A spokesperson told DPA that the Leipzig Book Fair, the second-largest event of its kind in Germany, was not going ahead this year.
The city authorities in Leipzig and the book fair's management team made the decision together on Tuesday, according to city spokesman Matthias Hasberg. He said it was a preventative measure.
The cancellation comes as Germany grapples with 188 coronavirus cases, including the first confirmed case in Saxony, the state where Leipzig is situated.
It's a huge blow to the book industry. The fair is seen by publishers as an opportunity to draw attention to their authors.
The festival was supposed to run from March 12th to 15th with a focus on works from across south-eastern Europe.
It was set to feature 3,700 events at 500 locations throughout Leipzig's trade fair grounds and the wider city, and had been expected to draw 2,500 exhibitors from 51 countries.
Across Germany, several major trade fairs have already been cancelled or postponed due to the increasing number of infections, including the ITB travel fair in Berlin, Pro Wein in Düsseldorf and the International Craft Fair in Munich.
The Leipzig Book Fair attracted 286,000 visitors last year.