It’s not hard to fathom why. The World Health Organisation has just raised the warning level to its highest. The world is on the brink of a global pandemic. And the London Book Fair is inviting 25,000 people from around the world to cram into a closed environment for three days in a city of 8 million people, and then fly home.

Today comes news that Macmillan US and Simon & Schuster US have pulled out of the London Book Fair, as has the Penguin arm of Penguin Random House, and also Ingram.

Many smaller publishers and also literary agents are also pulling out, and it’s pretty much certain others will follow suit over the weekend and into next week, and there now seems little realistic prospect of the London Book Fair going ahead next month.

Read more over at Publishing Perspectives. Publishers Lunch and The Bookseller.