The London Book Fair has just issued a release to announce that it “will be holding the first ‘virtual conference’ for the world of publishing on 18 March 2015. Around The World in 8 Hours will follow the world of publishing across the globe in a day-long series of social media events, culminating with a focus on publishing in the US. These will examine the similarities and differences in the world of book publishing’s key markets, covering everything from the Chinese love of serialised fiction to India’s mania for contemporary fiction that reworks the country’s ancient epics.”
This event series is part of the Publishing for Digital Minds conference, yoked together with the LBF and now in its seventh iteration, and claims to be “the first social media conference to focus on trends in global publishing.” Slots include appearances by HarperCollins Australia, Hachette India, Germany’s Tolino, and in the Americas, contributions from Mexico and the U.S. “Also on hand throughout the conference will be The Publishers Association (UK), who will provide extra context, insight and relevant statistics for individual markets.”
As can be seen, this is very much a trade/mainstream publishing social media beanfeast, with indies and self-publishers getting very little look-in, never mind Amazon and Smashwords. As Orna O’Brien, Conference Manager, The London Book Fair, says: “We’re delighted to welcome some of the leading voices in trade publishing to an event that we think demonstrates just how global and international in reach the publishing business has become. Around the World in 8 Hours is an exciting initiative that will bring a global audience of publishers together on social media to discuss the state of the industry.” So for what it’s worth, there it is.