Amid much speculation over 'repurposing' publishing for the digital era, the huge trade fair is as busy as ever
But how much more so this year, with the book world in the throes of radical change and publishers uncertain whether to be sunk in gloom over the falling sales of printed books or to celebrate the dramatic ebook surge.
The international spread of ebooks, currently an English-language dominated phenomenon, was a topic of hot speculation at the fair. How fast will it happen? How high will sales go? Should prices be slashed or held firm? Philip Downer, the man who headed Borders UK in the period up to its demise in 2009, offered warning words to publishers, saying they must "repurpose" to survive, or face going the way of his company and other bookselling casualties.
Against those stark words, there was the announcement of creative new ventures, such as imprint Macmillan Bello, set to put out-of-print titles from Gerald Durrell, Vita Sackville-West and other authors into digital editions via a partnership with literary agency Curtis Brown.
HarperCollins announced it would be starting a digital-first imprint for its online writers' community, Authonomy. And as ever there were the big books to boast of, including this year unpublished notebooks written by Bram Stoker in the 1880s, recently uncovered and due out next spring.
Other notables included a second volume of memoir from Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong'o, In the House of the Interpreter, and a fourth novel from Nadeem Aslam, The Blind Man's Garden, set in Pakistan. A new YA zombie series from Demonata author Darren Shan, titled Zom-B, was eye-popping for its price tag, with Simon and Schuster UK paying seven figures, though getting 12 books for the money.