press enter to search

23 Indonesian titles sold, interest expressed in 408 more at London Book Fair

Devina Heriyanto
Devina Heriyanto

The Jakarta Post

London  /  Fri, March 15, 2019  /  06:00 pm
23 Indonesian titles sold, interest expressed in 408 more at London Book Fair

Books are displayed on the top floor of the Indonesian pavilion at the 2019 London Book Fair. (JP/Devina Heriyanto)

Indonesia closes its participation at the 2019 London Book Fair with 23 translation rights sold on the spot. Various publishers from 12 countries have expressed interest in a further 408 book titles. 

On the first day, 12 titles by Asta Ilmu Publishing were sold to Singapore Asia Publication to be distributed to Australia, Malaysia, Thailand, India and South Africa. On the second day, eight titles by Mizan were sold to a UK publisher and one title from Kepustakaan Populer Gramedia (KPG) was sold to a Portuguese publisher. On the last day, two titles by Rumah Pensil were sold to Sapasar Literary Agency to be distributed in Malaysia.

Indonesia is the market focus country for this year’s book fair, held on March 12-14 at Olympia Hall, London. The national organizing committee has set the target of 50 sales for this year.

Since the establishment of the National Book Committee in 2015, more than 1,200 Indonesian titles have been sold to international publishers.

Read also: Indonesians struggle to promote books abroad

Five distributors from the UK, Europe and US have agreed to distribute Indonesian books that are already in English to the UK, US, European Union, Australia and India. Amazon UK also bought the distribution rights for the award-winning Battle of Surabaya animation movie.

Twenty-three publishers showcased their books at the Indonesian pavilion, which in form resembled ripples -- the theme of the Indonesian participation this year. Books are able to create ripples to other content-based industries, as embodied in the logo and production design of the national stand for the fair.

Publishers and visitors meet at the ground level of the Indonesian pavilion at the 2019 London Book Fair.Publishers and visitors meet at the ground level of the Indonesian pavilion at the 2019 London Book Fair. (JP/Devina Heriyanto)

Designed by Andro Kaliandi and Fauzia Evanindya for architecture and design firm FFFAAARRR, Indonesia’s national booth was split into two sections. The 400-square-meter ground floor accommodated book publishers while the smaller upper floor named Spice Cafe exhibited other intellectual property products from 10 companies as well as showcasing Indonesian cuisine.

Aside from books, Indonesia also promoted other content such as art, food, comics and board games through a series of cultural events. While the book fair itself was aimed more at people in the publishing industry, cultural programs were held in the Greater London area for those who wished to know more about Indonesia.

Artist Muhammad Artist Muhammad "Emte" Taufiq draws on the walls at the Indonesian pavilion at the 2019 London Book Fair. His paintings were inspired by Indonesia's seas. (JP/Devina Heriyanto)

For three days, artist Muhammad “Emte” Taufiq conducted a live-drawing session in the Indonesian pavilion at Olympia Hall. At the end of the fair, the white walls were adorned by blue-black murals showing the richness and diversity of Indonesia’s oceans.

“I adopted the theme of 17,000 islands of imagination for my drawing,” said Emte, “Indonesia is known for its oceans and I wanted to show the beauty of our seas. I also believe that knowledge is like the ocean, deep and vast with many parts still unknown. I think only science and books can help us unearth this knowledge and make sense of the world.” (kes)