Bologna Book Plus Releases New Audio Forum Program

The Bologna Book Plus, a generalist-publishing program, offers its first ‘Audio Forum’ on April 10 during Bologna Children’s Book Fair.

The upcoming Bologna Children’s Book Fair (April 8 to 11) is now three things: (a) the main fair led by Elena Pasoli; (b) a generalist (non-children’s) fair called Bologna Book Plus led by Jacks Thomas; and (c) the Bologna Licensing Trade Fair/Kids.

Bologna Book Plus has added an “Audio Forum.” And on February 13th that newly added audio program has announced details of its programming.

What Thomas and her team mean by a “forum” is a conference-within-the-trade-show: a three-hour sit-down event that’s to include eight informational segments, followed by a drinks reception. The program is being organized by Bologna Book Plus with Nathan Hull of Norway’s Beat Technology, and its sessions are a mix of specialists and vendors in the field. As an anecdote, the moment is interesting for the financial report that News Corp and HarperCollins released last week, indicating that the publisher’s digital sales had increased year-over-year by some 15 percent, largely credited to downloadable audiobooks and a beneficial role that Spotify’s new offer of audiobooks is playing.

In a prepared statement for today’s program announcement, Thomas says, “International growth in audio publishing is a cause for celebration within our industry; giving voice to authors across backlist and frontlist, offering flexibility and accessibility of content and, wonderfully, reaching new consumers of literary output from toddlers to technophobes. “With podcasts an essential marketing medium for books, the ‘Audio Forum’ spans the gamut of entertainment and information that books offer.” 

She adds that the program is benefiting from Beat’s partnership. And from Beat, we read Hull saying, “The Audio Forum’s array of international heavyweight speakers is really unprecedented.

Providing data insights and covering a wealth of topics from international reach to new platforms; and children’s audio devices to podcasts, the experience and information that this forum will exude is genuinely exciting, and something I’m immensely proud to have curated.”

For additional information: Porter Anderson at

Photo: Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2023/ Publishing Perspectives, Porter Anderson