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S&S, Macmillan US pull out of LBF due to coronavirus

Several American publishing companies including Simon & Schuster US (S&S), Macmillan Trade US, Ingram Content Group and OverDrive have pulled out of the London Book Fair (LBF) due to the coronavirus outbreak. Organisers have confirmed that fair will go ahead as planned, running 10–12 March.

The latest statement from LBF, published on 28 February, reads: ‘We are actively and continuously monitoring the situation around Covid-19 Coronavirus, in line with Public Health England and WHO guidelines and our policies reflect those of the relevant government in the countries in which our events take place. We wish to reassure all our participants of the London Book Fair that should the UK government issue any further guidelines they will be applied to the London Book Fair and we are updating, and will continue to update, everyone involved on a regular basis.’

However, a number of American companies have decided not to attend the fair. A spokesperson for S&S US said in a statement: ‘After much consideration, and out of concern for the health and safety of our employees, Simon & Schuster has decided it will not be attending the London Book Fair. Those staff who were scheduled to attend are looking at alternate means to have meetings with their contacts in the international publishing community, as they already do on a year-round basis.’

Publishers Weekly reports that while Penguin Random House US still plans on having a booth at LBF, a spokesperson for the publisher said US employees have been told that PRH is ‘fully supportive’ of employees who decide they would rather not travel to London.

As previously reported by Books+Publishing, book fairs in Taipei and Bologna have already been postponed due to the virus.


Category: International news