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Random House snubs Toronto Book Fair

Random House of Canada probably isn’t making any friends at Reed Exhibitions. After having announced last fall that it would not be attending Reed’s annual trade show, BookExpo Canada, in June “ a move that prefigured the current mass exodus “ the publishing giant has now declared that it will not be participating in Reed’s new fall show, the Toronto Book Fair.

According to a press release issued by Random House senior vice-president Tracey Turriff:

Random House of Canada has decided not to be an exhibitor at the Toronto Book Fair consumer show being planned for Fall 09 by Reed Exhibitions, the company that organizes BookExpo Canada. We attended a presentation about the plans for the show, and a number of challenges were raised, including basic elements like the venue and timing for the show. We are concerned that it will be difficult for this show to achieve success given these challenges, and that we would need to commit extensive resources for our involvement to be successful.

Only time will tell if the move prompts more widespread rejection of the Toronto Book Fair. Meanwhile, Random House says it will be shifting its focus more toward the International Festival of Authors, held in Toronto in October, and toward its own new initiative, the Globe & Mail Open House Festival, set to take place in May.