Ahead of the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021, which takes place from October 20 – 24, the IPA unveils an International Publishers Association (IPA) InSPIRe Report with crucial findings on ways the ecosystem stakeholders envision the future of global publishing for the post-pandemic era.

This report, available on the IPA website, details a set of actionable recommendations designed specifically as a response to over 60 consultations with key global players in the publishing value chain.  These consultations form part of the InSPIRe Charter survey, which offered them an opportunity to detail their challenges and concerns arising from COVID-19.

Built on a comprehensive understanding of on the ground challenges across dozens of local markets, the new report presents guidance on the way forward to enhance resilience and sustainability through multi-stakeholder collaboration to heighten industry solidarity.

The report also addresses key issues for the industry, including driving digital engagement within local IPA chapters; rebuilding core relationships of authors, illustrators and retailers with publishers and broadening industry partnerships.  It also charts the potential future direction for the education sector and seeks to close the digital divide across the publishing ecosystem.   Finally, it recommends a dialogue-based re-imagining of future book fairs as hybrid events boasting deeper innovation and robust health and safety protocols.

The October 2021, report follows the IPA landmark report From Response to Recovery: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Global Publishing Industry, published in November 2020 then the first-of-its-kind, offering practical intelligence and insight based on interviews with 33 senior industry executives.

Bodour Al Qasimi and Juergen Boos to lead an insightful Frankfurter Buchmesse Hof discussion

In the lead up to the book fair, Bodour Al Qasimi and the CEO of Frankfurter Buchmesse, Juergen Boos, will lead an insightful and informative chat on The Hof platform. Moderated by Felix Zeltner, the dialogue will see Al Qasimi present the overarching vision of the InSPIRe Plan, details of which are being formulated by the IPA Taskforce based on feedback they continue to receive from Charter signatories, on ways the IPA can foster industry-wide cooperation.

Explaining the rationale behind the approach of the InSPIRe Plan, Bodour Al Qasimi will assert that the industry’s future success rests with every stakeholder – in the ecosystem – not only publishers, adding that the road to recovery must, therefore, be able to accommodate the needs of all industry participants, without exception or exclusion.

InSPIRe Charter continues to attract new global signatories

This landmark development sets the stage for the creation of a more united, resilient, and inclusive post-pandemic publishing industry.  The InSPIRe Plan Taskforce, formed by Bodour Al Qasimi earlier this year, has already received over 50 signatories representing trade associations, book fairs and other stakeholders to its InSPIRe Charter, alongside 86 association members, all pledging to unite with the IPA’s efforts in shaping a vibrant, sustainable and post-pandemic future for global publishing.

The impact of the pandemic necessitates a pro-active participatory and coordinated response.  Even more organisations and industry professionals are set to sign the InSPIRe Charter on the sidelines of Frankfurter Buchemesse.

To date, the following entities have joined the 86 members of the IPA in endorsing the Inspire Charter:

  1. Abu Dhabi International Book Fair
  2. African Publishers Network
  3. Aké Arts and Book Festival
  4. Alexandrina International Book Fair
  5. Alliance of Independent Authors
  6. Amman International Book Fair
  7. Arab Publishers Association
  8. ASEAN Book Publishers Association
  9. Association for the Development of Education in Africa
  10. Association of American Literary Agents
  11. Association of University Presses
  12. Baghdad International Book Fair
  13. Bologna Children’s Book Fair
  14. Book Aid International
  15. Buenos Aires International Book Fair
  16. Casablanca International Book Fair
  17. Delhi Book Fair
  18. Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
  19. Etats généraux du livre en langue française
  20. European and International Booksellers Federation
  21. European Educational Publishers Group
  22. Frankfurt Book Fair
  23. Ghana International Book Fair
  24. Göteborg Book Fair
  25. Grupo Ibero-Americano de Editores
  26. Guadalajara International Book Fair
  27. Independent Book Publishers Association
  28. International Association of STM Publishers
  29. International Board on Books for Young People
  30. International Federation of Scholarly Publishers
  31. International Istanbul Book Fair
  32. International Publishing Distribution Association
  33. Leipzig Book Fair
  34. Liber International Book Fair
  35. Lisbon Book Fair
  36. London Book Fair
  37. Nairobi International Book Fair
  38. NBO Litfest
  39. Nigeria International Book Fair
  40. Pan African Booksellers Association
  41. Pan African Writers Association
  42. PEN International
  43. Più Libri Più Liberi (Rome Book Fair)
  44. Regional Centre for the Promotion of Books in Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLALC)
  45. Rio International Book Fair
  46. Salone Internazionale del libro di Torino (Turin International Book Fair)
  47. São Paulo International Book Fair
  48. Seoul International Book Fair
  49. Sharjah International Book Fair
  50. Tbilisi International Book Festival
  51. UNICEF
  52. U.S. Book Show


Notes for Editors

About the International Publisher Association’s International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience (InSPIRe) Plan Initiative

IPA is leading a wide-ranging consultation to develop consensus on the global pandemic’s impact on global publishing and what’s next. The consultation, which will culminate in an industry-wide analysis on the state of global publishing and advance recommendations to enhance resilience and sustainability, is being overseen by a multi-stakeholder taskforce called the Inspire Plan Taskforce. The taskforce is composed of 11 members of the IPA Executive Committee.

In May, the Inspire Plan Taskforce developed the Inspire Charter to be endorsed by publishing stakeholders as a symbolic commitment to continuing the high level of industry-wide cooperation that emerged in response to the global pandemic. The Inspire Plan consultation has been designed to reinforce this cooperation by including the entire publishing ecosystem to develop a systemic, collaborative approach to building industry sustainability and resilience.

The ten commitments are:

  1. Asserting the value of publishing to policymakers as an essential industry.
  2. Advocating for publishing-specific government stimulus programs to build a more sustainable and resilient global publishing industry that continuously adapts to changing consumer and competitive dynamics;
  3. Fostering dialogue between publishing ecosystem stakeholders to build resilience, expand partnerships, mitigate risks from global supply chain disruptions, and minimize the environmental impacts of the publishing supply chain;
  4. Demonstrating the damaging effects of piracy, and advocating for the development, protection, and enforcement of fit-for-purpose copyright frameworks that guarantee fair competition and protect the rights of publishers and content creators;
  5. Identifying common ground between publishing stakeholders, rights organizations, and governments to fight censorship and promote freedom to publish;
  6. Closing emerging workforce skills gaps through capacity building, mentorship, and partnerships;
  7. Exploring partnerships and programs that emphasize the role of publishing in promoting access to knowledge, continuity of education and lifelong learning for all children and young people, with equal opportunities for girls and boys;
  8. Empowering underrepresented voices to ensure diversity and inclusion in the publishing ecosystem;
  9. Supporting indigenous language publishing through targeted initiatives and partnerships;
  10. Highlighting the role of small and medium-sized independent publishers and booksellers, which make up the vast majority of the publishing industry globally, in ensuring bibliodiversity and supporting measures needed to future proof their businesses.


About the International Publishers Association (IPA)

The International Publishers Association (IPA) is the world’s largest federation of national, regional and specialist publishers’ associations. Our membership comprises 86 organizations from 71 countries in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and the Americas. Through its members, IPA represents thousands of individual publishers around the world who service markets containing more than 5.6 billion people. The IPA’s mission is to promote and protect publishing and to raise awareness of publishing as a force for economic, cultural and social development.



About the From Response to Recovery report

In late 2020, the International Publishers Association (IPA) interviewed 33 senior publishing executives in more than 30 countries accounting for 70% of global publishing sales and 3 billion readers. In these discussions, a clear finding emerged: markets in which publishers, booksellers, libraries, teachers, technology companies, regulators, and other publishing stakeholders came together in response to Covid exhibited more resilience and staged faster recoveries. This prompted industry calls for enhancing solidarity as the industry begins to recover.


[1] International Sustainable Publishing and Industry Resilience