Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

October 10, 2014 books, fun, miscellaneous 2

I went to the Frankfurt book fair yesterday! It was a semi-spontaneous decision. As you may remember (or not if you’ve never been on my blog before, in which case: hey, there!), I took a weekend seminar on what an editor does two weeks ago. The editor who held it recommended to go the Frankfurt book fair to make connections and possibly talk about internships. We decided to go on a Thursday because the fair isn’t open to private visitors during the week and we thought we’d have more of a chance to talk to people. I even got in for free because I accidentally signed up for press accreditation and my blog qualified, which I thought was pretty damn awesome.

Book License Advertisement Penguin Group
book rights advertisement

In retrospect I’m laughing about the fact we made business cards, because I didn’t hand out a single one. (Still worth it, they’re pretty.) So, if it wasn’t due to a lack of business cards, why did we fail to make connections? Well, turns out the Frankfurt book fair is a trade fair. Which we already knew, but it means that pretty much everyone who’s there in any sort of professional capacity is having MEETINGS and talking BUSINESS. Nevertheless, it was an interesting day. My friend got to sneak a peek at license negotiations because she knew someone she could shadow for the day. Meanwhile, I and another friend partook in a quiz. The stakes were high: we played for hideous government giveaways against a 17-year-old guy from Frankfurt. The subject: Europe. I am proud to say that we defended our hometown with a smashing result of 7 to 4. My friend had to save us two times because I loved smashing that buzzer a little too much. What can I say, those things are fun. And we walked away with two 4GB memory sticks, so I think that kind of success speaks for itself.

Frankfurt Book Fair Collector's Library Booth
Collector’s Library booth

We did talk to a couple of people as well. In the picture above you can see the Collector’s Library booth that had ridiculously pretty editions of well-known classics. The booth was manned by a very British guy, who replied “Indeed.” when I asked whether their books are available in Germany and who looked like he smelled something bad when my friend told him about my blog. So, basically, he was perfect for the job. He told us that they sell the books for 5€ on the last day of the fair, but sadly, he wasn’t allowed to sell them sooner because apparently otherwise they get fined by the organizers. We found another publisher that only sold geeky books and I even managed to ask whether they had internships available, but unfortunately they didn’t.

I probably won’t be going to the fair again anytime soon, but it was still nice to be surrounded by books and to get to take a look at the different publishers and how the book world works. Penguin and Random House had big, flashy booths (if they can even still be called that) opposite each other, where the focus was more on meeting spots than on books, whereas smaller publishers had more crammed ones with a table or two. The international hall containing mostly English-speaking publishers was a lot more crowded than the one that seemed to focus on Asian publishing houses. There were small events going on all over the fair, from author interviews and signings to digital publishing resolutions presentations. There wasn’t really anyone I knew or wanted to meet, but I imagine there might be more customer-oriented events on the weekend and I’m not really the target audience considering I don’t read a lot of German books.

On a completely unrelated note, do let me know if you can think of any creative ways to get rid of business cards.

2 Responses to “Frankfurt Book Fair 2014”

  1. verena

    jaa, die buchmesse ist wichtig für autoren, illustratoren und alle möglichen business leute….
    aber hattest ja auch spaß :D bei gelegenheit: ich möcht ne business card von dir! :D

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