mexico book fair emirati publishers session
The publishers participated in a panel discussion titled ‘The publishing market and business opportunities in the Arab world’ Image Credit: Supplied

Guadalajara: Emirati publishers, through Emirates Publishers Association (EPA), are gaining access to new markets with their active participation at the ongoing 36th Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico.

Three EPA publishers also participated in a panel discussion at the nine-day Mexican book fair titled ‘The publishing market and business opportunities in the Arab world’, which addressed the publishing trends and consumer behaviour in both Arab and the Spanish-speaking markets.

Rashid Mohammed Al Kous, EPA executive director, said: “We highly value such international collaborations which came true thanks to the emirate of Sharjah’s great effort of being hosted by major fairs around the world as Guest of Honour. These events are platforms to introduce the Emirati and Arab culture, by familiarising the new readers to the unknown Emirati books of different genres.”

He added: “Guadalajara International Book Fair provides Emirati publishers with an opportunity for networking with their peers in Spanish-speaking countries and exchanging of expertise and new experiences, along with the possibility of signing new publishing agreements and contracts for translations from Arabic into Spanish and vice versa to enhance the cultural dialogue between the Arab and Latin literature.”

Established in 2009, EPA is a non-profit organisation dedicated to serving and developing the publishing industry in UAE and represents Emirati publishers at regional and international events, exhibitions and seminars on publishing.

'Great opportunity'

Jamal AlShehhi, general manager of Dar Kuttab Publishing and Distribution, said: “The Guadalajara International Book Fair is a great opportunity to delve deep into the world of the Spanish-speaking Latin and Central American markets and to introduce ourselves to an entirely new readership.”

Dr Alyazia Khalifa, founder of Al Fulk Translation and Publishing, said: “It is also a great opportunity to get introduced to the Latin culture, in general and that of Mexico, in particular, and to showcase the UAE’s vibrant cultural and creative landscape to the fair’s multicultural visitors in this part of the world.”

read more

New partnerships

Lina Chebaro, Senior Copyright Manager, Thaqafa Publishing, who is visiting the largest book fair in the Americas under EPA, said: “Sharjah and Guadalajara share so much in common, and the book fair is a great platform to explore partnership opportunities with publishers from the Spanish-speaking markets, expand translation efforts, and discuss and learn best practices to combat the ongoing challenges in the industry.”

At the book fair, Dr Khalifa, AlShehhi, and Chebaro were part of a panel discussion organised by EPA on ‘Book-Marketing Trends’, which also featured Fernando Pascual, director of strategic planning at bookstore chain El Sótano, and Ricardo Sánchez Riancho, CEO and founder of Textofilia Ediciones.

The panel members shared industry trends and ways to increase sales with innovative marketing strategies. The discussion also focused on consumer behaviours in varied markets and the scope of self-marketing.