Spain’s Liber 22 in Barcelona announces Colombia as guest of honor

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Taking a second turn in Spain – their first was in Madrid at Liber 2006 – Colombia return as 2022 guest of honor in October.

At Liber 2021. Image: Fira de Barcelona

By Porter Anderson, Editor | @Porter_Anderson

In 2025, Spain will be Bogotá’s guest of honor

HAfter announcing its dates of October 5-7 last month, the Spanish Feria Internacional del Libro “Liber 22” in Barcelona has named Colombia its guest of honor for the 40th edition of the show, which will focus on the potential export of Spanish Literature.

Colombia, which earlier this month was the guest of honor at the Seoul International Book Fair, will take pride of place at Liber 22 in the Catalan capital’s Recinto Gran Via hall.

The aim of the organizers of the Colombian program, according to the media messaging, is to promote the internationalization of its contemporary literature and “recover the pre-pandemic level of its exports”.

Liber 22 as a whole is now expected to feature over 350 exhibitors from 12 countries with up to 7,000 professionals attending as representatives and vendors connected to these exhibitors). A general public event, the show also offers a professional program with conference content currently being planned.

The guest of honor program is being prepared by the Colombian Chamber of the Book and will occupy a central space at Liber for its pavilion. Events are designed “to stimulate the marketing and promotion of the country’s books and stories abroad”.

Colombia is said to register around 20,000 new titles per year with an available inventory of no less than 260,000 titles from 292 commercial, independent and academic publishers and distributors.

The Colombian delegation to Liber 22 will include authors, publishers, agents, distributors and institutional representatives, working “to build a commercial and cultural bridge with Spain at the fair.”

In the planned professional program, publishing practitioners from 19 Spanish-speaking countries are expected to make up a large delegation that includes representation from the Spanish-speaking segment of the United States publishing industry. Presentation stages and event stages on the grounds of the fair will be available to the programme, with publishers of Colombian fiction in particular having to meet with rights managers and literary agents involved in the international trade in translation rights.

Liber 22 will invite rights buyers and give priority interest to certain traders through its international professional programming and, in this format, will organize one-on-one meetings for trade discussions to support this market activity.

At Liber 2021. Image: Fira de Barcelona

Aristizabal: “A two-way participation”

In an interesting twist, the president of the Colombian Book Chamber, Emiro Aristizabal, said that Spain will be the guest of honor in 2025 at the Bogotá International Book Fair. He is quoted as saying, “Book fairs are natural venues for exposing the progress of the publishing industry to the world.

“For us, this representation of Colombia as guest of honor at Liber 2022 is very important, because it is an opportunity to show how the Colombian publishing sector is doing, the challenges we have in as an industry in the face of new markets and, above all, the actions we have taken to consolidate Colombia as a leading country in the publishing industry in the world.

The exchange of guest of honor rounds with Spain, he says, is happening “thanks to the joint work between the Federation of Gremios de Editores de España (the Federation of Publishers Corporations of Spain, FGEE) and the Colombian Chamber, “which will allow us to strengthen these ties that unite us, as well as the actions that we will take together to continue strengthening the book industries in Spanish by Ibero-America.

FGEE President Daniel Fernández says that Colombia is a “diverse and very fertile territory, not only of already recognized authors but also of emerging voices in the world of interesting lyrics to discover and read”. He affirms that the participation of Colombia as a guest country in Liber will serve “to enhance these new names and to the publishing sectors on both sides of the Atlantic to conclude fruitful agreements for the commercialization of books, the sale of rights or the translation of works by Colombian authors.

Likewise, he says, the Liber 2022 program will promote Colombian authors and publishers through business meetings, debates, conferences, book presentations and readings.

In 2006, Colombia was the guest of honor on Liber, one of his years when the show was set in Madrid rather than Barcelona.

At Liber 2021. Image: Fira de Barcelona


Learn more about Publishing Insights at book fairs and global publishing trade shows are here. More on translation is here, more on digital publishing is here, more on Colombia is here, more on the Spanish market is here, and more on Feria International del Libro is here.

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About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident member of Trends Research & Advisory, and was named International Business Journalist of the Year at the London Book Fair’s International Excellence Awards. He is editor of Publishing Perspectives. He was previously associate editor of The FutureBook at The Bookseller in London. Anderson was a senior producer and anchor for CNN.com, CNN International and CNN USA for more than a decade. As an art critic (National Critics Institute), he has collaborated with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which is now owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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