Bodour Al Qasimi at the International Booksellers Conference: Publishers are committed to supporting booksellers
The IPA President hails booksellers’ efforts aimed at fostering a reading culture
Sharjah, May 17, 2022
Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) reassured booksellers from 56 nations at the world’s first International Booksellers Conference in Sharjah, saying they are not alone in the great efforts they make to promote the culture of reading in their communities and reinforce people’s awareness about the importance of books. “Publishers will support you in this mission”, she added noting that the industry will extend its full support to ensure that booksellers are able to continue achieving greater results.
“As the African saying goes, ‘Alone we can go faster, but together we can go further’”, the IPA President further added.
Bodour Al Qasimi was delivering a keynote address at the opening ceremony of the two-day conference organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) at their headquarters on the side-lines of the ongoing 13th edition of the Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival (SCRF).
The world’s first-of-its-kind industry platform has convened more than 385 booksellers, distributors, publishing experts and business consultants from 56 countries to discuss current and future trends in bookselling, and look into ways to better streamline industry efforts to advance the book business ecosystem regionally and globally.
“I know booksellers have been doing an excellent job trying to find creative ways to engage readers and to put books in their hands. Your efforts have become even more urgent now in the face of ever-changing readers’ needs and behaviours, together with the increasing digital distractions in everyday life. Since the outset of the global pandemic, collaboration and solidarity emerged as the single most vital component in ensuring we remain resilient in the face of complex challenges”, Bodour Al Qasimi added, noting that through her engagements with industry stakeholders around the world, she has sensed a fresh eagerness in them to collaborate with their global counterparts.
Bodour Al Qasimi also emphasised that the forum testifies to Sharjah’s focus on supporting and invigorating every link of the book industry chain as part of its overarching strategy to cultivate a strong reading culture among children and adults.
Ahmed Al Ameri: All our initiatives are the product of solid cultural foundations laid by Sharjah
Welcoming guests and attendees, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said: “Through organising the world’s first-of-its-kind conference, we look forward to offering a platform for networking and exchange, as we implement the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah to support the book industry and its contributions to shaping our future.”
“At the Sharjah Book Authority, we affirm that all our programmes and initiatives are rooted in a solid cultural foundation with a reputable international standing, and these help advance the cultural movement by supporting translation, honouring creatives, and investing in the infrastructure of the publishing sector. This comprehensive process that begins in Sharjah has an impact and reach extending to countries around the world,” he added.
Exclusive platform shaping the future of the global book industry
The first day of the conference witnessed the sharing of best practices and case studies from around the world from booksellers who are taking innovative new steps to improve their business. Conference attendees heard from an expert-led panel that shed light on best practices and case studies in community engagement and sales performance, delving into the role of digital channels, including websites, social media, e-newsletters and e-commerce.
A second panel session discussed the the topic of stock curation and presentation and staff training in customer service, exploring strategies to optimise the browsing and discovery experience of customers to maximise sales.
The inaugural day concluded with participants touring the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone where the SBA headquarters are located. They presented their titles, and also engaged with each other and explored new market opportunities in a series of ‘Matchmaking’ and networking sessions.
1 – 2: Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA), during her speech at the opening of the International Booksellers Conference
3 – 4: HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), during his speech at the opening of the International Booksellers Conference
5 -6: Images during the opening of the International Booksellers Conference at SBA headquarters
7 – 10: Images during the matchmaking sessions