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TLP helps kick off London Book Fair’s virtual conference

The London Book Fair launches its first social media conference this year to focus on trends in global publishing, ahead of its Publishing for Digital Minds Conference.

The virtual conference, ‘Around the World in 8 Hours’ will take place throughout the day from 09:00 UK time on 18 March across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Plus, with publishing leaders from four continents confirmed as speakers.

‘Around the World in 8 Hours’ will begin in China, with The Literary Platform taking part in a blog tour setting out the major trends and innovations in the world’s biggest consumer market’s digital publishing scene. The Literary Platform’s China blog comes ahead of its forthcoming report ‘The Publishing Landscape in China: New and emerging opportunities for British writers’ which maps out the market for British publishers and writers in China, identifies the barriers to entering and operating in the market, and considers how much of an opportunity digital transformation represents for British publishers and writers to reach Chinese audiences. The report is part of a research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, with research undertaken by Nesta and The Literary Platform, in partnership the British Council and Douban, one of China’s biggest social media channels.

London Book Fair’s ‘Around the World in 8 Hours’ will then proceed to Australia, with a live Google Hangout with HarperCollins Australia CEO, James Kellow, moderated by the Publishing for Digital Minds deputy chair for 2015 Sam Missingham.

Next stop on the tour will be India, where one of the world’s fastest growing book markets will be represented through Twitter chats by three leading figures from the country’s publishing industry. Thomas Abraham, managing director of Hachette India, and Hemali Sodhi, director of Penguin Random House India’s children’s division will represent trade publishing. Meanwhile the Indian author, Amish Tripathi, whose books retelling the Indian national epic the Ramayana have sold millions of copies around the world, will cover Indian publishing from the author’s perspective.

From India, the conference will progress to Malaysia. This market will be represented on Twitter by Amir Muhammed, CEO of one of the region’s most dynamic publishers Buku Fixi.

The global spotlight will then shift to Germany and to LinkedIn with a pair of events summarising the state of publishing in Europe’s biggest book market. Klaus Renkl and Christian Scheidermann of Tolino, the ebook platform that has captured 40% of Germany’s digital book sales, will explain how they are competing with Amazon’s Kindle on equal terms. And for a broader view, publishing consultant Ruediger Wischenbart will be at hand to provide more information on how Germany’s publishing industry connects with the rest of the world.

The final phase of the conference will see ‘Around The World in 8 Hours’ travel across the Atlantic to look at publishing in Latin America and the United States. A special London Book Fair Market Focus session will lift the lid on the rapidly changing publishing market in Mexico. This will be followed by a final CEO Q&A on Twitter with Dominique Raccah, the CEO of Source Books, one of the world’s most innovative and experimental trade publishers, moderated by Publishers Weekly’s Kat Meyer.

‘Around the World in 8 Hours’ is a free-to-attend event, taking place across multiple social networks on 18 March 2015. Delegates wishing to receive a copy of the full programme, including details of accounts to follow, hashtags and regular updates should sign up at Eventbrite. On the day delegates will be encouraged to get involved, with time set aside in each virtual event for them to ask questions and share their expertise on issues affecting global publishing.

Tickets for Publishing for Digital Minds are on sale now via Entry to the conference includes free entry to LBF itself (Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 April 2015, Olympia, West London).

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