Publishers are committed to supporting booksellers, says Bodour Al Qasimi at International Booksellers Conference in Sharjah

“I know booksellers have done a great job trying to find creative ways to engage readers and get books into their hands. Your efforts have become even more urgent in the face of the ever-changing needs and behaviors of readers, as well as the growing digital distractions in everyday life. Since the beginning of the pandemic, collaboration and solidarity have emerged as essential elements to guarantee our resilience in the face of complex challenges,” said Bodour Al Qasimi. She noted that through her engagements with industry stakeholders around the world, she sensed in them a new desire to collaborate with their global counterparts.

Bodour Al Qasimi also highlighted Sharjah’s emphasis on supporting every link in the book industry chain as part of its overall strategy to cultivate a strong reading culture among children and adults.

Welcoming the guests and attendees, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA), said: “By organizing the first global conference of its kind, we look forward to providing a platform for networking and of exchange, as we implement the vision of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to support the publishing industry and its contributions to shaping our future.

He added: “At Sharjah Book Authority, we affirm that all our programs and initiatives are rooted in a strong cultural foundation with a reputable international reputation and these contribute to advancing the cultural movement by supporting translation, honoring creative and investing in publishing infrastructure. sector. This global process that begins in Sharjah has an impact and reach that extends to countries around the world.

The opening day explored unique ways for booksellers to advance their business and thrive in an increasingly digital world. A four-member panel discussed ways to improve book sales in 2022 and beyond in a session that highlighted best practices and case studies in community engagement and book performance. selling, exploring the role of digital channels, including websites, social media and email newsletters. and e-commerce.

The session also offered information on strategies for converting social media followers into potential customers.

A second panel discussed the topic of curating and presenting inventory and training staff in customer service, exploring strategies to optimize navigation and uncover the customer experience to maximize sales.

The panel shared key learnings on how well-organized and presented stock and trained staff can improve the book-buying experience for consumers and improve business success for bookstores.

The world’s first-of-its-kind industry platform brought together more than 385 booksellers, distributors, publishing experts and business consultants from 56 countries to discuss current and future trends in book sales and seek ways to better streamline bookstore efforts. industry to advance the book industry. ecosystem on a regional and global scale.

The inaugural day ended with a visit by participants to the Sharjah Publishing City (SPC) Free Zone where the SBA headquarters are located. They showcased their titles and also engaged with each other and explored new market opportunities in a series of networking sessions.

Lucas E. Kelly