Streaming content and open access raise questions on copyright and data privacy. Commonality remains a key selling point for creatives and book exporters. Plenty to chew on in a seemingly polarised and digitised world. Thankfully, books and their creators aren’t short of ideas and innovative solutions. Here’s a visual roundup of talks and launches held at The London Book Fair 2019.


Stream it or open it to all? A copyright issue

Apart from book launches, we got to learn more about the state of play in the digital markets at The London Book Fair.

At a seminar organised by Zebralution, we were informed that audio subscriptions have risen in Germany, with a shift towards podcasts, an early format of digitised contents. However, another early digital medium, the CD, is no longer as popular.

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The impact of data privacy on the gatekeeper of copyrighted contents – the librarian – and the researcher who needs open access data, were discussed at The Faculty. Although the discussion was purely academic, it was important to follow because of the recent issues faced by the Society of Authors and its members with regards to copyright infringement by so-called “open libraries”.


Sci-fi and comics are the entry points for Indonesia

For the Indonesia Market Focus, we zoomed in on sci-fi and comics. Why sci-fi? Indonesia is rich with folklores and mythologies, which contribute to its fantasy and horror genres. Science and technology, in turn, influenced fantasy to evolve into sci-fi.

And why comics? Because of the country’s tremendous influence on Southeast Asian visual arts. Indonesia has a long history in visual arts, and there are plenty of periods to choose from. Comics are a good entry point for resellers as they cover webcomics, graphic novels and animations.

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Indonesian comics and graphic novels were initially influenced by Marvel and manga. In recent years, the country has begun to develop a creative direction based on traditional visual arts. Recent works have been very bold in re-enacting the Indonesian stories of origin, using Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic and animist references.


Things that we have in common

Commonality was a key selling point for exhibitors and creatives at The London Book Fair. Latvia, as part of the Baltic Countries trade initiative, continued to play on humour to promote its printing industry to prospects outside that region.

United Arab Emirates promoted Sharjah World Book Capital 2019 by sponsoring a huge simulated “beach” at the fair for visitors to chill out. Poland gave away Polish apples, a very simple and memorable marketing that had certainly made our day at the book fair.

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Story Of Books at The London Book Fair 2019


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