Bonus Material: The Dual Nature of Romania’s Bookfest

In Discussion by Hannah Johnson

By Hannah Johnson

Bookfest RomaniaROMANIA: For five days, June 17-22, publishers and the general public gathered in the Romexpo-Complex in Bucharest for the 2009 Bookfest, Romania’s book festival. Visitors had free access to the show’s 13,700 square meters of exhibition space to browse and buy the 25,000 titles on display. Publishers expressed satisfaction with this year’s festival and sold more books overall then in 2008.

However, the successful book sales contradict the declining numbers of the festival. Cristian Juncu, the General Director of the Romanian Publishers Association was quoted in the Romanian newspaper Evenimentul zilei as saying, “Exhibition space was down 20% over last year and there were 15% fewer exhibitors, whose overall income has dropped by 25%.”

Consumer sales at Bookfest also highlight another serious problem in the Romanian book market, namely the lack of a distribution system. People come to the festival to buy books that are sometimes not available elsewhere. There is still no national wholesale network, so publishers must create their own countrywide distribution system.

TRANSLATE: the Bookfest 2009 website into English

CONTACT: the Romanian Publishers Association, the main organizer of Bookfest

Information for this article was contributed by Andrei Anastasescu.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson

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Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.