Festivals like Hay are excellent opportunities to grow your business, as well as stimulate your mind

Bill Clinton called it the “Woodstock of the Mind”. The Hay Festival can certainly draw a big crowd – the sleepy Welsh village will swells 1,500 residents to 250,000 bibliophiles at the end of every May, as one of the most prestigious literary festivals in the world takes place over nearly a fortnight.

Literary festivals also play a key role in publishing success. Festivals like Hay are a laboratory of ideas that break down boundaries and cross-pollinate writing styles to inspire and enthuse a new generation of writers. It is these writers who will produce the works that will excite readers – and build a customer base – in the years ahead.

The ambition of TEAS Press Publishing House, which I founded some five years ago, is to increase the number of published books, particularly by young Azerbaijani authors, into ever wider markets.

Cultural entrepreneurs should not only aim to grow their client base – they should help nurture and develop them into more sophisticated market places for publishers who want to do business in the region.

For others with similar ambitions to TEAS Press, festivals like Hay should be the centre point of their business strategy.

Read my latest article for New Europe here.