Penguin Random House is the last of the Big Five American trade publishers to announce they will not attend this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair.
“As a long-time annual participant in the Frankfurt Book Fair, who believes in its enduring value and importance, Penguin Random House greatly regrets it will neither exhibit at this year’s Fair, nor attend in person, to protect the health and well-being of our employees, authors, and partners,” said the company in a statement. “Our companies will strive to support the Fair’s virtual activities this October.”
Late last month, the Frankfurt Book Fair revealed plans for a smaller event, one limited to 20,000 people at a time, with larger booths spread out over a greater area on the fairgrounds. The fair is also developing a full slate of digital events. “This will not be the same book fair as before,” said book fair director Juergen Boos. “But the changes we make and tools we implement now will help us have a better book fair in the future.”
Previously, Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins, Macmillan, and Simon & Schuster all said they would not attend the fair, but did not rule out taking part in online programs.