Clément Choukroun, our Account Manager for France and Spain, recently attended the 2019 Paris Book Fair! We asked him for his thoughts about his second visit to this major annual event…
Clement, you’ve now attended the Paris Book Fair on more than one occasion! What’s it all about, for those of us who have never been?
The book fair in Paris is the biggest event of the year for the publishing sector in France.
It’s the main opportunity for publishers to present their new authors, new books and new collections.
It is also a unique occasion where most of the French publishing sector is all gathered in one place – it becomes a giant library!
It’s a good opportunity for everyone to assess the state of the market, and there’s lots of discussion about changes and challenges to the world of publishing, and the direction things are taking.
I’m there on Arcangel’s behalf to meet our clients, and to talk with them about design trends and styles alongside all the industry news!
What was the focus of the fair this year – did anything stand out?
Like last year, Russia was invited to be a major participant in the event. There were Russian authors alongside French authors on most of the discussion forums, for example.
This year the fair also focused on two increasingly popular genres: Young Adult and Thriller.
They both attract more and more public attention – kids were flocking to the big YA stands, and they really made an impact with eye-catching cover designs.
Did you attend any interesting presentations or events?
There were two particularly interesting presentations! The first was a speech given by an illustrator, about how he creates covers for his clients. It was fascinating to get his point of view regarding the evolution of the market.
The second was a presentation given by a French thriller author and two publishers. They discussed how investigations are made, and which kind of contemporary cases might inspire stories. They also looked at wider genre themes, such as corruption and seeking justice from governments.
Not only that, the presentation took place in a mock crime scene! The author was explaining how the police work, and how he tries to put himself into the minds of both the killer and the detectives.
What were some of your favorite stands?
My favorite stands were definitely the ones for regional publishers. They gather together the smaller publishers from those areas. I loved how dedicated and passionate they were about literature!
It was also great to talk to them about design, as they are often creating everything in-house and on very limited budgets – they have to be inventive!
So how did this year compare with last year?
I noticed some big publishers were absent from the fair this time, but it was encouraging to see smaller publishers and foreign exhibitors in high numbers.
The book fair is also becoming more and more international! A lot of famous authors from all over the world come to the event, as Paris is a global hub for literature and culture.