The London Book Fair unveils Main Stage keynote sessions as registration opens

lots of people in dome shaped building

 London, Wednesday 22 November 2023. The London Book Fair (LBF) has today revealed a wealth of high-profile speakers from the global publishing community who will be participating in the popular Main Stage theatre. The announcement comes on the day that registration opens for the 2024 edition of the Fair (12-14 March).

The most prominent stage of the Fair, offering insightful industry discussions, the Main Stage line-up will focus on key industry trends and global perspectives (Day 1), reshaping the publishing industry through creative content and innovation (Day 2) and the future of reading and emerging writing mediums (Day 3).

Confirmed speakers across the three days of the Fair include: Jonathan Karp, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster; Antonia Seymour, CEO of IOP Publishing; Amanda D’Acierno, President & Publisher, PRH Audio Publishing Group; Dan Conway, CEO, The Publishers Association UK (PA); Karine Gonçalves Pansa, President, International Publishers Association (IPA); Nicola Usborne, CEO, Usborne Publishing; and many more. Further announcements including the keynote speakers for Day 2 and Day 3, along with other speakers, will be revealed in the coming weeks.

Gareth Rapley, Director of The London Book Fair, said: “Following the success of last year’s Main Stage, we are delighted to unveil another brilliant line-up of speakers and organisations for one of the most popular stages of the Fair. We are thrilled to have such a wide range of heavyweight panellists, spanning international publishers, best-selling authors, AI experts, media executives and charity CEOs. Visitors to The London Book Fair 2024 can expect engaging debates and eye-opening conversations on the key themes that affect the publishing world.”

Jonathan Karp, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster and Day 1 Keynote Speaker, said: “I’m excited to be attending and speaking at the London Book Fair 2024. Through the years, the LBF has proven to be a vital gathering for the international publishing community, and I look forward to joining with industry colleagues from around the world for a few days of productive and meaningful exchange.”


The initial programme of events on the Main Stage includes:

Tuesday 12th March

10.30 – 11.00 Opening Keynote Address: A Conversation with Jonathan Karp, President and CEO, Simon & Schuster

In light of their recent acquisition by private equity, this session will explore the future prospects of Simon & Schuster, discussing the potential impact of decoupling from a large media enterprise and how it may shape the company’s trajectory.

11.15 – 12.00 Exploring the Ever-Evolving World of Publishing: Global Trends, Challenges, and Opportunities

This session will investigate the need for publishers to adopt digital innovation in an era of unparalleled connectivity. The debate will unveil key trends steering the course of the industry, from understanding evolving consumer behaviours to exploring adaptive strategies for suppliers.


  • Karine Gonçalves Pansa, President, International Publishers Association (IPA)
  • Ricardo Franco Levi, President, The Federation of European Publishers (FEP)
  • Lawrence Njagi, President, African Publishers Network (APNET)
  • Youngsuk ‘YS’ Chi, Vice Chairman, The Association of American Publishers (AAP) and Elsevier, Director, Corporate Affairs & Strategy, RELX Group
  • Chaired by Edward Nawotka, Senior International Bookselling Editor, Publishers Weekly

12.15 – 13.00 International Author of the Day – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid is a New York Times and Sunday Times best-selling author, screenwriter, and Emmy-nominated producer. Her most recent novel Carrie Soto Is Back debuted on the Sunday Times and New York Times Bestseller lists. Earlier this year, Amazon Prime Video released the television adaptation of her novel Daisy Jones and the Six, and the series received nine Emmy Award nominations. Her eight novels, including Malibu Rising, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, One True Loves, Maybe in Another Life, After I Do and Forever, Interrupted have been translated into over forty languages and are beloved by an impressive and dedicated fan base.

13.15 – 14.00 Beyond The Pages: Publishing in 2030

Join us for an enlightening session that aims to empower readers to engage with environmental and social best practices within the publishing industry. The session will highlight the importance of green skills across our sector, as well as delving into the transformative role of emerging technologies like AI in this pursuit.


  • Rachel Martin, Global Sustainability Director, Elsevier
  • Piers Torday, award-winning and bestselling Children’s Author and Sustainability and Climate Change Campaigner

14.15 – 15.00 Copyright and AI: A Global Discussion of Machines, Humans, and the Law

As AI technologies become more widespread across the publishing world, this session will explore the implications of AI for copyright law and policy. The speakers will delve into the legal and ethical dimensions across different continents, while also navigating the inherent complexities of regulating this new technology.


  • Sylvie Forbin, Deputy Director General, World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO)
  • Maria A. Pallante, President and Chief Executive, Association of American Publishers (AAP)
  • Glenn Rollans, Former President, Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) and President and Publisher of Brush Education Inc.
  • Nicola Solomon, CEO, Society of Authors (SoA)
  • Chaired by Porter Anderson, Editor -in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives

15.15 – 16.00 The Marrakesh Treaty and Global Accessibility in Publishing

The Marrakesh Treaty ensures that people with print disabilities have equal access to literature and information. This session will reveal progress and industry initiatives to promote accessibility, diversity, and inclusion along with practical steps that the industry can take to contribute to this significant milestone.


  • Hugo Setzer, President of the Mexican Publishers Association
  • Anne Bergman-Tahon, Director, Federation European Publishers (FEP)
  • Selina Mills, a legally blind award-winning Writer, Broadcaster, and Activist
  • Claire Wade, Author, Disability Activist, Founder of Authors with Disabilities and Chronic Illnesses (ADCI)
  • Chaired by Jose Borghino, Secretary General, International Publishers Association (IPA)

Wednesday 13th March

11.15 – 12.00 Transforming the Future of the Written Word with AI

Artificial intelligence is expected to have a significant impact on the future of publishing – we are already seeing its effects. Our panellists will discuss the present and future of AI, and its impact on content creation. What are the potential benefits that AI is encouraging? What are the principles that will ensure it is used effectively and responsibly? How can the publishing industry work together to tackle the challenges and risks of AI? What role will AI play in detecting and preventing copyright infringement?


  • Dan Conway, CEO, The Publishers Association UK (PA)
  • Dr Kate Devlin, Reader in Artificial Intelligence & Society in the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London
  • Katie King, Published Author on AI
  • Bill Thompson, Principal Research Engineer in the Advisory Team, BBC Research & Development
  • Rebecka Isaksson, KM Strategist and Keynote Speaker

12.15 – 13.00 Author of the Day – Richard Osman

Richard Osman is an author, producer, and television presenter. His first three novels, The Thursday Murder Club, The Man Who Died Twice and The Bullet That Missed were multi-million-copy record-breaking bestsellers around the world, and entering the top 10 best-selling hardback novels in the UK since records began. His fourth book The Last Devil to Die is the fastest selling hardback novel by a British author since records began (beating his own record!). His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide.

13.15 – 14.00 The Future of Audio in Publishing: Global Trends and the Impact of AI

Join us to learn more about the rise of audio content consumption, the potential for international market growth, and strategies for capitalising on global audio publishing opportunities. We will also discover the impact of AI on the global growth of the audiobook market, as well as strategies to adopt and produce audio content that appeals to diverse audiences worldwide.


  • Michele Cobb, Executive Director, Audio Publishers Association
  • Amanda D’Acierno, President & Publisher, PRH Audio Publishing Group
  • Helena Gustafsson, Chief Content Strategy Officer, Storytel
  • Chaired by Videl Bar-Kar, Vice President Audio, Bookwire

14.15 – 15.00 Global Academic Panel: The Academic Publishing Landscape in 2030 and Beyond

This session brings together visionary leaders and experts in the academic industry to explore the future of academic organisations. Through a dynamic discussion, our speakers will explore key topics such as open access, learning machines, diversity and inclusion, and sustainability – sharing the latest trends in global academic innovation.


  • Antonia Seymour, CEO, IOP Publishing
  • Harsh Jegadeesan, Chief Publishing Officer, Springer Nature
  • Chaired by Richard Fisher, Academic and Policy Correspondent, Independent Publishers Guild (IPG)

15.15 – 16.00 Panel Discussion: Voices Unheard: Addressing Inclusivity and Representation in Publishing World

Speakers in this session will investigate the importance of accurate representation, authentic storytelling, and the positive impact they have on readers of all backgrounds. From celebrating the remarkable progress achieved, to acknowledging the challenges that still remain, this discussion will chart a course towards a more inclusive and representative literary world.


  • Julie Farrell, Author and Co-Founder of Inklusion Guide
  • Natasha Carthew, Author and Director of The Festival for Working Class Writers
  • Nelson (Nels) Abbey, Author and Co-founder of Black Writers Guild
  • Stacy Scott, Head of Accessibility at Taylor & Francis and Chair, Accessibility Action Group, Publishers Association (PA)
  • Chaired by Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives

Thursday 14th March

11.15 – 12.00 Children’s Author of the Day – Joseph Coelho

Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho is an award-winning performance poet, playwright and children’s author. His debut poetry collection Werewolf Club Rules (Frances Lincoln, 2014) was the winner of the CLPE CLiPPA Poetry Award 2015. He aims to inspire young people through stories and characters they can recognise and explores themes including fear, courage, diversity, gratitude, empathy and loss. Throughout his career he has highlighted the power of poetry and reading, championing and campaigning for local libraries and spotlights new voices and diversity throughout his work.

12.15 – 13.15 Panel: Creating a Culture of Reading for Pleasure

In a rapidly evolving digital landscape, cultivating a culture of reading for pleasure has become more crucial than ever. Join us in this captivating session as we discover the essential elements of fostering a lifelong love for reading. The speakers will explore the transformative power of reading and its profound impact on personal growth, cognitive development, and overall well-being, looking at shaping the readers of tomorrow and the future’s Gen Alpha.


  • Helenor Gilmour, Director of Insight and Strategy, Beano Studios
  • Jonathan Douglas CBE Hon FRSL, Chief Executive, National Literacy Trust
  • Nicola Usborne, CEO, Usborne Publishing
  • Helen Freeman, Director, Oxford Childrens (OUP)
  • Cassie Chadderton, Chief Executive Officer, World Book Day


Further details about The London Book Fair line-up will be revealed in the run up to the Fair, and will be available at this page.

The London Book Fair (LBF) is the world’s largest spring book trade and publishing event, and will return to its home at Olympia London from 12 – 14 March 2024. Visitor registration is now open, at this link.

To apply for a press pass for The London Book Fair, please visit: