A return to 1 million visitors is unlikely, but other developments are emerging, inc. an $80,000 award.

Edward Nawotka has an insightful post on the Riyadh International Book Fair’s Publishers Conference that preceded the main event (underway right now).

It’s great to see events like this getting more coverage from the west’s mainstream industry media.

The Riyadh IBF itself is live now, and hopefully I’ll find time and internet connectivity to report on that, and take closer look at some of Ed Nawotka’s reportage on the Publishers Conference.

Saudi Arabia’s publishing right now is in flux, with the industry rising to the digital opportunity, expanding print and audio, and delicately balancing Islam with its wider commercial publishing needs as part of a regional Arab Renaissance I’ve covered in TNPS many times.

The Riyadh International Book Fair is not just one the biggest cultural events in the Arab world, but one of the biggest in “the” world, attracting over one million visitors in pre-Covid times.

Breaking news as I write this is the just announced Riyadh International Book Fair Award, worth $80,000.

Check out Ed’s post for Publishers Weekly here.