festivals.

Bear in mind English is an official language however not the most spoken language in South Africa. English-language books dominate the publishing scene.

Take twitter and the South African Book Fair as the English-language example. This is a country of 59 million (similar to Italy) with an online population of 32.6 million (equivalent to Canada).

And likewise, if were looking for trade connections– a regional publisher, representative or whatever– again what much better place to link that by means of an online literary occasion?

Repeat for Facebook and Instagram. Of course simply connecting is just the start. Make pals, engage, be sociable, and look to develop long-lasting relationships. When we feel the time is right, then we can think of promos. However where to offer? What to link to? Here it gets challenging, however as Ive said before, if we desire the simple life theres always KDP Select. Being an international author includes some built-in obstacles.

Selling ebooks in South Africa? Well, theres no Kindle ZA shop and no Apple Books ZA store, but South Africans can buy from the Amazon US shop (sales will reveal up as US sales).

Amazing since, while participating in a book fair face to face in Madrid or Buenos Aries, Riyadh or Mucat, Tehran, Cairo or Colombo, is prohibitively expensive and totally unwise for many of us, unless we happen to live there, when these events go on the internet it implies we can all play, whether trade events, hybrid, or public-facing.

These events can attract booklovers in large numbers. Attempt half a million visitors (Lisbon, Portugal; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Casablanca, Morocco), or more than 1 million visitors (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Muscat, Oman; Colombo, Sri Lanka; Buenos Aries, Argentina) or even 2 million or more visitors (Tehran, Iran; Sharjah, UAE; Cairo, Egypt; Kolkata, India).

I choose these merely since they are either taking place today or will kick off in the next week or 2, while this post is fresh in our minds. Take the 25th Feria Internacional del Libro de Lima (referred to as FIL Lima), which began online on August 21 and will end up on September 6.

So deal with the following examples– the Lima International Book Fair in Peru, the Nigerian International Book Fair and the South Africa Book Fair– as testing premises to whet our cravings.

Nigeria is a little more tough, without any Amazon, Google Play or Apple, and Kobo just through the US shop.

We should be cautious not to push away people and show our lack of knowledge by promoting links to Amazon or Google Play or Apple when Nigerians have no easy access to these websites. D2C and D2C-lite is a great middle ground, and there are also regional ebook shops like OkadaBooks, however my strong recommendation is, with no disrespect to Okada, that we need to be wary of going direct with domestic outlets in unfamiliar nations because we might potentially deal with massive difficulties arranging any problems that emerge with, for example, royalty payments, eliminating titles when needed, tracking sales, etc

In future editions of ALLi International Insights Ill try keep a running list of online book occasions worldwide as they arise, so remember all the above, bar the connected stores obviously, applies to any nation or region we might select to target, and ought to be seen as a template for starting and getting traction in these markets, not a road to instant riches. We need to earn our audience.

On September 1 through 7 we can join in with the Nigeria International Book Fair for eight days of mainly English-language online engagement at no charge. The NIBF does not do twitter or Instagram, however is on Facebook (27 million Facebook users), and as were talking a country of 206 million people, 126 countless whom are online, this deserves thinking about for the long term.

Peru? No Kindle PE store either, but once again Amazon US is at least a choice here. Is Google Play and so is Apple, and of course so is Kobo. Theres likewise membership services like BajaLibros and Ubook, and regional stores like the Peru Book Store.

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Pretty much none of us would ever captivate the idea of sweeping off to South America for a book fair– even one that in 2018 pulled in 565,000 visitors and offered books to the worth of $5.5 million. And yes, we are discussing Peru, population 32 million. The fantastic thing is, 22 million Peruvians are online, and so far the Lima virtual book fair has actually been quite impressive, with activity throughout Facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Think about D2C and D2C-lite sales too. D2C being direct to customers through our own websites, blogs, Facebook pages or whatever. This is a term I use for third-party sales through aggregator-provided sales platforms.

But, and this is where it gets really amazing for us indies, there will be an online “virtual Madrid book reasonable” to run the October dates (2-18).

The list is much, much longer, and the latter group consists of the aforementioned Madrid Book Fair which normally takes place in summer, however this year got pushed back to October by the pandemic, and is now re-scheduled for 2021.

And heres where the excitement factor bumps up exponentially. Since whereas at an in-person occasion like, say, Rio or Algiers, Bangkok or Dhaka, Manila or New Delhi, the big focus is on selling print books to customers on the area, numerous of whom might never ever have actually read or listened to an ebook or digital audiobook in their lives, every participant at these virtual occasions will by meaning be someone with a device that could be used to download digital books.

For those people with Spanish-language titles this occasion deserves a better look. You can discover the website here and follow Fil Lima on Facebook (20 million people on Facebook in Peru), on Instagram and on twitter: @FilLima2020. No charge.

And then theres the South Africa Book Fair, which is also primarily in English. The SIBF runs 4 days from September 11 through 13 and will cost you R50 ($ 3) to access the complete occasion. Facebook (21 million). Instagram. Twitter: @SABookFair. If you limit yourself to social media engagement, of course theres no charge for any of these. And while its worth e-sitting in on the conversations and panels, social networks is where we require to focus.

. And of course whenever we follow someone and click through to the twitter page, the You Might Like list changes, and if were not cautious well spend hours making brand-new connections in a country we might well never ever have actually considered before as a place where books matter. And if thats inadequate, examine out the Followed By and Followers lists for any of these accounts and click those, to be presented with yet another number of rabbit holes loaded with bookish connections, most of which will be to do with South Africas book scene.

Begin by following the SIBF (@SABookFair), then check out the You Might Like column on the right and youll likely find any number of South African books-related twitter accounts. Im looking at the Johannesburg Book Club (@TheJoziBookClub) and when I click through to the twitter page certainly the You Might Like column has been repopulated with more twitter accounts of a comparable nature. For instance the Emthonjoni Book Club (@emthonjenibooks). Click program more and unexpectedly theres universe of South African authors, publishers, representatives, booksellers, reader clubs, and so on

International Online Book Fairs

Heres some up-and-coming international book occasions to be believing about for online engagement. And keep in mind, much of what has been gone over here also applies to in-person occasions.

Aug 21-Sep 6 Lima International Book Fair online

Sep 1-7 Nigeria International Book Fair online

Sep 11-13 South Africa International Book Fair online

Oct 1-4 Big Bad Wolf Sri Lanka online

Oct 2-18 (Spain) Madrid Book Fair online

Oct 14-18 (Germany) Frankfurt Book Fair hybrid

Nov 04-14 (UAE) Sharjah International Book Fair in-person

Nov 24-30 (Philippines) Manila International Book Fair online

ALLi notes:

BajaLibros– StreetLib.

Pretty much none of us would ever amuse the idea of flitting off to South America for a book fair– even one that in 2018 pulled in 565,000 visitors and offered books to the value of $5.5 million. The fantastic thing is, 22 million Peruvians are online, and so far the Lima virtual book fair has been quite impressive, with activity throughout Facebook, twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Exclusives– by means of Kobo.

OkadaBooks– no aggregators presently active.

And then theres the South Africa Book Fair, which is likewise primarily in English.

Takealot– Smashwords.

D2C-lite platforms: BookBaby, Smashwords and StreetLib all provide a store where we can send readers for excellent deals and get great royalties.

Amazon is available direct through KDP or through many aggregators (except Smashwords). Apple is available direct or via the majority of aggregators. Kobo is offered direct or by means of most aggregators. Google Play is available direct or through PublishDrive, StreetLib, XinXii (not BookBaby, D2D or Smashwords).

For the next edition of the Alliance of Independent Authors International Insights hosted by Mark Williams of The New Publishing Standard, were moving on to online book fairs. For that we need to head to the hybrid trade-public or public-facing book fairs and celebrations.

Ubook– StreetLib.

Peru Book Store– StreetLib.

N.B. This list is not exhaustive but is accurate to the best of my understanding. Here is a call out to you, the reader, or maybe our pals at the different aggregators. Please do send additional information or corrections in comments so we can update the list as we move forward.

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