Jakarta. The annual Indonesia International Book Fair, or IIBF, will return to Jakarta on Sept. 6-10 at the Assembly Hall in the Jakarta Convention Center in Senayan, Central Jakarta.
Held by the Indonesian Publishers Association (Ikapi), IIBF aims to be a platform where local publishers can sell publishing rights to their foreign counterparts, as well as sell books to visitors.
Previously known as the Indonesia Book Fair, IIBF was first started more than three decades ago, but is now oriented towards becoming an international hub in the publishing licensing market.
"It’s not only for foreign publishers to buy publishing rights of Indonesian books or vice versa. But it is for publishers around the world to make their transactions here in Jakarta," Husni Syawie, the head of the IIBF organizing committee, said on Friday (18/08).
Representatives from more than 20 countries are expected to participate this year, including from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Bosnia, India, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Some of the world's most renowned publishers will also take part in the event, including Gakken, National Geographic, Harvard Business Review, Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Scholastic, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press.
According to the report by Borobudur Agency, Ikapi’s literary agency in charge of facilitating Indonesian book publishers in obtaining rights, as many as 30 rights transactions occured at the 2016 IIBF. This year, the committee expects up to 40.
"Physical transactions are difficult to determine. It is hard to collect data from publishers but to us [the organizing committee], the most important thing is our visibility. [It’s] not about how many books are sold but how many people come and see the publishers," Husni said.
"Last year’s visitors numbered around 50,000 and we have targeted this year to draw 70,000 visitors."
There will be a variety of programs in the five-day fair, including the Indonesia Rights Fair, which will include "business matchmaking" where publishers will be matched according to their genre preferences.
In the case of Indonesian books, genres that stand out are general knowledge, religion and children’s books.
Apart from publishers, authors will also have a space to showcase their work. In Bursa Naskah, authors can pitch their drafts of their books to publishers.
"There are new authors who have not yet had access to publishers. On the other hand, publishers are looking for fresh new ideas. The pitching event will help connect them," Husni said.
Other events include talk shows with Indonesian writers such as Sapardi Djoko Damono, Pidi Baiq, Ernest Prakasa, Lala Bohang and Wahyu Aditya.
Various competitions, field trips and a festival that promotes literacy are also part of the agenda.
There will be an inaugural Bekraf Corner prepared by the Creative Economy Agency to showcase books by selected publishers, including independent ones.
"There will be an open call for this curated corner. The selected publishers will be able to display their books and, if possible, we will give them opportunities to speak at seminars during the fair," Ikapi chairwoman Rosidayati Rozalina said.