Sharjah to host IPA President, Penguin Random House CEO in fireside chat on post-COVID market

Last year, the conference brought together more than 540 publishers and literary agents from over 80 countries
Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: The 12th annual Publishers Conference organised on the side-lines of the 41st Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is bringing together two publishing industry stalwarts, Bodour Al Qasimi, President of the International Publishers Association (IPA) and Markus Dohle, CEO of trade book publisher Penguin Random House, in a fireside chat on the emerging industry trends.

On November 1, Bodour and Dohle will hold a wide-ranging conversation on key industry themes including the changing market landscape and managing thorough industry challenges.

Bodour, who has leveraged her global partnerships during her IPA presidency to design the InSPIRE initiative – bringing the global publishing community together to adopt a unified multi-stakeholder vision of the industry for the post-pandemic era – will engage with Dohle on topics like digital transformation, freedom to publish, and diversity and inclusion.

As CEO of Bertelsmann’s $4 billion book publishing division Penguin Random House, Dohle has been a leader in global publishing for nearly 30 years. He has overseen mergers, led Penguin Random House’s recovery from the global pandemic, and helped broker agreements that secured the rights to the memoirs of public figures like U2’s lead singer Bono and Michelle Obama, who served as first lady of the United States from 2009 to 2017.

The chat is part of the three-day professional conference organised by the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA). Last year, the professional conference brought together 546 publishers and literary agents from 83 countries with business interests on its platform, which resulted in SIBF being the world’s largest book fair.

‘Lifeblood of our industry’

Bodour Al Qasimi

Bodour said: “As the publishing industry comes out of a pandemic to build a better, more resilient future for all, knowledge on how successful businesses are navigating challenges and undergoing digital transformations, will be key to industry-wide growth and recovery. Discussions and expertise exchange serve as the lifeblood of our industry, and now more than ever, we need to put our heads together to build a resilient, future-proof sector.”

Markus Dohle

Dohle said: “I am deeply honoured to have received an invitation to attend the Sharjah International Book Fair’s 12th annual Publishers Conference for a fireside conversation with Bodour Al Qasimi. I look forward to spending time in Sharjah and learning more about the long-term growth possibilities in the Gulf region, from increasing readership to publishing local voices.”

read more

Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman, SBA, said: “SIBF Publishers Conference started as a regional nexus for global industry professionals to network and further business interests. Today, it is an equally vital platform for thought leadership where the future course of the publishing industry is collectively envisioned by wide-ranging stakeholders. We are pleased to host Bodour Al Qasimi and Markus Dohle for a discussion that will share latest industry intelligence and shine light on actionable strategies to unite in our efforts to support and promote this important industry.”

The 12th edition of the Publishers Conference will run from October 30 to November 1 at Expo Centre Sharjah, ahead of the inauguration of SIBF, which will open the doors to its 41st edition in Expo Centre Sharjah with the slogan ‘Spread the Word’.

The three-day conference will host over 12 discussions led by senior professionals and experts who will share their views on ways to capitalise on key emerging business trends in digital publishing and the audio book market, discuss supply chain challenges and present solutions, and shine light on emerging opportunities in translations, multilingual publishing and popular genres like manga.