The Guadalajara International Book Fair

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Abstract

The landscape of book fairs is changing: as new events are appearing, especially in emerging economies, the world’s greatest book fairs are revising the way they organize themselves and are giving space to the new players in the industry, including technological enterprises. Book events are becoming less “literary” and more “technological.” The Guadalajara International Book Fair, or FIL (from its Spanish name: Feria Internacional del Libro de Guadalajara) is the second largest book fair in the world and is only surpassed by Frankfurt. It is the most significant event of its kind on the Spanish-speaking calendar and it is an opportunity for exhibitors and book-industry professionals to meet in a business friendly setting and for English, Spanish, and other language-speakers to meet authors and discover the most recent arrivals on the market. A number of questions arise: What is the importance of the Spanish-speaking world in the international book world as a publishing center? What are its links with Anglo-Saxon literature? How does it relate to other book markets around the world? How have business practices at fairs and festivals changed in the last decade and how are they likely to change further? What are the specificities of the South American market? What type of innovative business models does this community provide? Do book fairs still play the same role in the promotion of literature? What does FIL have to offer? What are the reasons for FIL’s sudden growth? The aim of this article is to consider these important questions and to map out the shifting balance of book fairs in the twenty-first century.