Publishers, booksellers solidarity vital to keep book industry relevant

SHARJAH (United Arab Emirates): Publishers will continue to help those involved in the book industry to ensure the industry remains relevant in this era.

United Arab Emirates (UAE) International Publishers Association (IPA) president, Bodour Al Qasimi said to ensure the reading culture continued to flourish, a collaboration between stakeholders in the book industry was one of the most vital components.

“My message is you are not alone, we as publishers will make sure we achieve our goals together, from the booksellers, authors, libraries, and schools, the collaboration and solidarity are the vital components to continue cultivating the culture of reading,” she said when delivering her keynote address at the opening of the world’s first International Booksellers Conference here, today.

Al Qasimi also pointed out that since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the book industry had become more challenging as there has been a transitional change in the lives of readers who are switching to digital.

“Maintaining the creative reading culture was not an easy task for all the stakeholders… We learn the hard way, but I am sure, alone we can go faster, but together we can go further,” she said.
Meanwhile, Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) chairman Ahmed Al Amri in his welcoming speech said booksellers also played a vital role in the publishing industry supply chain.

“We are here to celebrate the valuable contribution they make. As we all emerge from pandemic lockdowns we look to each other for support and ideas to take our businesses forward and to thrive in an increasingly digital world,” he said.

He said Sharjah is at the heart of supporting the publishing sector with the International Book Fair, Librarians Conference, Publishers Conference, Children’s Reading Festival and the Booksellers Conference.

The two-day forum is organised by SBA on the sidelines of the ongoing edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).

More than 200 booksellers, distributors and publishing professionals from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa gathered to discuss current and emerging trends shaping the future of bookselling also the opportunity to exchange best practices, present their titles and explore new market opportunities in a series of ‘matchmaking’ sessions. − BERNAMA 

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