Organized by Sharjah Book Authority

Inspirational experiences and the story of "Diwan"... at the conclusion of the "Distributors Conference"

  • Nadia Wassef: "We started 20 years ago... and we are working with a real and innovative effort, to remain as we started as pioneers in distributing books."

  • Participants in the “cooperation” session reviewed their experiences with book distribution.

    From the source

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With inspiring experiences and discussions, the activities of the "International Distributors Conference", organized by the Sharjah Book Authority, concluded over two days, and hosted publishers, book distributors and interested people from around the world, during the first conference of its kind.

Participants in the sessions of the second and final day of the conference said that those working in the field of bookselling can explore the environment and needs of the local communities in which their libraries fall, and work to create a close link with readers that goes beyond marketing and selling books, to building close relationships between libraries and individuals, foremost among them. Children who shape future readers.

In the first session of the second day of the conference, Nadia Wassef, the founding partner of Diwan Library in Egypt, reviewed the story of “Diwan”, which was founded 20 years ago, by three women, and now owns 10 branches, managed to adapt to the pandemic, and succeeded in maintaining a community of Readers, through its commitment to providing an identity to its content of books, has achieved a distinguished audience for it.

Nadia said: "Distribution of e-books on different platforms poses risks to the distribution of paper books, but this gave us the opportunity to stand the challenge of flexibility and experimentation, and to work with real and innovative effort, to remain as we started as pioneers in distributing books."

She pointed out that libraries can contribute to the development of societies through the titles of books that adopt their distribution, and that they develop their sales by training their staff and providing them with additional experiences that help them to engage in dialogue with the reader.

While a session entitled “Cooperation with book publishers, cultural festivals and schools”, the successful management of the bookstore relies on the volume of relationships with partners, by highlighting examples of strong partnerships with publishers, authors, festivals and schools, which constitute a key factor in enhancing the role of stores Books, as an important part of society, and a destination for science, knowledge and reading.

In the session moderated by Therese Nasser, from Ingram Publishing Services, four speakers highlighted their experiences and provided a set of tips on the best ways to build effective partnerships with the target audience.

The panel included: Lola Shonin, Ake Bok Festival, Nigeria, Gaurav Shrinagish, Penguan Random House, India, Swati Roy, Pokaro, India, and Tina Mamulashvili, Georgia.

On his experience in his native Georgia, book distributor Tina Mamolashvili explained the importance of a good writer and appropriate content for the community, in order for the book to achieve adequate distribution that supports the author himself, not just the bookseller.

He pointed out - from his experience - the feasibility of paying attention to local cultures and languages ​​to create successful libraries that have an area that goes beyond the role of book distribution to creating inspiration, and drawing the attention of readers of all ages.

While Lola Shonen considered that the book distributor should play more than one role, and be related to both the writing profession and the sales and marketing process, in addition to creating relationships with authors, to know the inspiring stories and books that succeed in reaching the reader better, and to focus on taking care of the accompanying products For books, such as bags, connecting authors, local festivals and their audience, keeping children engaged with the library, seeing it as their own space, a place that provides them with books.

As for Gaurav Shrinagish, he pointed out that the distribution of books in India during the pandemic was negatively affected significantly in light of the closure, so book distributors were forced to open up to using social media, to reach customers, restore distribution momentum, and try to create a new environment for selling books.

 Raising awareness

During the session "Cooperation with writers publishers, cultural festivals and schools", Swati Roy talked about her experience in launching a reading festival for children, which began in the form of an open library to attract young people of different age groups, starting at the age of two years, to introduce them to books and make them available for them to read, all the way to going with books. to parks, gardens and schools, working with parents to create an environment for love and attachment to books, prioritizing the display of books by emerging authors, and raising awareness of children's literature in India.

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