Chennai International Book Fair saw a grand debutThis event came about after a delegation from Tamil Nadu comprising government officers and publishing industry experts visited the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022 to get a better idea of how much more could be accomplished in the CIBF.
on Jan 23, 2023
The first edition of the three-day Chennai International Book Fair (CIBF), conducted from January 16-18 in Chennai, Tamil Nadu’s capital city, turned out to be a resounding success. The debut marked the beginning of a new chapter in Tamil publishing too.
As a co-event to the 46th Chennai Book Fair, one of the largest business to consumer (B2C) book events in India, the CIBF complemented it with a global business to business (B2B) component.
Representatives from 30 countries and numerous States of India participated: Azerbaijan, Israel, Canada, Indonesia, France, Georgia, Malaysia, Italy, Singapore, Bangladesh, Uganda, Armenia, Tanzania, Argentina, Turkey, UAE, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Germany, the UK, the USA, Thailand and Japan were among the participants.
Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu Mr. M.K. Stalin announced a fresh translation grant of ₹30 million (USD 3.75k) as the first allotment to translate Tamil titles in 30 languages. Many schemes of translation grants through co-publishing and bulk library purchases have already been initiated. "The Tamil Nadu government aims to take Tamil to the world and bring the world to Tamil through the international book fair,” said Mr. Stalin. The Chief Minister had set up 12,000 libraries in the rural regions of Tamil Nadu when he was earlier the minister for local administration.
“It was a very impressive start to the international side of the fair. I congratulate the fair organisers and promise my support in their future endeavours,” said Ms. Gvantsa Jobava, Vice President, International Publishers Association and Editor / Head of the International Affairs, Intelekti Publishing, Georgia.
Mr. Aazhi Senthil Nathan, the International Partnership Consultant and founder of Aazhi Publishers, summed up the whole experience. “The success of this debut book fair, which was conceived within a short span of two months, is due to the trust of the global publishing industry. Chennai is on its way to becoming one of the top global hubs of the publishing sector. That position will be secured in a matter of time by creating an ecosystem for publishers and agents worldwide. This land of literature with voracious readers will continue to enthrall the increasing tribe of book lovers in the forthcoming editions as well.”
Well-known publishing houses and rights agents from many nations joined this debut event, which turned the spotlight on Chennai’s unique presence on the global book fair map.
Ms. Judith Rosenzweig, Foreign Rights Director, Éditions Gallimard called it a “fantastic first edition”.
In this year’s fair, 365 memoranda of understanding (MoUs) were signed between the participating countries.
This event came about after a delegation from Tamil Nadu comprising government officers and publishing industry experts visited the Frankfurt Book Fair 2022 to get a better idea of how much more could be accomplished in the CIBF. The successful debut in Chennai showed what a team together in strength of mind and character could do.
Organised by the Tamil Nadu Text Books and Educational Services Corporation under the Ministry of School Education of the Government of Tamil Nadu, the fair was a platform for more than 100 Tamil publishers from India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, UAE and the USA, for the first time.
“It has been a book fair way beyond my wildest expectations! The future is here,” felt Mr. Francesco Verso, Future Fiction, Italy. Mr. Hasri Bin Hasan, Bookonomics Asia Malaysia, said, “it has become one of the most important moments in life's record. Sign off CIBF2023.”
Talk sessions and panel discussions marked the day on January 17. The next day saw an international conference titled ‘Making CIBF a truly global event’ in which Ms. Gvantsa Jobava (Vice President, International Publishers Association), Ms. Judith Rosenzweig (Foreign Rights Director, Éditions Gallimard), Mr. Robert Morgan (BookLand Press, Canada), Mr. Hasri Bin Hasan (CEO, Bookonomics Asia, Malaysia), Mr. Pranav Gupta (Federation of Indian Publishers) and Mr. Prashant Pathak (Publishers Without Borders) participated.
Award-winning French author Ms. Maylis de Kerangal delivered a special address on January 18. Mr. Pradeep Arora (Federation of Publishers’ & Booksellers’ Associations in India) spoke on ‘India: Language publishing trends and policies’. Mr. Prashant Pathak of Publishers Without Borders said, “I was lucky to be part of the inaugural Chennai International Book Fair and Publishers Conference - an event well thought out and beautifully curated.”
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