Italy at London Book Fair: 28 Publishers and Agents

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In its guest of honor year at Frankfurter Buchmesse, the Italian market arrives at the 2024 London Book Fair with a large delegation.

The traditional white-on-white Italian collective stand design developed for the ‘Spazio Italia,’ in this image at the 2022 Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: AIE

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

Highlighting a Key Challenge for Publishers: Piracy
Expected to show the United Kingdom and international book publishing business at full force this year, London Book Fair opens Tuesday (March 12) with a delegation of 28 publishers and literary agents from the Italian book market, among the most prominent of the European continent.

This year, Italy is guest of honor at Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16 to 20), and its presence is accordingly expanding in many of the world’s leading international book-business events, the first of which on the calendar is this week’s London trade show.

The next major-show stop for the international industry of trade book publishing, in fact, will be in Italy itself when the Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11) goes into operation with its parallel Bologna Book Plus and Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids events at BolognaFiere in the Emilie-Romagna.

The Italian presence is centered on its spazio, a 195-square-meter collective stand at 6F30 at Olympia London, a platform created by the Italian international trade agency ICE for the promotion abroad and internationalization of Italian companies, in association with the Association of Italian Publishers (Associazione Italiana Editori, AIE).

Among publishers exhibiting in the British capital at the fair opening today:

  • 24 Ore Cultura
  • Bompiani
  • Daco
  • Edra Publishing
  • Erickson
  • Fondazione LIA
  • Giorgio Nada Editore
  • Giunti Editore
  • Gruppo Albatros/Europe Books
  • Hoepli
  • Kimerik Edizioni
  • Lo Scarabeo
  • OGM Officine Grafiche Muzzio
  • Pisa University Press, University of Pisa
  • Sassi
  • Slow Food Editore
  • Tomolo Edigiò Edizioni
  • Vincenzo Bona

In addition, of course, there are Italian publishing companies present with their own stands, such as Rizzoli Mondadori Libri with representation at Stand A6, A7, and A8.

Related story: Piracy in Italy: Study Shows Book Industry Losing €705 Million Annually. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Ja’ Crispy

All told, there are some 75 Italian firms present in a year anticipated to boost the fourth European book market to new levels of impact and value in the international channels of book publishing.

One of the most compelling elements of the research that the Italian market is doing—some of which will apply far beyond its own market—is in the problem of book piracy, a challenge for many markets of the world.

In its latest industry-leading study (the third made for the Italian publishers by the research firm Ipsos), several data points have strong echoes for other world markets, including:

  • Thirty-one percent of the general Italian population older than 15 reportedly is using books, ebooks, and audiobooks illegally.
  • Much higher levels are being reported for students and professionals, who were tracked at 78 percent and 49 percent, respectively.
  • Some 70 percent of respondents who said they used illegally obtained publishing products also said that they don’t think they’re likely to be punished for it.
  • Nearly 300,000 acts of piracy are committed daily in Italy, according to Ipsos’ study, a figure that’s actually down eight percent from 2021
  • In economic terms overall, the loss to the country’s system is estimated to be some €1.75 billion (US$1.9 billion), with €298 million in lost tax revenue (US$326 million).
  • In a single year, the rep0rt says, there may be as many as 108.4 million acts of piracy committed in Italy.

Innocenzo Cipolletta

“In this framework, the loss of a quarter of the potential value of sales because of piracy is an unsustainable cost that has repercussions on the number of companies that can no longer keep going; on employment; and on authors’ compensation.”

This topic and more are being discussed this week, as the Italian market interacts with its international counterparts in London.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurt’s Guest of Honor Italy and its market is here; more on issues of piracy in the international book publishing industry is here; and more on industry statistics is here. More from Publishing Perspectives on the United Kingdom’s publishing market is here, more on the international book publishing industry’s trade shows and book fairs is here, and more on London Book Fair is here.

More of our coverage of the 2024 London Book Fair:

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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