London Book Fair announces format for 2021 online event

26 May 2021 - 13:15 By London Book Fair
The online London Book Fair will run in June, with the full-scale in-person event postponed to 2022. Stock photo.
The online London Book Fair will run in June, with the full-scale in-person event postponed to 2022. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Olga Yastremska

The Online Book Fair by London Book Fair (LBF) will run events over three weeks in June, offering varied content for different audiences throughout the month. The programme will shine a spotlight on key areas of the fair, creating the opportunity for a larger global audience than ever before to come together in a flexible way to network, learn and share ideas.

Matt Haig, one of the UK’s bestselling and most popular writers, has been named Author of the Fair. Haig will take part in an exclusive In Conversation event during the fair.

Haig is the number one bestselling author of two non-fiction books, Reasons to Stay Alive and Notes on a Nervous Planet, and seven novels for adults, including The Midnight Library, How to Stop Time and The Humans.

Bestselling author Matt Haig has been announced as Author of the Fair 2021.
Bestselling author Matt Haig has been announced as Author of the Fair 2021.
Image: Supplied/London Book Fair

Haig also writes award-winning books for children, including A Boy Called Christmas, which has been made into a feature film for 2021 with an all-star cast including Maggie Smith, Kristen Wiig and Stephen Merchant.

He has sold more than two million books in the UK and his work has been translated into more than 40 languages. His latest non-fiction, The Comfort Book, will be published on July 1.

Haig said: “It’s an honour to be involved in The London Book Fair during this testing year. Books have never been more vital and more of a comfort, so the London Book Fair feels somehow more important than ever.”

Andy Ventris, director at The London Book Fair, said: “It is a great pleasure to welcome such a renowned and well-loved writer as our Author of the Fair this year. Matt Haig’s event will be a highlight of the fair and I’m delighted to have Matt on board to spearhead our events programme.

“In creating the online book fair we hope to be able to offer something for everyone. Whether you are an exhibitor or visitor, bookseller or author, illustrator or technology provider, work in adult or children’s publishing, you will be able to connect with peers in the UK and abroad, and gain an insight into the key trends and discussions shaping the industry.

“We have content spread throughout June, with spotlights on every aspect of the fair taking place on different days, so attendees don’t feel the need to be glued to a screen from dawn until dusk. The Online Book Fair will be a chance to take stock of the challenges the industry has faced over the past year, and to celebrate the resilience, creativity and progress the industry has shown throughout this adversity.”

What else to expect at the LBF

Four of LBF’s world-renowned conferences will take place online during the week commencing June 7. Introductions to Rights (June 7) will explore how to sell rights  for those looking into a career in rights or who have recently joined the industry.

Authors and aspiring writers will get the inside track from publishing experts on how to get your writing noticed during The Writers’ Summit (June 8).

The Education Conference (June 9) will provide educational publishers, EdTech organisations and educationalists with insights into the international developments impacting their industries and markets, with distinguished speakers from across the world speaking about what they’ve learnt from Covid-19 and what the future holds.

The Research & Scholarly Publishing Forum (June 10) will tackle open access, looking at the issues shaping the future of academic publishing and giving participants an overview of the new infrastructure and service developments that underpin research information.

The Online Book Fair by LBF platform will open on June 21 with a mix of talks, panels and breakout sessions. On June 22, there will be a full day of Industry Insights sessions, with opportunities to hear the latest thought leadership on a range of issues affecting the book industry today. How to Masterclasses, a series of educational workshops by LBF exhibitors, will also be running.

The focus on June 23 will be on tech, with a stream titled Digital Technology: What’s Next for Publishing, which will share the latest innovations and case studies for doing business in a digital world. On June 24 there will be content devoted to Children’s & Edutainment as well as The Scholarly Stream. Discussions will also be held around adapting to a new shift in working patterns and demographics in People Development: Re-Skilling Our Industry.

On June 29, the winners of The LBF International Excellence Awards 2021 will be celebrated with "In conversation with…" sessions. Authors will also be able to enjoy a range of inspiring content through the "Authors: Central to Our Business" stream, which will include "Author HQ". On  June 30 the focus will shift to writing, with sessions programmed in the "Literary Translation: Making Words Travel" stream, and the English PEN Literary Salon.

The final day of the Online Book Fair on July 1 will feature "The Business of Books" sessions programmed by Book Industry Communication (BIC) and the Booksellers Association. The Association of Illustrators Masterclass will offer illustrators the opportunity to network with leading industry art directors.

From July 2 to 16 all Online Book Fair content will be available on demand.

To register for your tickets to The Online Book Fair by LBF visit the LBF website.

  • Article provided by the London Book Fair.

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