France’s Publishers and Reed Announce Cancellation of Salon du Livre Paris 2021

In News by Porter Anderson

The latest to make an announcement in key international book fairs and events, France’s Salon du Livre Paris cancels its 2021 iteration.

At an earlier edition of Salon du Livre Paris. Image: Livre Paris, Emmanuel Nguyen Ngoc

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

The Paris Show Had Moved from March to May
Citing “the uncertainties of the coming months” and “the health measures in force which don’t allow the organization of a public event of this magnitude,” the Syndicat national de l’édition (France’s publishers association, SNE) and Reed Expositions France have today (March 18) announced a no-go for Salon du Livre Paris.

This is the second year of cancellation for Paris, the announcement last year coming on March 2.

The annual public-facing book fair—which does have a robust professional program attached—had been holding dates of May 28 to 31 at the Porte de Versailles, after moving its dates from its normal berth in March shortly after what is customarily London Book Fair’s early-to-mid-March run.

One of the most interesting elements of the 2019 professional program was a pitching and networking event for publishers who presented their catalogs to film and television producers who might be interested in the screen rights for various titles. That year, 43 publishing houses representing 89 brands were engaged, meeting with representatives of some 200 production companies to present and discuss more than 300 books with rights available for adaptation.

That event was produced in cooperation with SCELF.

“The decision to cancel this year’s show was finally made because it was considered unfeasible to mobilize thousands of people—exhibitors, publishers, authors, speakers, communities and ministries, partners from more than 50 countries—at a later date in the fall, which is still very uncertain.”

“The many exhibitors who had chosen to participate in the 2021 edition,” the announcement says—no mention of how many—”will be reimbursed for their advance payments.”

This fair is hardly alone in making such a move, another of the most recent events being the cancellation in February of the Leipzig Book Fair. Paris loves its show, however, and many will be particularly disappointed to see this one shuttered.

But on Tuesday (March 16), the French prime minister, Jean Castex, said that the time had come for “additional coronavirus restrictions in the greater Paris region as the country enters a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic,” per reports from Reuters Paris. France has reported a 4.5-percent increase in weekly new cases, the sharpest in a month and a half.

And today, Castex has come through with the announcement of a new month-long lockdown for Paris and other parts of the country in its struggle with the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, as confirmed by Constant Méheut, reporting from Paris for The New York Times.

There is one bright spot today, in that the European Union’s drug regulatory agency has just announced its assessment of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine, saying that “doesn’t increase the overall incidence of blood clots and that the benefits of using it outweigh the possible risks, paving the way for European countries to resume dispensing the shots.” That report is from Maria Cheng and Frank Jordans at the Associated Press.

Livre Paris: ‘Our Thanks to All’

At the stand and meeting area of the Bureau International de l’Edition Française’s (BIEF) at Livre Paris 2019. Image: Livre Paris

In its messaging to the news media today, the Salon du Livre Paris organizers say, “We would like to express our thanks to all those who, through their messages and their commitment, have expressed their support and their attachment to seeing Livre Paris take place this year.

“The SNE would like to remind you that, despite this cancellation and despite the current difficulties, the promotion of books and reading continues through
many other actions.

“The year 2022 will offer a new event, to celebrate all the worlds of books.” And many will surely be looking forward to that.

In case of use, here is another look at a selective list of plans and changes as we have them currently:

  • London Book Fair remains, organizers say, committed to its announced physical-program dates of June 29 to July 1.
  • Tucking itself right in before London, Bologna Children’s Book Fair has scheduled itself for June 14 to 17, and at this point it, too, is holding to those dates for a physical evocation of the world’s largest trade show focused on the children’s book market.
  • In an interesting two-pronged approach, as Publishing Perspectives readers know, Spain’s Feria del Libro de Madrid has chosen two sets of dates for its 80th iteration, June 11 to 27, and—in case that’s not possible—September 10 to 26.
  • At this point, the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair is standing with its dates of May 23 to 29, right across the dates that Leipzig was holding before its cancellation. And two of the very few major fairs to succeed in producing physical-and-digital hybrid iterations so far are in the United Arab Emirates.

We continue to monitor for world publishing event updates.

More from Publishing Perspectives on the French market is here, more from us on bookselling is here, and more on book fairs is here.

More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

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.