Oxford Brookes introduces publishing handbook for businesses at The London Book Fair; Latvia ramps up “introvert” campaign with a grant and a chill-out zone; winners of The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards announced.


A business must-have: The Oxford Handbook of Publishing

No London Book Fair is complete without Angus Phillips, Director, Oxford International Centre for Publishing, cutting a cake at his stand at the end of Day 2.

“I have an announcement!” Angus Phillips and co-editor Michael Bhaskar launched their book on Day 2. Image: © Zarina Holmes / Story Of Books

This year, it was to launch a new book, The Oxford Handbook of Publishing. The handbook, edited by Angus Phillips and Michael Bhaskar, looks at the economics of the industry. It examines the roles that marketing, publicity, and sales play in publishing as well as the impact of digital publishing.

The Oxford Handbook of Publishing is essential reading not only for students of publishing but also those in the business of media, entertainment, culture, communication and information.

Essential reading for businesses and media practitioners that incorporate aspects of publishing in their marketing and communication strategies. Image source: ©Oxford University Press

This handbook comes at the right time as more journalists and media businesses are turning to self-publishing to expand on their intellectual properties. Businesses in the tech, banking and public sectors are also finding it necessary to accompany their offline and online campaigns with well-made print collaterals. This book is a must-have for their marketing divisions.

Every year, a different book cover graces the cake. Image: © Zarina Holmes / Story Of Books

The Oxford International Centre for Publishing is famous for its world-class MA and Master’s Publishing programmes. The centre is now offering a new course: BA Media, Journalism and Publishing.

Story Of Books first got to know Phillips when he was our guest speaker at our London Design Festival 2011 seminar on e-book. It was held at University College London, our editor’s alma mater.

Some of the technologies featured at the London Design Festival 2011 didn’t last beyond 2017.

But print books, however, are still around. And so are the programmes at The Oxford International Centre for Publishing – and its cake-cutting ceremony at The London Book Fair.

More on Oxford International Centre for Publishing


Latvia steals the limelight again

We are glad to see Latvia again at The London Book Fair. Last year, it was one of the Baltic countries featured in the Market Focus for 2018.

Latvia is back to represent some of its 439 publishers. This year sees Latvia continuing last year’s memorable campaign, #iamintrovert, with a chill-out zone (pictured, below) at its stand and First Aid Kits For Introverts (read: earplugs).

Image: © Zarina Holmes / Story Of Books

Wanted: a promoter of Latvian literature

Due to Latvia’s participation last year at the fair – and thanks to the support of the Latvian government  – 40 new translations of Latvian works into English have been published.

The Latvian Literature platform has also invited foreign publishers to apply for a grant to publish and promote Latvian literature abroad. Legal persons or publishers that have experience working with Latvian authors, or have interest in publishing Latvian literature are welcome to take part in the grant competition.

Image: © Zarina Holmes / Story Of Books

Printing and packaging destination

Latvia is also keen on attracting more customers in print and packaging. The Latvian printing industry is 430 years old. As of 2017, the total turnover of the industry is €400 million. Some 77% or €308 million is generated via exports.

The largest export markets are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Russia, Finland and Poland. The main print export products, such as books and magazines, go to Western Europe and Scandinavia, whilst labels and packaging are predominantly for Eastern European markets.

Printing industry in Latvia, 2017. Image source: © Latvian Book Market / Latvian Literature

The key factors influencing the sector’s competitiveness in foreign markets are high quality, short delivery times and cost effectiveness. There are 380 companies dedicated to printing, with the top 20 companies making up 90% of the total turnover of Latvian printers (source: Latvian Graphic Industry Association / LPUA).

Depending on market reception, 2019 could be the last time we see this massive campaign by the Latvians at the fair. We all agree that Latvia, and the Baltic countries, have been fantastic in marketing their talents. Latvia relies on sense of humour and the ability to connect with people to come up with a campaign that resonates. That’s not just intelligence – it’s EQ.

The Life Of I* (An Introverted Latvian Writer) by © Anete Konste and © Reinis Petersons, featuring the iconic introvert. Image source: #iamintrovert / Latvian Literature

We’d love to see them again – so business people, get in touch with the introverts. They get the job done.

Latvia at The London Book Fair

Latvian Literature: Open Call For Grant
Deadline: 29 March, 2019 (23:59 East European time)


The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2019

Image: © The London Book Fair

The winners of The London Book Fair (LBF) International Excellence Awards were announced on 12 March 2019. Espoo City Library, Finland, was named the Library of the Year. Fang Suo Commune, China, emerged as the Bookstore of the Year, whilst Booklava, UAE, walked away with the Audiobook Publisher of the Year award.

Here is the full list of this year’s winners:

The Academic and Professional Publisher Award
De Gruyter (Germany)

The Audiobook Publisher of the Year
Booklava (UAE)

The Bookstore of the Year Award sponsored by Gardners
Fang Suo Commune (China)

The Educational Initiatives Award
Tata Trusts (India)

The Educational Learning Resources Award, supported by The China Publishing & Media Journal
Virtual Reading Gym (South Africa)

International Book Trade Journalist
Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives (USA)

The Library of the Year Award
Espoo City Library (Finland)

The Literary Translation Initiative Award
Tulika Publishers (India)

The Literary Agent Award
Pierre Astier, Founder and Director, Astier-Pecher Literary & Film Agency (France)

The Literary Festival Award
Book Arsenal Literary Festival (Ukraine)

The Rights Professional Award
Rose Janssens, Foreign Rights Key Account Manager, Clavis Publishing (Belgium)

Eligible for entries from Market Focus Indonesia only:

 The Market Focus Indonesia Adult Trade Award
Bentang Pustaka

The Market Focus Indonesia Children’s, Young Adult and Education Award
Bestari Buana Murni

Eligible for entries from all countries, including the UK:

 The London Book Fair Simon Master Chairman’s Award
Jessica Kingsley, Founder, Jessica Kingsley Publishers (UK)

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Publisher
EDITORIAL 5 (Brazil)

Accessible Books Consortium International Excellence Award: Initiative
eKitabu (Kenya)

Eligible for entries from the UK only:
Inclusivity in Publishing Award, supported by the Publishers Association
Jacaranda Books

More on the awards


Editor, Story Of Books. Co-founder, GLUE Studio. A writer since 1995.