The Fellowship of the Book

“We are all publishers from countries which are not very rich, where there are major distribution issues, sometimes censorship issues and sometimes war. Among the most inspiring presentations was by a colleague from Syria who talked about the impossibility of publishing in his country. And he ended his presentation by asking, Why do I still publish? And he showed us a picture of a small child sitting amidst the debris of Damascus, holding on to a small book. ‘Hope,’ he said. Because books bring hope.”

– Sayoni Basu, Duckbill Books [India]

the duckbill blog

Sayoni Basu was at the Frankfurt Book Fair, showing off Duckbill books to the world.

I am lucky enough to be part of the Invitation Programme for publishers which the Frankfurt Book Fair, in partnership with LitProm, an organization for promoting translations in Germany, organizes for independent publishers from Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and Eastern Europe. I was happy enough to be part of the programme, which enabled Duckbill to have a stand—a real stand!—at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Somehow it felt like proof of existence.

The programme began with a series of seminars for a few days before the Fair started. There were interesting, challenging workshops on design and selling rights and navigating the experience that is Frankfurt.

We were taken care of by the wonderful and very patient people from LitProm—Cory, Bernadette, Torschen and Doris. For all of us, navigation around Frankfurt forever starts from what…

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