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South African Book Fair

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

SA Book Fair 2015 and FP&M SETA Create a Platform for Up-and-coming Publishers


An industry that isn’t constantly growing and nurturing new talent, is one that is doomed to fail.

With this in mind the Publishing Association of South Africa (PASA) and the Fibre, Processing and Manufacturing SETA (FP&M SETA) have partnered to encourage skills development within the publishing and literary industries. Through a unique initiative aimed at fuelling this growth, the SA Book Fair 2015 and FP&M SETA, provide a platform for new publishers to stand shoulder to shoulder with the established leaders in the publishing world.

Earlier this year adverts were placed in a variety of newspapers across the country calling for applications. The response was outstanding and as a result 45 of these publishers will be showcased at the South African Book Fair 2015 to be held at Turbine Hall, Newtown, Johannesburg, from Friday, July 31 to Sunday, August 2, 2015.

The campaign theme for this year’s fair is #DiscoverYourBookself. The event will see 100 authors participating in more than 40 events at the Fair, while 44 new small publishers and seven publishers from across Africa will be exhibiting works. The event is dedicated to learners, teachers, librarians and anyone who is keen on the written word both fiction and non-fiction.

The FP&M SETA funded publishers will be provided with a stand at the book fair to showcase their books over the three days. In addition, they will attend a full day skills development workshop where various topics pertaining to publishing, as well as how to grow their businesses will be discussed. They will also attend the Footnote Summit which is focused on digital publishing, and will join a workshop session and networking event with seven publishers invited by Goeth from across the African continent. Together they will discuss “Publishing in Africa” and the challenges and opportunities of trading books in the Global South.

“The role of the SA Book Fair is about inspiring more South Africans to read and to showcase and connect the industry. But it’s also very much about building and supporting the growth of our industry now and in the future, so that the love of books is a legacy passed down for generations,” says PASA chairperson Brian Wafawarowa.

Felleng Yende, CEO of FP&M SETA, completely agrees: “Our focus at FP&M SETA is, and will always be, to maximise skills development and to help build a sustainable future for all. The South African Book Fair provides a platform to develop the skills of a group of new publishers each year, and we are looking forward to interacting with them in our workshops at the Fair.”

In addition to the new publisher workshops, this year’s SA Book Fair has included a number of sessions within the programme to provide insight and guidance to people interested in possibly entering the publishing arena.

These workshops include:

  • Publishing in Indigenous Languages – Elinor Sisulu, NLSA and PUO discuss children’s literature publishing in Indigenous Languages and how to achieve this quantum leap. Facilitated by the Puku Children’s Literature Foundation.
  • Editing Workshop – This 50-minute hands-on workshop provides insight into whether editing is meant for you.
  • How to make a book – Provides insights into what’s involved in the creation of a book to help attendees identify how their skills might prepare them for a career in book publishing.
  • Get published – Get the inside scoop on taking your book from manuscript to published. Mark Winkler, author of Wasted, talks about how he broke through the lit barrier, and numerous publishers give their tips and suggestions about digital versus physical choices and how to get published.
  • Africa is a continent of opportunity and potential. “Publishing in Africa” discusses the challenges and opportunities of trading books in the Global South. By invitation only.

“The publishing industry is evolving”, concludes Brian Wafawarowa, “and the SA Book Fair’s programme is geared towards supporting and facilitating this evolution. New technologies have forced us to redefine what we do and how we continue to bring the written word to the world. By supporting new publishers, we hope to encourage a young generation of gifted and passionate publishers and writers who will bring new ideas and solutions to our exciting and very necessary industry.

For further information on FP&M SETA, visit


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