“IIBF Virtual 2020 opens the door for a new definition of bookstores, namely the online marketplace”

With internet penetration at just 62.6% Indonesia would seem an unlikely place for the country’s annual international book fair to make the transition from in-person to virtual, but when that 62.6% equates to 171 million people, making Indonesia the fourth largest country in the world by internet users, with almost three times the number of people online as the UK, then things can get interesting.

The 40th Indonesia International Book Fair, organised by the Indonesian Publishers Association (Ikapi) and this year termed IIBF Virtual 2020, will run for ten days from September 28 through October 7 and will honour the Indonesian writers Sapardi Djoko Damono and Ajip Rosidi, who both passed away in July of this year.

General Cahirman Rosidayati Rozalina said IIBF Virtual 2020 will,

cover all aspects of the book fair. This is a multi-event that brings together all stakeholders in the world of literacy. In addition to book sale and purchase transactions, it also includes various performances, training, book discussions, meet and greet , business matchmaking or business forums, incubation workshops, as well as intellectual property (IP) development and transactions.

Chairman of the IIBF Virtual 2020 Committee Arys Hilman, added,

IIBF Virtual 2020 opens the door for a new definition of bookstores, namely the online marketplace.

The online event will showcase 1 million books across 30,000 titles, with 150 virtual exhibitors, 75 writers, 75 online events and an expected audience of 285,000.

Amid all the talk of possible vaccines and a possible end to the coronavirus pandemic, global publishing continues its inexorable and irreversible shift to digital. You can’t out the digital genie back in the bottle.