Exporting to the Middle East

A region with an exciting book market and a growing literacy rate, the Middle East provides various inroads for Canadian publishers to create meaningful cross-cultural networks while growing their book exports. With numerous opportunities in rights sales and exports in trade and academic publishing, as well as increasingly significant bookfairs and fellowships, the region’s publishing industry holds great promise for international trade and cooperation.

Take this opportunity to hear what the Middle East has to offer as a potential export market for your books.

Topics include:

  • An overview of the book industry in the region
  • The state of publishing, distribution, and retail
  • Book fairs in Sharjah, Cairo, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Qatar
  • The rights business
  • Trade exports
  • Higher education and academic textbook market
  • Key players
  • And much more…

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YOUR HOSTS

Emma House is an international publishing consultant, having worked in the industry for over 20 years. She is the former Deputy CEO of the UK Publishers Association where she worked for 11 years. Prior to this, she worked for The London Book Fair at various posts including Event Manager, Head of International Development, and Key Account Manager. She has broad knowledge of the publishing industry globally and a strong network of contacts across publishers, agents, distributors, and booksellers. Co-founder of the Facebook group Publishers Without Borders, designed to bring the international community together during the COVID-19 period, her most recent activities include launching the Publishers Association’s export toolkit and managing the London Book Fair’s international hosted buyers program. She is also an advisor for the organization “Civic” on a Future Libraries project for the UK Public Library sector, the Canadian literacy platform “Simbi,” and the Sharjah Book Authority.

Bill Kennedy is Director, Avicenna Partnership Ltd, a UK-based company which acts in the capacity of sales agents and rights brokers, working on behalf of UK, US and European publishers of academic, professional, reference and scholarly products exclusively in the Middle East and North Africa region. Kennedy held a number of posts with international publishers, book distribution companies and consultancy roles before creating Avicenna in January 2003. His connection to the MENA region dates back to 1979 since when he has travelled extensively throughout the region. He recently set up a crowdfunding initiative (‘Our friends in Beirut’, https://www.gofundme.com/f/our-friends-in-beirut) to help people in the publishing and book distribution communities locally recover from the devastation of the 2020 Beirut explosion.

A graduate of the State University of New York, Seth Russo has held several executive positions in the International Divisions of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Scholastic, and most recently Simon & Schuster. He is a former Chair, American Association of Publishers International Committee, an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Publishing, and has served as a panelist in numerous publishing related forums. Currently, he is a consultant to the Sharjah Book Authority and divides his time between France and New York.