Torino’s 2024 Book Fair Expands Its Professional Program

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The rights center having opened today (May 8), the Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino opens its public-facing fair on Thursday (May 9).

A presentation at the Salone Internazionale del Libro Torino 2023. Image: SILT

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

See also:
Rights Edition Interview: Torino’s New Director Annalena Benini
At Torino 2024: The German Language Is Guest of Honor
Rights Edition: Torino Rights Center’s Early Bird Pricing

A Busy Professional Program
Opening Thursday (May 9), the 36th edition of the Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino is aligned with many of its brother mid-sized public-facing book fairs in world markets, putting a growing level of attention and resources into a “professional program” for members of the publishing industry.

The potential advantages of this deepening professional-program trend at these book fairs include:

  • Market cultivation (participants meet and network with each other)
  • Heightened visibility to business and government policy players (helpful for attracting private and public funding)
  • Enhanced international rights trading for the home market (most of these programs include a rights center)
  • Better exposure for a book fair to its own market’s consumers and to offshore markets’ tourists and industry travelers)
  • Increased likelihood of trade press coverage (not unlike the article you’re reading now) as the fair moves past the purely consumer-level appeal

Torino organizers tell us that their rights center has opened today (May 8) in advance of the public opening, and trading in the center will be available through Friday (May 10). They’re expecting as many as 500 participants identifying themselves as book professionals, who will focus their activities at the Centro Congressi.

The Aficionado Award

At the 2023 Salone Internationale del Libro di Torino. Image: SILT

With the cooperation the Italian Trade Agency, called ICE, a fellowship program helps get selected publishers, literary agents, and scouts to the program, which on Friday evening will feature in the Sala Berlino, the presentation of the three shortlistees for the for the second edition of the Aficionado Award, a co-promotion of the Torino show and Frankfurter Buchmesse (October 16-20).

In case the focus of the Aficionado Award has escaped you among world publishing’s myriad book and publishing contests, the Aficionado is called by its creators “a unique collaboration between its four founding members to recognize and pay tribute to the people, companies, and initiatives with innovate and impress in original collaboration.” Last year’s inaugural-season winner of the Aficionado was Lola Shoneyin‘s Lagos-based Aké Arts and Book Festival as the 2023 recipient of this honor.

The 2024 nominees for the Aficionado—being celebrated this evening in the Sala Berlino—are:

  • La libreria sopra la Penna, Alba Donati (Italy)
  • Fifth Wave, Frederike Doppenberg (Netherlands)
  • Circulo de Poemas, Rita Mattar (Brazil)

The jury behind these three selections comprises Patrizia van Daalen (Astra House/Thinkingdom); Karsten Kredel (Ullstein Buchverlage); and Aleksi Siltala (Siltala Publishing).

And those four co-founders of the Aficionado Award are:

  • Michael Gaeb, Literarische Agentur Gaeb & Eggers GmbH, Berlin
  • Rebecca Servadio, London Literary Scouting
  • Tom Kraushaar, Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart
  • Aleksi Siltala, Siltala Publishing, Helsinki
The German Language as Guest of Honor

At the 2023 Salone Internationale del Libro di Torino. Image: SILT

As Publishing Perspectives readers know, the German language is guest of honor at Torino, meaning that the program is supported by Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

It’s pointed out by organizers, of course, that the German-language emphasis has some nice symmetry at this year’s Torino fair with Italy being guest of honor at Frankfurt.

And in that regard, there’s a discussion on Friday planned for 1 p.m. CEST in which Frankfurter Buchmesse president and CEO Juergen Boos will be in conversation with journalist Claudia Durastanti in the Sala Lingua Ospite, Pad. Oval.

Activities are to include a parade in the colonnaded city of Torino with music and readings. Some 25 authors are to be engaged in the German-language program, which also ties into a Friday event in the professional program, Storytelling From Book to Screen with German and Swiss producers. That event, set for 5 p.m. CEST on Friday is to feature:

  • Ronit Zagran, the international rights manager at Kein & Aber
  • Susanne Behnke, who is in development and acquisitions at Tobis Film
  • Allesandro Passadore, a producer with Viola Film
Statistics on Plans for the Public Fair

At the 2023 Salone Internationale del Libro di Torino. Image: SILT

The Salone Internazionale del Libro di Torino this year is expected to have a footprint covering 1.4 million square feet (137,000 square meters).

The exhibitor head count is anticipated to reach 800, and the show is to have activities in 51 venues and 180 “labs.”

Events, the fair tells us, should number more than 2,000, with more points of activity adding as many as 500 locations in the city and the region (the program is called Salone Off).  An updating listing of events is here, and we’ll have further coverage as the fair goes through its weekend of activities.

A note about the name of this book fair: The show is named the Salone Internationale del Libro di Torino because that’s the Italian name for the Italian city in which it’s located, not “Turin.” The latter is an anglicized version of the city’s name, like “Rome” rather than “Roma.” Our choice to use the actual Italian name comes from the fact that the legally trademarked name of the book fair calls its city Torino, as you can see on the fair’s logo. 

More from us on the Torino International Book Fair is here, more on international book fairs and trade shows overall is here, more on Guest of Honor Italy at Frankfurt this year is here, and more on Frankfurter Buchmesse 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.