Aldus Up, the European network for the relaunch of trade fairs and the exchange of translation rights in Europe, makes its debut in Frankfurt with four professional meetings

The European Commission-funded project looks to the digital world to create new ways of community building between readers and publishers, revolutionise the trade fair system and make it sustainable even after the Covid-19 crisis.

The world of Book Fairs restarts following the Covid-19 crisis with a Europe-wide project - Aldus Up - making its debut at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
What are the trends in European publishing markets after the epidemic and how can exchanges between different countries be stimulated? How are reading habits and cultural consumption changing? How can we use digital technologies to redesign Fairs and the market for exchanging rights? These are some of the issues at the heart of Aldus Up’s mission and which, crucially, will be addressed during four professional meetings included in the Buchmesse programme (see all the events here), this year for the first time in digital form.

Aldus Up (see presentation document) is a project that aims to innovate and boost book fairs from a European perspective, promoting the exchange of translation rights between countries and the internationalisation of the publishing sector. Co-funded by the European Union’s Europe Creative programme, the four years project is coordinated by the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) and is born out of the experience of Aldus, a network set up in 2016 that today involves 20 European fairs.

"The new global post-pandemic environment emphasises, and to some extent makes even more urgent, the need for innovation within the book fairs system," explains Ricardo Franco Levi, president of AIE and vice-president of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP). "We want to create a new future for the communities of readers and publishers, building new opportunities for digital and physical interactions. Among our objectives, we plan to exploit the potential of digital technologies to combine off-line and online events, to promote new studies on translation trends in Europe and the impact of digitization on reading habits and publishing production, to experiment new distributed events in the cities, and to make book fairs more accessible to different kinds of audiences in a spirit of inclusion - from people with disabilities to immigrant communities".

The 20 European book fairs of the Aldus Up network include 4 international fairs (Bologna, Frankfurt, London and Liber in Spain) and 16 national book fairs (Antwerp, Bucharest, Gothenburg, Istanbul, Lisbon, Ljubljana, Madrid, Naples, Prague, Riga, Rome, Thessaloniki, Turin, Sofia, Vienna, Vilnius), covering 16 countries. In 2019 these fairs had more than 4.7 million visitors, a total exhibition area of almost 500,000 square metres and more than 4,000 organised events.
The network also relies on the contribution of national and international stakeholders in the book sector and research and innovation field such as the Federation of European Publishers, the Foundation Germán Sánchez Ruipérez, the department of book studies of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, LIA Foundation and the Norwegian Publishers Association.

Milan, 12 October 2020
Project Coordinator
AIE (Italian Publishers Association)