Bologna Book Plus Releases New Audio Forum Program

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The Bologna Book Plus, a generalist-publishing program, offers its first ‘Audio Forum’ on April 10 during Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

At Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2023. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

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

A Three-Hour Program
Our international readership will recall that on October 27, we wrote shortly after Frankfurter Buchmesse about plans for the upcoming Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11). As you know, Bologna is now three things: (a) the main fair led by Elena Pasoli; (b) a generalist (non-children’s) fair called Bologna Book Plus led by Jacks Thomas; and (c) the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids.

In our piece in October, we wrote about the addition to Bologna Book Plus of an “Audio Forum.” And today (February 13), that newly added audio program is announcing details of its programming.

What Thomas and her team mean by a “forum” is a conference-within-the-trade-show: a three-hour sit-down event that’s to include eight informational segments, followed by a drinks reception. The program is being organized by Bologna Book Plus with Nathan Hull of Norway’s Beat Technology, and its sessions are a mix of specialists and vendors in the field.

As an anecdote, the moment is interesting for the financial report that News Corp and HarperCollins released last week, indicating that the publisher’s digital sales had increased year-over-year by some 15 percent, largely credited to downloadable audiobooks and a beneficial role that Spotify’s new offer of audiobooks is playing.

Jacks Thomas

In a prepared statement for today’s program announcement, Thomas says, “International growth in audio publishing is a cause for celebration within our industry; giving voice to authors across backlist and frontlist, offering flexibility and accessibility of content and, wonderfully, reaching new consumers of literary output from toddlers to technophobes.

“With podcasts an essential marketing medium for books, the ‘Audio Forum’ spans the gamut of entertainment and information that books offer.” 

Nathan Hull

She adds that the program is benefiting from Beat’s partnership. And from Beat, we read Hull saying, “The Audio Forum’s array of international heavyweight speakers is really unprecedented.

Providing data insights and covering a wealth of topics from international reach to new platforms; and children’s audio devices to podcasts, the experience and information that this forum will exude is genuinely exciting, and something I’m immensely proud to have curated.”

Bologna’s Audio Forum Program for April 10

An audience at the 2023 Bologna Children’s Book Fair. Image: Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson

2:20 p.m. Introduction and welcome

  • Jacks Thomas, BolognaBookPlus
  • Nathan Hull, chief strategy officer, Beat Technology

Amanda D’Acierno

2:30 p.m. In Conversation With Amanda D’Acierno

  • Nathan Hull, Beat Technology
  • Amanda D’Acierno, president of audio, Penguin Random House (USA)

3 p.m. Multilanguage Strategies in the Global Audiobook Market

  • Miles Stevens-Hoare, managing director, RB Media International (UK)

3:15 p.m. Podcasts: Adaption to Audio and Back

  • Michele Cobb, executive director, Audio Publishers Association (USA)
  • Chiara Santella, founder, Studio Ochenta (Spain)
  • Sabrina Tinelli, Chora (Italy)
  • Carla Herbertson, founder, Small Wardour (UK)

3:45 p.m. Strategies for Effective Distribution and Monetization

  • Tina Jurgens, co-CEO, Zebralution (Germany)

4 p.m.From Digital to Physical: International Opportunities for Children’s Publishers With Audio Players

  • Carla Herbertson, Small Wardour
  • Eloise Elandaloussi, Tonies (Germany)
  • Jessica Tarrant (UK)
  • Matteo Fabbrini (Italy)
  • Jim Jacob, Story Button (USA)

4:40 p.m.Understanding Listener Behaviors Via Data

  • Giulia Lo Monaco, Bookwire (Germany)

Ajay Mago

5 p.m. Voices from the Diaspora

  • Nathan Hull, Beat Technology 
  • Ajay Mago, founder, OM Books (India)
  • Raúl Perez, head of digital, Grupo Planeta (Spain)

5:30 p.m. Networking drinks reception


More of our coverage relative to the 2024 Bologna Children’s Book Fair

More from Publishing Perspectives on audio in international publishing is here, more on podcasts and the industry is here, Bologna Children’s Book Fair is here, more on Bologna Book Plus is here, more on Bologna Licensing is here, more on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, and more on international book fairs and trade shows 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.