Spain’s 2023 Liber: 373 Companies From 13 Markets

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Guest of Honor Poland and 12 additional markets are lined up for stand participation at Liber 2023, the publishing trade fair in Madrid.

At an earlier edition of Liber Madrid. Image: Liber 2023

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

Liber 2023 Runs October 4 to 6
A week before the start of its October 4 to 6 run, Spain’s Liber 2023 in Madrid today (September 26) has announced that 373 book- and publishing-related companies will participate, 210 of them as exhibitors. This is the highest engagement level in six years for the book fair, which alternates its location annually between Madrid and Barcelona.

Representing 13 nations, the fair, now in its 41st edition, is organized by IFEMA Madrid and the Federación de Gremios de Editores de España (the Federation of Publishers’ Guilds of Spain, FGEE).

Media messaging from the publishers’ guilds today cites its characterization of the Spanish book market as having reached €403 million (US$425). And this year’s level of participation now becomes a new marker of the rebound underway for Spain from the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic: This year’s trade activity is close to 80-percent higher than  the fair’s 2021 performance, and a 2020 LiberDigital evocation of the trade show reportedly drew 187 exhibiting companies.

In terms of international involvement, Belgium, China, Colombia, the United States, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Panama, Turkey, and Venezuela are scheduled to be on the exhibition floor, with Poland appearing as guest of  honor, as we reported in May—following its run in that role at the Taipei International Book Exhibition in January and February.

The publishers’ guilds are highlighting a “China-Spain Editorial Cultura Exchange Forum” as part of the international programming on hand, along with a focus on “Hellenic Literary Landscapes,” featuring Greek literature and festivals.

Among vendors registered for the show, 18 of them are listed as start-ups and assigned to the “MicroLiber” program as such, while a host of established service companies are to be on hand, offering editing, translation, proofreading, layout, graphic design, and digital production.

Regional publishing associations participating this year include the Galician Association of Publishers; the Publishers of Castilla y León; the Valencian generalitat; the Euskadi Editors’ Guild; the Guild of Editors of Catalonia; the Association of Editors of Andalusia; and the Guild of Editors of Euskadi.

More Than 80 Trends and Issues Sessions

At an earlier edition of Liber Madrid. Image: Liber 2023

The main Federation of Publishers’ Guilds of Spain has a membership of more than 800 publishers. And it’s anticipated that 332 industry players from 53 countries will be on hand—importers, distributors, booksellers, buyers of rights, as well as heads of public organizations and libraries, literary agents, university professors, editors, and journalists. Liber also has a professional program that brings to Madrid a total 28 book-buying professionals from 17 countries to the fair to help seed the market’s interest in boosting its exports, something we covered in June.

Liber 2023 also uses a liaison with US librarians organized by Spain’s ICEX in collaboration with the economic and commercial office of Spain in Miami and the publishers’ guilds, through which more than 30 people responsible for making book purchases have been invited in the interest of seeing books in Spanish find more shelf space in the United States

There’s also a program of meetings arranged with editors and literary agents from Germany, Denmark, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Portugal, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, and Turkey, also organized by the FGEE .

In terms of trends-and-issues programming, Liber 2023 is scheduled to produce more than 80 sessions for the inevitable discussions of artificial intelligence, as well as other developments in technology; sustainability; marketing models; promotional efforts to reach consumers; intellectual property and its protection; and the promotion of reading.

‘The Book as a Meeting Point’

‘The Book as a Meeting Point’ is the officially chosen graphic for Liber 2023, the work of the illustrator Mikko. Image: Liber 2023

The Valencian illustrator Mikko has won a competition for the fair’s overall graphic, which is titled The Book as a Meeting Point.

And on the afternoon of October 5, the program’s customary suite of awards will be conferred on their recipients.

  • This year, the board of directors of the FGEE has awarded its prize for the “Promotion of Reading in the Media” to the supplement La Lectura of El Mundo, and the Liber award for the best audiovisual adaptation of a literary work goes to the series Doctor García’s Patients, based on the novel of the same title by Almudena Grandes.
  • In the category of award called the “Promotion of Reading in Libraries,” an honor open to the public, the prize went to the Network of Public Libraries of the Madrid City Council.
  • The Boixareu Ginesta Award for Bookseller of the Year went to the Casa del Libro de la Gran Vía in Madrid on its centenary.
  • The Liber 2023 award for the most outstanding Latin American author goes to the writer and journalist Elvira Lindo.
  • The founder of Ediciones Urano, Joaquín Sabaté, will receive the Liber 2023 Tribute, awarded by the FGEE itself, for his extensive career and leadership at the helm of the publishing house.

More from us on book publication and development rights is here, more from Publishing Perspectives on Feria international del Libro is here, more on the Spanish market is here, while more on the international Spanish-language markets 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.

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