The Kingston Book Festival 2013, March 2 – 10, has been significantly bouyed by expertise from members of the international book community, as a part the Book Industry Association of Jamaica’s strategy to spur the growth and development of the local industry. Special guests of the festival hail from the UK and the United States and include a wide cross-section of the industry with representatives from publishing houses, booksellers, marketers and distributors.
“The BIAJ is committed to driving the development of our industry,” said Kellie Magnus, Chair of the festival. “We are passionate about books and about the business behind the books,” she said.
The distinguished list includes noted bookseller, marketer and publisher Marva Allen of New York’s Hue Man Bookstore the space described as the go-to location for any author of colour in the the United States. Johnny Temple from Akashic Books (NY) will also be present. Indeed, Akashic is already linked to the Jamaican writing community having published Marlon James’ John Crow’s Devil, Iron Balloons: Hit Fiction From Jamaica’s Calabash Writer’s Workshop, Kingston Noir as well as Anthony Winkler’s most recent novel God Carlos.
Michael Williams from BIS Publications (UK) and Jeremy Poynting of Peepal Tree Press (UK) will share their experience in publishing Caribbean content for the diaspora market. The roster also includes Jaime de Pablos, who leads Random House’s publishing programme, including its media relationships, joint publishing arrangements, digital publishing and online marketing initiatives.
This cadre of well-respected professionals will participate in the suite of workshops being staged on Friday, March 8 at the Spanish Court Hotel, which tackle issues critical to local industry’s development. The workshops target writers, publishers and booksellers and will explore strategies for selling in the diaspora, landing an international publishing deal, writing and publishing memoires and book marketing in the digital age.
The Kingston Book Festival will have its signature event, the Kingston Book Fair, on Saturday, March 9, at Devon House. The festival has been sponsored by CHASE, RJR Communication Group, Power 106, Cariblit, The Jamaica Observer, JamCopy, The Spanish Jamaica Foundation, The Embassy of Spain, Proven, and Jackmandora.