Egyptian publishers currently participating in Cairo International Book Fair running until February 4, 2020, hope the show boosts the sales of the ailing publishing sector.
Among several challenges the publishing industry faces, are the rising prices of paper and ink during the last four years, which led the price of a ton of paper to exceed EP20,000.
The Egyptian publishing sector is also hit by the sharp decline in the purchasing powers in some Arab countries due to the running economic and political conditions including Syria, Libya, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq, which were major book distribution and publication markets in the earlier days.
In fact, several publishers are seeking to compensate for some of their losses through the launch of new titles at the fair, using different marketing techniques. Authors as well perceive the exhibition as a marketing opportunity to attract Egyptian readers eagerly waiting for Egyptian slang works by poets and folkloric novels.
The exhibition is an opportunity for publishers and authors to receive readers’ direct opinions about the level of their content, print quality and covers, which would help publishers identify and rectify books’ pitfalls in the future.
Yet, this abundance of new titles puts negative pressure on editors and printing houses consequently resulting in frequent linguistic errors.
Some publishers also attribute the abundance of new titles at the fair to the scarcity of libraries and mismanaged distribution systems throughout the year.
Apart from authorship and translation, the abundance of new titles at the fair is also related to the requirement by the Egyptian Publishers Union compelling each publishing house to have a quota of publications in order to obtain spaces at the exhibition.