Skip to main content

The network for trade,
training and development 

05 December 2021

Book fairs

What are book fairs?

Book fairs are trade fairs where publishers and agents gather to sell and buy rights. As well as the advantages of meeting and negotiating face-to-face, book fairs offer opportunities to meet other industry professionals and find out the latest publishing developments at talks and seminars. The time and costs preparing for and attending a book fair require a considerable investment for any publisher but particularly for smaller publishers. It can also be daunting for a first timer. 


Where are the main book fairs?

Frankfurt, London, Bologna and BookExpo are the most popular with our members but there are book fairs all over the world. See our List of Book Trade Fairs.


Publishers from Scotland stand

By hosting a Publishers from Scotland collective stand, Publishing Scotland provides the most efficient and cost-effective way for its publisher members to have a space at the main book fairs: London (every April) and Frankfurt (every October). We offer space at a subsidised rate so they can hold meetings in a professional setting, exhibit their titles, distribute their catalogues and display new covers on the stand at a less expensive rate than if they went individually.


Preparation and planning

For members exhibiting on the Publishers from Scotland stand, our role in the run up to the fair is to assist with all the administration and preparation. For example, we deal with booking and stand set up, we register our publishers as exhibitors, organise their freight, and manage their passes. We are also able to put together rights listings for our attending publishers, to support with sales and marketing and offer advice on travel and accommodation. During the fair itself we are on hand to take messages, field enquiries and generally be as supportive as we can to ensure our members have a successful fair.

Go-See funding to visit fairs from London to Beijing

The most important book fairs for Scottish publishers are the London Book Fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair (the largest of all the fairs). Bologna Children's Book Fair is the main fair for children's publishers. 

Publishing Scotland administers a fund to support publishers making a first time visit to a book fair. For experienced London and Frankfurt exhibitors, this could enable them to explore new markets in the Far East or Scandinavia. For others, this allows them to test the waters in London. See more about the Go-See Fund on the Funding page.