International Publishers Association and Frankfurt Partner on Trend-Driven Events at Book Fair

In News by Porter Anderson

The International Publishers Association and Frankfurter Buchmesse are planning a series of events for the fair’s professional program to address global challenges and opportunities.

A focus group session at the 2012 Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: FBM, Marc Jacquemin

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

Also today: WIPO and Frankfurter Buchmesse establish a new partnership in association with the International Publishers Association.

Boos: ‘Immediate and Ongoing Challenges’
Even as Frankfurter Buchmesse rolls out its early details on professional programming and its newly signed partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the trade show and the International Publishers Association‘s (IPA) today (September 17) are announcing a series of online events in the burgeoning digital program planned for October 14 to 18.

The IPA, in more normal times than this year of the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, presents several events for trade visitors to the fair.

It also usually holds its organizational annual meetings in Frankfurt, including leadership votes of the 83 organization-members from 69 nations. On the ground in Frankfurt, this normally results in those hours in which trade visitors notice that their publishers’ associations’ leaders seem to have disappeared. They’re in closed IPA sessions, doing the work of the association.

This year, the Geneva-based IPA’s election events come later in the autumn because the physical-fair opportunity to hold the votes in person isn’t available.

Nevertheless, the organization can and will provide programming this year to the already crowded week of Frankfurt events, and those programs are what’s being announced today.

Hugo Setzer

Hugo Setzer, IPA president, says in a prepared statement for today’s announcement, “Frankfurt Book Fair has always been the occasion for us to bring our members together and exchange with the international publishing community.

“While many things are different this year, we’re delighted to be able to partner with Frankfurter Buchmesse on this great program that will enable us to keep that exchange with the international community going, especially on such important topics for our industry’s future.”

Juergen Boos

And for the trade show, its president and CEO Juergen Boos says, “This year, more than ever before, it’s important that the IPA and Frankfurter Buchmesse partner on events that help address some of the immediate and ongoing challenges in the industry.”

The joint IPA-Frankfurt events are part of the professional program for trade visitors starting to take shape in a flurry of announcements this week. More on that professional program at Buchmesse’s site free of charge here.

Registration for these sessions is required and, as with other Frankfurt events this year, is available at My Book Fair.

IPA Programming Sessions at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2020

Sharmaine Lovegrove

Wednesday, October 14: “Improving Diversity in Publishing”
10 a.m. CEST
0800 GMT
4 a.m. ET

The subtitle of this session is a question, “Who Can Lead the Change Process?” and this much-discussed challege to world publishing has gained energy this year from the Black Lives Matter protests, helping to expand the definition of “diversity” beyond the gender question of an industry peopled predominantly by women and yet led at the executive levels predominantly by men.

Speakers named so far in this session include:

  • Michiel Kolman, IPA presidential envoy for diversity and inclusion
  • Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Dialogue Books
  • Sandra van Lente, co-author of Rethinking ‘Diversity’ in Publishing

More information: To access the livestream, please register once via My Book Fair:

Wednesday, October 14: The Global Publishing Industry Report
11 a.m. CEST
0900 GMT
5 a.m. ET

In this session, the new Global Publishing Industry report for 2020 is presented, a reference compiled by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the IPA, will be presented.

The annual survey covers international trends and patterns in retail; educational; and scholarly, academic and scientific publishing. More on this session is in our story today about the new WIPO-Frankfurt partnership. Speakers are not yet confirmed for this one.

Thursday, October 15: IPA Prix Voltaire 2020–Guerrilla Publishing and International Support
1:30 p.m. CEST
1130 GMT
7:30 a.m. ET

This session features Pham Doan Trang, the former spokesperson of the Vietnamese Liberal Publishing House which was awarded the 2020 Prix Voltaire. As Publishing Perspectives readers know, Pham Toan Trang has withdrawn from her work as a spokesperson with the clandestine political press because of concerns for her safety amid reports of government retaliation. The discussion will shed a light on guerilla publishing and the situation in Vietnam as well as on the role of the international publishing community in freedom to publish.

Speakers are to include:

  • Kristenn Einarsson, chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish committee
  • Will Nguyen, campaigner
  • Pham Doan Trang, former spokesperson for Liberal Publishing House
  • Moderator: James Taylor, IPA director communications

Cristina Mussinelli

Friday, October 16: The European Accessibility Act
11:30 a.m. CEST
0930 GMT
5:30 a.m. ET

Last year, the European Accessibility Act was passed. This event will highlight the opportunities of the European Accessibility Act for publishers and feature statements from the presidents of the Federation of European Publishers  and IPA.

Speakers include:

  • Luc Audrain, accessible publishing expert
  • Monica Halil, head of the Accessible Books Consortium at WIPO
  • Cristina Mussinelli, secretary general, LIA Foundation
  • Inmaculada Placienca-Porrer, senior expert social affairs at the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission
  • Hugo Setzer, IPA president
  • Peter Kraus vom Cleff, president-elect of the Federation of European Publishers
Additional IPA-Hosted Events

A 2010 Frankfurter Buchmesse session on education. Image: FBM, Fernando Batista

These events, also free of charge, have registration open at the International Publishers Association’s site.

Kristenn Einarsson

Freedom to Publish committee: Open meeting
Wednesday, October 14
12 p.m. CEST
1000 GMT
6 a.m ET

This session is to include an early look at a new report on the freedom to publish in many parts of the world.

Jakarta, Host of the 33rd International Publishers Congress 2022: Presentation

Anies Baswedan

Wednesday, October 14
1 p.m. CEST
1100 GMT
7 a.m. ET

The governor of Jakarta is to open a session presenting the newly announced host city of the 33rd International Publishers Congress in November 2022.

Big Tech: “Establishing Platform Responsibility and Accountability Online”
Wednesday, October 14
2 p.m. CEST
1200 GMT
8 a.m. ET

International specialists are to look at the current situation of online platforms in the United States, Europe, and Africa and legal responsibilities of those platforms for the creative works they may host. 

A Release of IPA’s ‘State of Publishing’ Reports
Thursday, October 15
11 a.m. CEST
0900 GMT
5 a.m. ET

The IPA is to release seven new reports covering a range of areas interest to the publishing industry including international perspectives on the freedom to publish, copyright, publishing’s contribution to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goals, reading habits, international book policies, educational publishing and digital licensing. This is the suite of research that was initiated originally for the planned Lillehammer congress, which could not be held because of the pandemic.

“Inclusive Publishing and Literacy”
Thursday October 15
4 p.m. CEST
1400 GMT
10 a.m. ET

A look at a new IPA report on international reading habits with a panel discussion on issues in literacy.

Educational Publishers Forum: Open meeting
Friday, October 16
1 p.m. CEST
1100 GMT
7 a.m. ET

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Andreas Schleicher talks about the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) program. China Education Publishing and Media Group’s vice-president Yu Chun Chi talks about education in China.

Sustainable Development Goals: “Publishers Compact”
Date and speakers are to be announced.

Following the success of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Book Club, the IPA is backing a charter to encourage publishers to play their parts in achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The International Publishers Association has 83 member-organizations from 69 countries. In terms of markets covered by those national publisher associations, the reach of the central association is effectively to more than 5.6 billon people.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more from us on the International Publishers Association is here, and more from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here and at the CORONAVIRUS tab at the top of each page of our site.

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 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.