Monday, November 29

The Madrid Book Fair opens a process in search of a new direction

The group of booksellers and booksellers of the capital has opened to the public, for the first time, the selection process for the new address of the Book Fair. Pablo Bonet, Secretary of the Union, affirms that until now the decisions have been taken “by finger” and in “an opaque and obscure way”, he explains to this newspaper. That is why, according to Bonet, “a window is opened to the public and the media” so that “all interested parties can present themselves.” According to the planned calendar, around December 9 there will be a new name, who will take office on the 13th.

A sector of the organization of the Book Fair requests the resignation of its director

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The direction of the Book Fair has been in question in recent months. The last edition, held in autumn instead of spring due to the pandemic, has been experienced with shocks in three areas: the management of a reduced capacity due to restrictions, the list of writers invited or not by the Colombian Government officially and the allocation of the central booths, which were economically damaged in the bottom line due to their location. After the celebration of the event, the resignation of Manuel Gil, who held the management for five years, was announced.

The profile sought is that of a person “not so much with a lot of knowledge of the sector, but more focused on the organization of cultural events” according to Enrique Pascual, president of the Guild. He affirms that knowledge about the world of books “is being acquired rapidly but the main and priority competences are organizational”. The deadline for submit the candidatures It opens this Friday, November 12 and closes on the 26th of the same month.

The booksellers have a few days to compose a commission that will be in charge of studying and selecting the candidatures, with a format similar to the organizing commission of the Book Fair itself, which is made up of booksellers, representatives of publishers and distributors. The commission will apply a first filter from which half a dozen names will come out; They will be interviewed personally by Enrique Pascual, Pablo Bonet and “a third woman bookseller”, in Pascual’s own words, without revealing any names. Nor has it revealed the name of the people who will make up the evaluation commission.

The Book Fair offers a permanent contract and, according to the President, the salary range is between 45,000 and 50,000 euros gross per year. The director or director has to manage a budget of 1,600,000 euros. “Among the competences is the search for sponsorships, the choice of the press office and various suppliers, such as the company that labels the booths or the bars that are installed,” he says. The director will report to the Board of the Booksellers Guild, although some major decisions, such as the distribution of the booths or the schedule, will be made by consensus in the organizing committee of the Fair.

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