Saturday, July 30, 2011

E-books focused heavily in 19th Tokyo International Book Fair 2011

Jumbo Editorial Team

The Tokyo International Book Fair happens to be Asia’s leading publishing trade fair, gathering 984 exhibitors and 87,449 visitors from various publishing industry professionals. As the center of publishing trade, it’s considered to be a core venue to negotiate publication rights, book imports/exports, and other related business with key publishing professionals in Japan and Asia.

The fair is an exciting opportunity for tapping the colossal Japanese market, and is the best venue to find the latest releases in all genres - fiction & non-fiction, business & economics, education, how-to’s, manga & comics, all types of magazines, and many other specialty books, as well as the latest digital innovations in the publishing industry.

The 19th Tokyo International Book Fair 2011 was held from July 7 to 10 together with the International Electronic Publishing Expo (EPX), previously less prominent and called the Digital Publishing Fair. It has now become an integral part of the show and occupies the same exhibition space with the physical books.

The event has become popular because if offered consumers the opportunity to buy books at a discount, typically 20% off the catalog price – this is more important in Japan because of its fixed book prices in bookstores. The decreasing booth space of the publishers in recent years therefore highlights the contracted consumer spending on the books, still mostly in the print format.

How about e-books? Do the publishers expect e-books to save the industry from declining sales it has seen over the past 15 years? Not really.

The majority of publishers still believe e-books represent a clear and present danger to printed books, bookstores and potentially to the entire publishing ecosystem.

The large turnout in the EPX came more and more from non-publishers, including online distributors, digital services, and IT companies. The services companies were focused on the Japanese typesetting, capabilities of the new EPUB 3 and domestic formats (XMDF and dot Book).

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