Show Notes: Frankfurt Book Fair 2013: Trains and Trade
Sitting down? Good: There are more than 7,800 exhibitors from close to 100 countries listed for the 2013 Frankfurt Book Fair (October 9-13), the world’s largest publishing trade show, and the one that doubles as a showcase for the financial capital of Europe’s railway service. You'll want to sit down and rest your feet before heading to Frankfurt to try to cover the show!
Gutenberg might consider it magic to zip into town on the S8 and S9 trains from the airport. For you, the magic is that your Exhibitor Pass or five-day Trade-Visitor ticket includes your use of the U-Bahn and S-Bahn trains, trams and buses free all week.
This is important because, as any old hands at the 64-year-old event can tell you, you’re going to think you’re on the trains and trams more than you’re on the floor of the fair among the international rights deals and the endless unveilings of new books and digital publishing services.
If you’ve been to the London Book Fair or BookExpo America (BEA) in New York and think you’ve seen a big trade show, then you’re a newcomer to Frankfurt, and willkommen. Between the Entrance Hall East 3.0 and the Hot Spot for Digital Innovation in Hall 8.0, there are some dozen buildings brought into play at Frankfurt, featuring, for example: the Antiquarian Book Fair in Hall 6.0; International Publishers in Halls 5.0, 5.1, 6.1, 8.0; Literature (Children’s and Young Adult, Fiction and Nonfiction) in Halls 3.0 and 3.1…you get the idea. (And you get on the train.)
Don’t wait. Since publishing is probably the most Twitter-happy business on Earth, start tracking the @Book_Fair and @PubPerspectives handles now. Publishing Perspectives will be issuing free, printed “show dailies” with news and updates; pick them up on your way into any of the show’s halls each morning. Follow hashtags: #fbm13 for the fair, #CONTEC for some of the leading conference chatter.
Special interest area this year: Hall F1 (near the City Entrance) will be home to the huge, 2,500-square-meter Brazil exhibition. The new rise of Latin American markets is one of the hottest topics of this year’s Fair, and Brazil is sending in some 90 of its key authors as part of its special “Guest of Honour” designation.
My best advice? Start with one of the two agenda-setting conferences being staged on October 8. In these, you’ll hear world publishing leaders describe and debate up-to-the-minute issues.
In fact, I’d love for you to join me at the CONTEC Conference that Tuesday at the Frankfurt Marriott, produced by the Fair’s own Frankfurt Academy. I’ll be moderating a high-level roundtable addressing one of the critical issues of the year: what the rise of the self-publishing entrepreneurial author means to traditional publishing (use code CONTEC13KPTW20 at check out in the online registration for a 20% discount). Discussing the implications with me will be international best-selling author Hugh Howey (of the WOOL trilogy) and his agent, Kristin Nelson; Penguin global digital director Molly Barton; Amazon director of publisher and author relations Jon Fine; Curtis Brown literary joint CEO Jonny Geller; German self-publishing researcher Matthias Matting; LeanPub’s Peter Armstrong; and PubSlush's Amanda Barbara.
Running parallel to CONTEC is Publishers Launch Frankfurt, organized by industry veterans Mike Shatzkin and Michael Cader. Among leading figures at Publishers Launch are Goodreads’ Otis Chandler, Osprey Group’s Rebecca Smart and Amazon’s Russ Grandinetti.
And while the topic of book discovery in the digital marketplace and the pace of change in publishing will be two major themes at the conferences, watch also this year for emphasis on reader-community-building, new expansions in translation, and a big Frankfurt question: Isn’t Germany itself the next major market force in digital publishing and ebooks?
For more info, here’s a special 2013 Frankfurt Preview for you to download tips, background and those indispensable maps at your fingertips! See you on the train!
Journalist Porter Anderson, formerly with CNN and the Village Voice, specializes in publishing at PublishingPerspectives.com, JaneFriedman.com, and WriterUnboxed.com