Thessaloniki Book Fair

a dynamic presence in the heart of the Mediterranean

The Thessaloniki Book Fair opened in May 2004 and set a new objective: to place Greece on the map of the international book fairs by creating a new keystone of cultural and commercial exchanges in the field of global publishing production. A new perspective for the Greek book was born in Thessaloniki, the heart of the Balkans, the crossroad of the West and the East.

The most important Greek annual meeting regarding books, gathers every year hundreds of: publishers, writers, translators, literary agents, journalists, booksellers, librarians, academics, institutions, bodies and organizations for the book from Greece, the Balkans, Western Europe, South-Eastern Mediterranean and the whole world.

Steering a spectacular eleven-year course, the TBF has a remarkable account to present with a dynamic, rapid development in three basic axes – cultural, professional and international. From a very early stage has managed to win the triple bet: to become at the same time the national cultural event for the book, an indispensable tool for the Greek professionals, and a new international event.

The cultural character

The TBF has hosted more than 1.800 cultural events and 2.200 writers from Greece and abroad in the eleven years since its opening, covering a wide range of themes and interests, focusing on current affairs, giving voice to new creators, starting a dialogue with the other arts, honoring exceptional personalities, widening the horizons and the perspectives for the Greek book.

Literary encounters, book presentations, thematic tributes, workshops, conferences, discussions, panels, round tables, seminars, children’s corner, teenage forum, literary café, professional meetings, new technologies, art exhibitions, documentaries and films screenings, theatrical plays focus on the book, form the cultural identity of a top organization.

The professional character

Since its first year, the TBF has given priority to its professional character by organizing seminars, conferences, round tables, professional meetings on a national, European and international level, aiming at the constant provision of information, the exchange of views and the constructive dialogue. The presence of almost all the Greek publishers (more than 200) as well as the invitation of booksellers, librarians, agents, translators and foreign publishers has set the right frame which rendered the TBF the most important meeting for book professionals in our country. More than 1.500 book professionals per year visit the TBF in order to get to know the Greek book, to meet their Greek counterparts and more than 500 foreign publishing houses have been represented in the international stands.

The international character

One of the main goals of the Book Fair has been its international orientation which has opened windows of cultural and professional exchange with the international book market. More than 50 countries have been hosted by the TBF which has entered dynamically the global book market, has attracted foreign professionals and has brought the Greek book to the international foreground.

The Book Fair’s international character is enhanced by the Country of Honor institution which was first established in 2008 with France, and then Germany, China, Middle East countries, Serbia, United Kingdom, Israel, Ibero-American countries and Russia for 2016.

The Book Fair has quickly become known abroad, promoted by the international media become the subject of discussion, and gained the trust of foreign professionals. Important publishers from the Balkans, Europe, the Arabic countries, the Mediterranean and all over the world, Literary agents, Literary critics, Directors of international book fairs, top literary figures from all over the world has visited the TBF.

Moreover, each year the TBF participates at the Greek collective stands at international book fairs: Frankfurt, Bologna, London, Paris, Belgrand, Instabul, Cairo, Benjing and the previous years Guadalajara, Buenos Aires, Moscow, Guadeamus at Romania, Taipei, Cazablanca etc aiming at the international dialogue and international cooperation.

The TBF has given priority to its professional character by organizing seminars, conferences, round tables, professional meetings on a national, European and international level, aiming at the constant provision of information, the exchange of views and the constructive dialogue.

2nd Pan-European Conference: “For a European book policy” with the participation of the European publishers federations, booksellers, writers and librarians (coordinated by EKEBI).

Discussion: “The programme of digitalization of Google and the reactions of the European and Greek publishers and writers”. The representative of Google for Europe, Mr. Santiago de la Mora, presented the proposal of Google for the digitalization of books and had a discussion with Anne Bergman-Tahon, director of the Federation of European Publishers (FEP), Aris Petropoulos, director of the Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works (OSDEL) and writers’ representatives. Coordination: Elli Filippopoulou, legal advisor of EKEBI.

“New technologies and e-book” round table: Myebooks organized a round table which focused on: “DRM Protection: The safe way for ebooks project”: Speakers: Michael Dudley, sales manager in ADOBE Corporation, Paul Balogh, technical manager in Humanitas Books, Nikos Paschalakis, myebooks digital bookshop, Charis Psichogios, Psichogios Publications.

Seminar: “How to do Frankfurt”: Presentation of the Frankfurt International Book Fair by its managing director Joyce Aravena.

Seminar: Foreign rights and children’s literature rights sale “Special Aspects in Contracts and International Deals in Children’s Literature with regard to the German Market”, with the German literary agent Ms. Susanne Koppe.

Seminar: “From the publisher to the bookseller: organization of the distribution network” with the French publisher Ms. Sabine Wespieser.

Open discussion “The paths of electronic reading and the libraries”: about the importance and the role of reading in our days, the new paths that are opening as well as the role of libraries, concerning this “route”, with the increasing use of new media. Greek and European experts in this field participated. Organized by the Association of Greek Librarians and Information Scientists.

More than 200 foreign publishing houses have been represented in the international stands

- Important publishers from the Balkans, Europe, the Arabic countries, the Mediterranean and all over the world: Harvil Press, Serpent’s Tail, Marion Boyars, Arcadia Books from the United Kingdom, Actes Sud, Sabine Wespieser, Musée Pompidou, Belles Lettres, Serpent à Plumes, Vrain, Cerf, Gallimard, Seuil, Flammarion from France, Adelphi from Italy, Paideia and Clio from Serbia, Bajak from Algeria, Azbooka, Inostranka, Slovo, OGI, Fluid, AST from Russia, Dogan from Turkey, Shurkamp from Germany, etc -25 publishers from France: Jean-Guy Boin (BIEF), Alain Gründ (Éditions Gründ), Paul Otchakovsky – Laurens (Éditions POL), Eric Vigne (Éditions Gallimard), Nicolas Jean-Sed (Éditions du Cerf), Hélène Clastres (Éditions Gallimard Loisirs) and Sherri Aldis (Éditions Du Chêne), as well as representatives of the following publishing houses: Michel, Armand Colin, Les Belles Lettres, Lattes, Le Dilettante, Presses de Sciences-po, PUF, Seuil, Stock, Wespieser and Zulma, -10 publishers from Germany: Loewe Verlag, Ulmer, Eugen, GmbH & Co, Aphaia Verlag, Eudora Verlag, Hanser, Carl, Nagel & Kimche c/o Carl Hanser Verlag, Thienemann Verlag GmbH, Theater der Zeit,

Diogenes Verlag, Random House, FinanzBuch Verlag, Romiosini, Lübbe, Verlagsgruppe, -150 publishers from China, among who are some of the biggest, such as: The Commercial Press, People’s Publishing House, Peking University Press as well as Yilin Press which has published many Greek books.

Top literary figures (more than 250) from all over the world

Paco Ignacio Taibo (Mexico), Howard Zinn (U.S.A.),Claudio Magris (Italy), Jonathan Coe (UK), Eleni Sikelianos (U.S.A.), Lord David Owen (United Kingdom), Norman Manea (Romania – U.S.A.), Alaa Εl Aswany (Egypt), Eric - Emmanuel Schmitt (France), Milorad Pavic (Serbia), Niccolo Ammaniti (Italy), Santiago Roncagliolo (Peru), Nedim Gurcel and Zulfu Livaneli (Turkey), Vladislav Bajac (Serbia), Eetgar Keret (Israel) Samir El-Youssef (Palestine), Fawzia Zouari (Tunisia), Predrag Matvejevitch (Croatia), Thierry Fabre (France), Predrag Matvejevic (Croatia), Massimo Carloto (Italy), Yasmina Khadra (Algeria), Jacob Arjuni (Germany), Ljiljana Habjanovic-Djurovic (Serbia), Venko Adonovski (FYROM), Dimitri Kirkof (Bulgaria), Mehmet Choral (Turkey), Grete Tartler and Suad Amiry (Palestine), Erendiz Atasu (Turkey), Christopher Merrill (U.S.A.), Arthur Japin, Arnon Grunberg (Holland), Stéphane Heuet (France), Assia Djebar (Algeria), Geert Mak (Holland), Marina Nemat (Iran – Canada), Illjet Alicka (Albania), Panko Anchev (Bulgaria), Vasile Andru (Romania), Diana Culi (Albania), Fatos Kongoli (Albania), Pavlina Lazarevska (FYROM), Besnik Μustafay (Albania), Can Oz (Turkey), Alek Popov (Bulgaria), Tashin Yocel (French-Tunisian), David Foenkinos (France) and Florian Zeller (France) and Paolo Cesaretti (Italy), Svetislav Basara (Serbia), Dan Lungu (Romania), Gustav Murin (Slovakia), Nora Ikstena (Latvia), Michal Viewegh (Czech Republic), Francois Jullien (France), Richard Stoneman, Victoria Hislop (United Kingdom), Nickolas Verdan (Switzerland), Paolo Maranca and Raffaella Narni (Italy), Metin Arditi, Edgar Keret (Israel), Agata Tusinski (Poland), Andre Schiffrin (USA-France), Edem Eldem (Turkey), Kai Hensel and Rüdiger Schaper (Germany), Jean Marc Moura, Ygit Bener, Alessia Magliacane as well as Jean-Luc Hadji-Minaglou (France), the Basque Bernado Atzaga (Spain), Swami Sivamurti Saraswati (Australia), Nicole Krauss (USA), Dr. Hamdi Ibrahim (Egypt), Marlene Streeruwitz (Germany), Olivier Delorme and Yves-Charles Zarka (France), Ahmet Özgüneş (Turkey), Andrei Kurkov (Ukraine), Olga Slavnikova, Sergey Shargunov and Dmitri Iskovits (Russia), Florin Marinescu and Monica Săvulescu-Voudouri (Romania), Hrvoje Ivancic and IvanSršen (Croatia), Aleksandar Prokopiev and Tomislav Osmanli (FYROM), etc.

France as a Country of Honor: Pierre Assouline, Sylvie Bages, Philippe Bertrand, Keda Black, Magali Bonniol, Barbara Cassin, Louis-Philippe Dalembert, Rebecca Dautremer, Michel Deguy, Carine Doganis, Suzanne Dracius, Eric Fottorino, Françoise Gallo, Jean Haztfeld, Bensalem Himmich, Jean-Claude Kaufmann, Julien Kilanga Musinde, Gilles Leroy, Philippe Némo, Florence Noiville, Nathalie Novi, Jean Plantu, Boualem Sansal, Eric Vigne.

Germany as a Country of Honor: Klaus Modick, Hagen Fleischer, Periklis Monioudes, Veit Heinichen, Martin Walser, Ingo Schulze, Daniel Kehlmann, Julia Franck, Sibylle Berg, Antje von Stemm, Bas Bottcher.

China as a Country of Honor: Bi Feiyu (prose), Gao Hongbo (children’s literature), Hu Lanlan (poetry), Wang Xiaoni (poetry, prose), Hongke (prose), Cao Wenxuan (prose, children’s literature), Wang Xiumei (prose), Chen Shixu (prose), Wei Wei (prose).

Tribute to the Middle East: Tariq Ali (Pakistan – United Kingdom), Salwa Al Neimi (Syria), Gebregeorgis Tsegay Yohannes (Ethiopia), Gamal Ghitany (Egypt), David Grossman (Israel), Deniz Kavukcuoglu (Turkey), Tuna Kiremitçi (Turkey), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Sophie Bessis (Tunisia), Boualem Sansal (Algeria), Malek Chebel (Algeria), Bahaa Taher (Egypt) and Subhi Hadidi (Syria).

Serbia as a Country of Honour: Vladislav Bajac, Svetislav Basara, Aleksandar Gatalica, Du Ljiljana Habjanovic-Djurovic, Doušan Kovačević, Εmir Kusturitsa, Goran Milašinović, Vida Ognjenovic, Momčilo Radić, Dragan Velikić, Jasminka Petrović, Tanja Kragujević, Zoran Pešić Sigma, Borivoje Adašević.

United Kingdom as a Country of Honour: Jonathan Coe, Celia Ress, David Nicholls, Andrew Crumey , David Harsent, Susanne Joinson, Michael Arditti, Rachel Cusk, Victoria Hislop.

Balkan Poetry Festival: Tozan Alcan, (Turkey), Sylvia Choleva (Βulgaria), Romeo OMEO Çollaku (Albania), Dan Coman (Romania), Tanja Kragujevic (Serbia), Jovanka Uljarevic (Montenegro), Ranko Risojecić (Bosnia), Radu Vancu (Romania), Patricia Nikolova (Bulgaria), Zoran Anchevski (FYROM), Ana Pepelnik (Slovenia), Jasmina Topic (Serbia), Milos Djurdjevic (Croatia), Metin Cengiz (Turkey), Afroviti Gusho (Albania).

Tribute to the Ibero-American literature : Eusebi Ayensa (Catalonia-Spain), Flavia Company (Argentina), Omar Figueroa – Turcios (Colombia), Martha Moreleon (Mexico), Adriana Mosquera - Nani (Colombia), Pedro Olalla (Spain), Juan Vicente Piqueras (Spain), Carmen Posadas (Uruguay), Damian Tabarovsky (Argentina).

The Thessaloniki Book Fair (TBF), being the fruit of the successful cooperation of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (HFC) , the Ministry of Culture, HELEXPO and the Hellenic Federation of Publishers and Booksellers, has managed from a very early stage to win the triple bet, to become at the same time: the national cultural event for the book, an indispensable tool for the Greek professionals, and a new international event.

The TBF takes place every year in May, at the International Exhibition and Conference Centre of HELEXPO located downtown, in the heart of Thessaloniki. The Fair is staged by the Hellenic Foundation for Culture (Ministry of Culture), and co-organized by HELEXPO exhibition centre, the Federation of Greek Book Publishers (OMEBE) and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.