Sweden gains from ash cloud impact on London Book Fair
by Annie Byrne
The Göteborg Book Fair is predicting record-breaking sales this year, after the Icelandic eruption denied many visitors from reaching April’s London Book Fair.The London Book Fair, 19-21 April, was one of the greatest victims of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which erupted on 14 April sending a large cloud of ash into the atmosphere, grounding flights into the capital. Group exhibition director of the London fair, Alistair Burtenshaw, estimated that the travel disruption could have cut attendance by as much as a fifth, leading event organiser Reed to consider chartering flights. Among London’s notable losses was former prime minister Tony Blair, who was unable to discuss his forthcoming memoirs for publisher Random House due to being stranded in the Middle East.“Many people missed the fair in London. As a result, we’ve noticed a rise in interest, especially in the rights section,” says international sales manager at the Göteborg Book Fair, Ewa Bråthe.According to Bråthe, the rights section at the Göteborg Book Fair will be among the biggest winners, as this is a key component of the UK event.The volcanic plume also prevented an African delegation from visiting London. As a result, this year’s Africa theme is expected to attract even more visitors to Göteborg to discover African literature and African authors.