Home 5 Articles and Reports 5 The Success of Sharjah’s ‘Rights Souk‘

The Success of Sharjah’s ‘Rights Souk‘

by | Nov 11, 2018 | Articles and Reports, News

Applications for translation grants during the Publishers Conference that preceded the first day of the Sharjah International Book Fair were nearly 50% up on the same day last year, according to Sharjah Book Authority Chairman Ahmed Al Ameri.  “During the two days of the conference we had 2,600 applications,” he told Nasher.  “Last year we reached 1,600, but that was in February.  This year we were already nearly 50% up, and that was in two days.”

Such is the popularity of the scheme – established eight years ago to boost translations from foreign languages into Arabic and vice versa – Ameri said the fair is now discussing increasing the amount set aside for the grant from $300,000 to $400,000.  The fair is also considering the posibility of a literary agent category among the awards given during the opening ceremony of the fair.

Once again, the Chamber of Commerce was home to the fair’s famous ‘rights souk’ and matchmaking sessions this year, and the success of this initiative can be measured by how this ‘souk’ has expanded over the years.  It long ago spilled out of the single room it used to occupy and now swirls right around the open plan first floor and occupies some 450 tables.

This year’s edition of the fair, which wraps up this weekend, sees 1874 publishers from 77 countries, a number of which are exhibiting for the first time.  New countries include Argentina, Peru, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Bangladesh.  Among publishers, new faces attending the Publishers Conference included Jennifer Brehl, Senior Vice President, Executive Editor and Director of Editorial Development at William Morrow and Voyager; Professor Terri-ann White of the University of Western Australia; Arabic specialist Clare Roberts, Communications and Development Manager at Gingko; and Justin Ratcliffe, MD, Marketing, Publicity and Australian Publishing.

Ameri continued: “Last year we had 61 countries, this year we have 77.  I am so proud of the growth of the fair and I am so grateful to His Highness [Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the Ruler of Sharjah] for the support he has given us.  We could not have done it without his backing.

Japan is country of honour this year and there are 14 authors and editors here, as well as more than 10 publishers.  Kanji Fujiki, Ambassador of Japan to the UAE, has noted the interest in manga (Japanese comics and graphic novels) among young Emiratis, and at the fair Japanese bookseller Kinokuniya had a large display of these titles.  The Japanese pavilion had something else too – something that you do not expect to see at a book fair: a tank containing three enormous Koi.  These were at the fair, courtesy of Koi Water Barn in Dubai, and caused gasps of surprise as people casually stopped at the stand and then noticed the shapes moving silently just beneath them.

Recent News

23Jul
Sara J. Maas and Rebecca Yarros Lead Fantasy Boom

Sara J. Maas and Rebecca Yarros Lead Fantasy Boom

Sales of adult fantasy – and in particular, romantasy – have led to good first half figures in the US.  Publishers Weekly reports: ‘Results for the first half of 2024 leave no question about what is driving sales: adult fantasy sales skyrocketed 85.2% over the first six months of 2023 thanks to a huge increase […]

22Jul
Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced its comprehensive industry program for 2024, spotlighting publishing in its new venue, the Edinburgh Futures Institute.   Commencing on August 14, the festival will kick off with Global Ink, a dedicated international industry day. This event will bring together professionals from Scotland, the UK, and beyond to explore […]

22Jul
“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

There is much interest in a debut novel called The Cleaner by new British writer Mary Watson.  Penguin Random House (PRH) will publish in the UK under the Bantam imprint and PRH imprint Crown will publish in the US.  Rights have already sold to Italy.   In the UK Deputy publishing director Thorne Ryan acquired […]

Related Posts

Books Writers Regret Writing

Books Writers Regret Writing

Sometimes, authors deeply regret the books that they have published, even if — and sometimes because — those books made their names or brought them wild success. Arthur Conan Doyle famously hated Sherlock Holmes so much that he tried to kill the character off...

Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

Edinburgh Book Festival Reveals 2024 Industry Program

The Edinburgh International Book Festival has announced its comprehensive industry program for 2024, spotlighting publishing in its new venue, the Edinburgh Futures Institute.   Commencing on August 14, the festival will kick off with Global Ink, a dedicated...

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

“The Cleaner”: Debut Novel Gains International Interest”

There is much interest in a debut novel called The Cleaner by new British writer Mary Watson.  Penguin Random House (PRH) will publish in the UK under the Bantam imprint and PRH imprint Crown will publish in the US.  Rights have already sold to Italy.   In the UK...

Previous Next
Close
Test Caption
Test Description goes like this

Pin It on Pinterest