London Book Fair 2018 - Day 1

Today was the 1st day of LBF2018. When you entered via the west wing of Kensington Olympia, where the book fair was taking place, you were straight away greeted with decorated bollards promoting Indonesia. The stand itself was quite spacious, very elegant with a touch of black and grey designed by the country's young architects. However the location of the stand was unfortunately a bit tucked away from the crowd making it harder to notice. In the morning, we saw some potential customers talking with the various publishers. As the day went by we could see more of them sitting in front of the keen and professional publisher representatives.

In general the London Book Fair was like any other bustling market with an endless variety on offer. Some stalls sold books in specific languages, some sold children's books, some focused on educational material, and some were even there to sell specialised goods such as the Quran. There was a lively commotion because everybody wanted to be heard and shops that offered high demand goods were full of people wanting to see and buy. 

The Indonesian book committee had an appointment with the French publisher, Astier-Pecher Film and Literacy Agency who will publish 'Editions Jentayu', an anthology of 20 Indonesian authors. The stories will be translated to French. According to the Indonesian representative John McGlynn, this publisher is trying to open a new market of Indonesian literacy in France. The concept behind selecting 20 writers for the anthology is to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Indonesia's reformation (1998-2018). Despite the no show from the publisher representative, the deal is believed to still be going ahead in late 2018. The Indonesian committee plans to find extra funds from the Indonesian government to be able to send the writers to France in order to help push the market. 

In the evening the representative of the Indonesian committee was excited to attend the LBF International Excellence Awards 2018. There were around 20 awards and the Lontar foundation was nominated to receive the Literacy Translation Award. Despite losing to Serbia, being nominated and held in esteem among the top three should be considered an honourable recognition indeed. (Felicia Nayoan)