The 31st edition of the Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair (KLIBF) which ran from 27 April to 6 May was by all accounts a great success. By Linda Tan
The KLIBF has got to be the most exciting book fair in Malaysia. Every year, more than a million visitors throng the halls of Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) to buy books, meet their favourite authors and to take advantage of special promotions and discounts offered during the fair. This year was no different. At last count, the organiser of the fair, the National Book Council of Malaysia, estimated about 1.8 million people had visited the fair.
All four floors of the PWTC were filled and the programme list was a long one – book launches, contests, prize giving ceremonies, seminars, talks, panel discussions, and performances took place every hour on the main stage and in different rooms.
According to the Director of the National Book Council, Mr Abd. Wahab Ibrahim, there were 250 exhibitors comprising both local and foreign publishers taking up a total of 750 stands.
Near the main stage, one could not miss the brand new Myvi MPV which the Institute of Translation and Books was offering as first prize to a lucky winner who spent a minimum of RM50 at their stand.
Razin Abd Rahman, General Manager of the Kota Buku was busy with daily talks by invited speakers and celebrated World Book and Copyright Day on 3rd May.
On Level Five, a group of more than 100 participants were busy learning to write and illustrate children’s books with facilitators Yusof Gajah and Izzah Abd Aziz, a workshop organised by the National Book Council of Malaysia.
Here are more images from the fair:
Accepted wisdom is not to be everything to everyone but it does seem that the KLIBF has something for everyone.
Two days before the book fair started, a four-day rights fair was held at the Trade & Copyright Centre (TCC) on Level 5 of PWTC. The KLIBF is primarily a consumer fair and the rights fair is an attempt to add a rights trading element to it. Now in its fourth edition, it has grown significantly and this year saw 50 exhibitors from countries around the region.
In addition, the number of new publishers, visitors and range of books as well as book-linked merchandise indicated that there are a lot of opportunities for the publishing industry, not to mention its offshoots and crossmedia possibilities.
The signs are encouraging and there is a lot more room to grow. Are we prepared for it?
But for now, kudos to the National Book Council of Malaysia and their partners.
See you at the TCC/Kuala Lumpur International Book Fair 2013!