Annual Book Publishing Events Calendar

photo of calendar
••• Major events on book publishing's annual calendar. The Image Bank / Getty Images

Here are some of the key conferences and events—for publishers, booksellers, authors, the reading public, or all—in the cycle of the book publishing industry’s year.

January

  • American Library Association Midwinter Meeting, aka “Midwinter ALA”: The prestigious Newbery Medal recognizing the distinguished contribution to children’s literature and the Caldecott Medal recognizing the distinguished contribution to children’s illustration are awarded at this event each Year.
  • Digital Book World: The conference was initiated to address the radically changing commercial publishing environment. It offers educational and networking resources for those involved in all facets of the book publishing—that is, content—industry.
  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Annual Winter Conference: The first of two international, annual conferences, brings together the children’s publishing world, from top professionals to those just starting out writing and illustrating children’s book—for networking and skill-building opportunities.

February

Valentine's Day in-store promotions are keeping everyone warm.

March

  • Bologna Children’s Book Fair: Focused on the children’s book trade, Bologna is “the rights place for children’s content.”
  • National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards: This organization of book critics bestows book awards for excellence, as well as prizes for contributions to the criticism and literary field.
  • Virginia Festival of the Book: Held near Charlottesville, five days and hundreds of authors. 

March/April

  • The International Association of Culinary Professionals Annual Conference: At the IACP conference gala banquet, the winners of the annual IACP Cookbook Awards are announced.

April

  • Pulitzer Prize for Letters (announced): These coveted prizes are given to American authors and include those specifically for books in several categories.
  • London Book Fair: A global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sales and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.
  • "Day of the Book," World Book and Copyright Day, and World Book NightApril 23—a day of literary significance—is a worldwide day (and night) of book and reading celebrations.
  • Los Angeles Times Festival of BooksCreated to promote literature and celebrate the written word, the festival draws between 130,000 and 140,000 book lovers each year.

April/May

May

  • The James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner: The dinner is held to announce the annual James Beard Foundation Book Awards, as well as the Broadcast & Journalism Awards.
  • The Man Booker International Prize: Sister to the Man Booker Prize, the international award also brings with it prestige, a lot of cash and, traditionally, a big sales bump.
  • Nebula Awards Weekend: The Nebula Awards are among those presented each year by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) during their annual May Nebula Awards Weekend.

May/June

  • Bookseller Expo America (BEA): The U.S.-based, industry-only international event helps showcase and sell forthcoming books and their subsidiary rights.
  • American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference & Exhibition: With more than 25,000 librarians, educators, authors, publishers, literacy experts, illustrators and library suppliers in attendance, “ALA” is the world’s largest event for the library community.

July

August

  • Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Annual Summer Conference: Brings together the children’s publishing world, from top professionals to those just starting out writing and illustrating children’s book—for networking and skill-building opportunities.

September

  • Regional Association Book Shows: The numerous regional independent bookseller associations host industry trade shows in September and October. These industry-focused shows are designed to showcase local publishers and local authorial talent and to help drive sales of regional books.
  • Baltimore Book Festival: Sponsored by the City of Baltimore and the Maryland State Arts Council, this festival is a lively mix of events for the public.
  • Brooklyn Book Festival: Set in the epicenter of book publishing in the U.S., the Brooklyn Book Festival is “the largest free literary event in New York City.”
  • National Book Festival: Held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. the festival is organized by the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Arts.

October

  • Frankfurt Book FairThis annual German book fair has a 500-year history and attracts a quarter of a million global book industry professionals and visitors each year.
  • Jewish Book Month / Jewish Book Fairs: Jewish Book Month, sponsored by the Jewish Book Council is celebrated the month after Hanukkah, so the date varies from year to year. With the goal of promoting Jewish books and Judaica, many Jewish Book Fairs are hosted during this time period at schools and other venues.
  • The Man Booker Prize: Britain/Ireland's highly prestigious Man Booker Prize brings with it a lot of cash and, traditionally, a big sales bump.
  • Louisiana Book Fair: Baton Rouge-based, this festival features a day of writing instruction for would-be authors.
  • Texas Book FestivalWas established by former First Lady Laura Bush and honors Texas authors.

November 

  • The Miami Book Fair International: “The nation’s finest literary festival” is notable for its amount of literary talent, a lively street fair, and the wealth of Latin American and Spanish Authors.
  • National Book Awards: Prestigious literary prizes “from writers to writers.”
  • Jewish Book MonthTaking place in the month before Hanukkah, Jewish Book Month marks a timeframe when many local organizations hold Jewish Book Fairs and celebrate the written word.

December

Thanks to holiday gift-buying, December is peak sales month for most booksellers.