Spain’s Readmagine Opts for ‘Plan B’; Frankfurt Extends the BookFest Deadline

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Publishing conference Readmagine won’t be in Madrid in June, but is instead organizing a virtual edition for 2020, as Frankfurt allows publishers more time on BookFest concepts.

The Readmagine conference seated at the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez complex, which includes Madrid’s Casa del Lector. Image: Readmagine

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

‘We’ve Prepared a Plan C’
Free of that “these uncertain times” jargon we all keep encountering, the message from Madrid is nothing if not certain: “We will be in no condition to hold an international conference in Madrid or anywhere else during the first week of June.” Bravo. There are many pandemic-staggered governments in the world right now that could use so forthright an assessment.

Seeing this handwriting on the barreled walls of the Fundación Germán Sánchez Ruipérez‘s beautiful auditorium, José Manuel Anta, managing director of Spain’s Federation of Distributors’ Associations (FANDE), writes that while the Readmagine program at the Casa del Lector complex thus can’t go on as usual this year, the program has a responsibility to help “the publishing industry make intelligent decisions during the global pandemic and experiment with different responses from the cultural and creative industries.

“Moreover,” Anta writes, “it’s important to continue with the notion of Readmagine as a sandbox for reimagining solutions.”

He and the team, then are “changing the dynamic,” he says to make the necessary adaptation.

José Manuel Anta

“We’ve decided to hold a digital event and webinar series during the first week of June, as well as a face-to-face meeting—reduced in terms of duration and scope—during the last week of November.”

Of course, as Anta points out, the November conference is “pending the evolution” of the situation with the coronavirus COVID-19, and the various regulatory limitations that surround it in coming months.

“In the case of a long-lasting disruption of normal life throughout several months,” he says, “We’ve prepared a Plan C.”

More details of Plan B or C will follow as the organizers sort things out, and they’re taking care to make what they’re doing relevant: “We hope to address the recent issues that have risen at a global scale and especially from the point of view of the cultural and creative industries in Europe. These discussions will feature contributions of key international speakers, experts in the digital content landscape, and open to all the professional community.”

Publishing Perspectives will have more as Madrid announces its decisions. Our earlier coverage of the Readmagine program—which focuses on innovative viewpoints and forward thinking—is here.


Frankfurter Buchmesse Extends BookFest’s 2020 Deadline

At an event in Frankfurter Buchmesse’s 2019 BookFest series of events. Image: FBM

As we reported in early March, publishers have been invited to submit their ideas for events in Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s metropolitan-outreach program BookFest through April 30. Today (April 16), the fair reports, “Based on current information available, we expect Frankfurter Buchmesse, set for October 14 to 18, and BookFest to take place” on schedule.”

Realizing that everyone has had a good many things to think about recently, the organizers of BookFest are extending the deadline for those ideas to May 31.

The key theme, you’ll recall, is “Brave Voices for a New Decade,” and the intent is to give writers with “courageous voices” a forum, particularly with relevance to current events.

An application form is here.

More information for publishers considering proposing programming can be had by dropping an email to bookfest@buchmesse.de.

Overall statistics following Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019 indicate exhibitors numbering 7,450 companies from 104 countries, attracting more than 300,000 visitors and as many as 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Spanish market is here, more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, and more on the coronavirus pandemic is here.

Download your free copy of our Spring Magazine hereIn our Spring 2020 Magazine, Publishing Perspectives has interviewed publishers, industry experts, entrepreneurs, and authors to present a look at the book business for the coming year. 

Inside this issue of Publishing Perspectives Magazine, you’ll find articles and resources including coverage from China, Belgium, Russia, the Latin American markets, Norway, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, the international copyright community and world market data sources.

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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for trade and indie authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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