For 2023, London Book Fair turns the spotlight on Ukraine to showcase that nation’s publishers and authors, who have responded to the Russian invasion last year with a renewed commitment to free expression.
On the show floor, The Sustainability Hub is a new “focused space” for examining the impact publishing has on the environment. The objective, says Rachel Martin, global director of sustainability at Elsevier, is a call for action around the supply chain and a call for content that can inspire change.
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“When we think about climate action, it tends to be very much about the doom and gloom. We know the situation is bad. But what we do need is people who give us inspiration and hope,” she tells me.“I think we need the cultural power of the book sector to really get together and to think about how we push this forward. How can we be agents of change?
A spotlight will also fall on Gareth Rapley, who became director of the London Book Fair last fall. The publishing industry trade show returned from its COVID-imposed hiatus last year with lower attendance than in pre-pandemic years and limited participation of North American publishing houses. In 2023, though, the Yanks are coming.
“The US presence is coming back to London Book Fair, and in good force as well. I think we’re very pleased so far,” Rapley says.