Frankfurt Book Fair 2014: five days of publishing bliss!


Frankfurt Book Fair is set to open its doors from October 8-12, 2014 and this
not-to-be-missed event will be the mecca for the publishing industry globally. An update.

Poised as the leading international publishing industry’s trade fair, Frankfurt Book Fair will host more than 7,300 exhibitors from more than 100 countries and attract around 2,75,000 visitors, over 3,400 events. It will also gather key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Book Fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. This year, the guest of honour country is Finland.

The Frankfurt Book Fair organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Together with its Business Club, the Frankfurt Book Fair offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, experts and visionaries. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers.

Finland makes Frankfurt cool

A glimpse of the 2013 edition of Frankfurt Book FairAs Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year, in addition to 130 publications in German, Finland, is bringing more than 50 authors from almost all genres of literature to Germany, Austria and Switzerland to sustainably present literature from Finland. New, brave, crazy and surprising are the attributes that will distinguish the Guest of Honour’s appearance in 2014. Finnland.Cool. is the motto, the focus of which is on Finnish literature and reading. But also numerous art events and exhibitions shall be representing Finland.

“Literature belongs to everyone and should be accessible everywhere. Therefore we are also bringing Finnish literature and books to Frankfurt, to the literature centres of the city, in urban saunas, private apartments and clubs. We have even organised a saunamobil in cooperation with the Finnish Goethe Institute,” states Iris Schwanck, director of FILI (Finnish Literature Exchange) and manager of the honorary guest’s appearance in Frankfurt.

One of the literary highlights in Frankfurt is definitely an evening with Finnish-Estonian bestselling author Sofi Oksanen (When the Doves Disappeared) on October 8, at the Schauspiel Frankfurt. The Finns’ literary performances will be everything other than cold, when during the days of the Book Fair, a Finnish author visits one of the city’s public saunas in Frankfurt and administers the visitors a literary infusion. The “poetic infusion” is a collective project with the Goethe Institute Finland and shall take place between October 7-12 in various locations in Frankfurt. In addition to the spontaneous sauna poetry performances, the “Schweiß & Sauna” project from the young Finnish spoken word scene will undertake a poetry road trip with a fire engine converted into a saunamobil across Germany between October 7-10. The mobile sauna will also visit Frankfurt. At the Frankfurter Stadtbibliothek various exhibitions will be held on e.g. the history of Finnish literature or Finnish children’s book illustrations. Also, readings and discussions on topics such as Finnish thrillers, minority literature, reading or the library system are in planning.

Finland will be visible all over the exhibition grounds. The Guest of Honour shall be represented in the Forum at the Book Fair as per tradition. For the first time in the history of the Frankfurt Book Fair no famous architect was commissioned with the design. Instead this was placed in the hands of students on the Master’s course in Room and Furnishing Design at Aalto University, Helsinki. In line with the slogan Finnland.Cool. a Finnish winter landscape provides the basis for the exhibition. From this, the peace and purity of Finland are brought together to a spatial concept with six rotundas that accommodate individual rooms with different moods and contents, such as exhibitions, a stage with room for an audience and a café. The inspiration for the space concept was conceived by the designers on the basis of the numerous libraries and park landscapes of Finland: “Like a Finnish park, the Finnland.Cool. Pavilion shall serve as a place of relaxation in the midst of the large, hectic book fair. It is designed to invite visitors to take a journey into the world of Finnish literature, whereby they can take a seat and relax with a book under a leaf canopy or become active themselves.”

The Finnish publishing world shall be represented by two national stands at the fair: with 37 Finnish publishers at the Finnish Publishing Association stand in Hall 5 and six publishers at the education and schoolbook stand in Hall 4.2. As typically Finnish, the library bus shall also be in the Agora of the fair and shall be honouring the 100th birthday of famous Finnish author, illustrator and painter Tove Jansson with an emphasis on the Moomins.

Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club

This year, for the first time, StoryDrive will be part of the new Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club (Hall 4.0). Members of the Business Club not only have access to exclusive lounge and meeting areas, but also benefit from a first-rate package of services. The Business Club programme consists of presentations, workshops and masterclasses with leading figures, as well as our three conferences, CONTEC, the Rights Directors Meeting (RDM) and StoryDrive. Other elements include individual consultancies, guided tours of the Book Fair and speed-dating events.

Copyright Clearance Center is the official partner of the Frankfurt Book Fair Business Club, and a partner in the International Rights Directors Meeting. The European Union Prize for Literature (EUPL) is also a partner in the Rights Directors Meeting.

International Rights Directors Meeting (RDM)

The International Rights Directors Meeting is a well established institution. For over 25 years it has been the place for meetings involving the Who’s Who of the international rights and licensing trade. Alongside the latest trending topics, the half-day conference provides exclusive insights into the markets of the future and strategies for value addition.

This year, the Rights Directors Meeting will, for the first time, be part of the Frankfurt Book Fair’s new Business Club (Hall 4.0). Over 400 million people in 21 countries on two continents: with a focus on Spanish-speaking Latin America, the International Rights Directors Meeting (RDM) will highlight one of the most exciting territories for the licensing trade. After English, Spanish is now the most widely spoken language in the world. This was the finding of the Cervantes Instituto, Madrid in 2013. Its researchers suggested that by 2030, some 535 million people will speak Spanish, rising to over 10 percent of the global population within the next three generations.

At the Rights Directors Meeting, on Tuesday, October 7, 2014 a number of recognised experts will present the dynamically developing Spanish-language markets of Latin America. The Frankfurt Book Fair is expecting about 200 participants from 30 countries to attend this 28th edition of the RDM.

At the RDM, speakers from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia and Spain will present the latest trends and figures from their respective markets; they will assess the current state of digitisation and answer the question of how to maximise your success in these rights markets. General-interest publishers and specialist publishers will be represented in equal numbers. At the same time, the RDM will examine the question of how the growing supply of digital content on a global scale will influence and change the international rights trade in the long term.

CONTEC 2014: The future of publishing

Innovative presentations, interactive discussions, diverse networking opportunities: the technology conference CONTEC will take place one day before the Frankfurt Book Fair. In a large number of sessions, more than 40 international speakers will address the questions and trends affecting the international publishing and media industries.

As a leading expert on “big data”, the Austrian lawyer and academic Viktor Mayer-Schönberger will shine a light on the future of the international publishing market. With his major works, Delete: The Virtue of Forgetting in the Digital Age and Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work and Think, he has become well known as both a warning voice and an advocate of digitisation, with all its dangers and opportunities. In his latest book, Learning With Big Data: The Future of Education (with Kenneth Cukier; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2014), he examines the changes being triggered by big data in the field of education.

At CONTEC, Mayer-Schönberger will take a look ahead and attempt to analyse the future potentials and risks facing the international book market in the seemingly endless data jungle. On the one hand, he will emphasise the economic and social opportunities for private companies that are currently hidden within the data mountains. At the same time, he will provide a warning about the darker flip-side. In his own words, “We must leave space for irrationality, creativity, originality. We have to create the space in which individuals can put up a fight against the rational pronouncements of an algorithm.”

Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, professor of Internet Governance and Regulation at the Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford University is also a faculty affiliate of the Belfer Center of Science and International Affairs at Harvard University. In addition to his recent international bestseller Big Data (co-authored with Kenneth Cukier), Mayer-Schönberger has published ten books.

StoryDrive 2014: Cult series, cyber philosophers and heroes

This year, once again, the participants in the all-media conference Frankfurt StoryDrive can look forward to an exciting line up of media figures from around the world. On Friday, October 10, cyber philosopher Alexander Bard, script consultant Linda Aronson, composer Norman Ritter and screenplay author Lars Lundström will present a number of prize-winning projects.

Under the heading “Heroes”, this year’s anniversary event will celebrate the heroes of the media business – those on the frontline and those behind the scenes. In so doing, it will shine a spotlight on people who bring stories to life: actors and authors, developers and producers, publishers and programme managers, and of course the general public. Britta Friedrich, director events and programmes, said, “At StoryDrive 2014, once again creative professionals and managers from across all disciplines will join together to stimulate new ideas in a dialogue with each other and with the audience.”

Self-publishing becomes larger focus at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair will expand its self-publishing focus by hosting a two-day programme to provide information and connections for international authors, agents, and other industry professionals who want to learn more about global opportunities in self-publishing in the English-language market.

In addition to the Book Fair’s successful German-language Self-Publishing Area and the Ignite event for self-published authors at the Fair, this expanded programme caters to the evolving role of authors worldwide. Nielsen reports that in 2013, UK sales of self-published e-books grew by 79 percent. Various estimates of Amazon’s US e-book sales put self-published titles at around 25–30 percent of the total. As a reflection of this growth, the Frankfurt Book Fair has created an opportunity for participants to network with industry professionals, meet with global service providers face-to-face, and connect with fellow authors around the world.

This programme is sponsored by NOOK Press, Ingram Content Group’s IngramSpark, and Kobo who will present their solutions and share insight about how authors can best promote and distribute their books to readers.

On Friday, October 10, the Fair will also organise tours through Hall 8 (home to English-language exhibitors) with stops at key exhibitors working in self-publishing for networking and discussion opportunities. The Friday afternoon seminars in Hall 4.C, curated by Authoright, a provider of support and services to authors, will present a step-by-step guide to publishing a book, tips for working with literary agents, and a discussion on getting your work noticed by readers.

On Saturday, October 11, the Frankfurt Book Fair will present a full-day programme on the Publishing Perspectives Stage in Hall 8, where a variety of topics will be presented and discussed, including social media for authors, cover design and editing, e-book distribution and ‘success stories’ with established authors.

Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) sold out

With 456 tables booked, the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) is once again sold out, breaking last year’s record of 448 tables. The LitAg will open on October 7, 2014, one day before the official start of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and will remain open until October 12. The Literary Agents & Scouts Centre provides an exclusive workspace for scouts and agents and their business partners.

Around 308 agencies from 33 countries will be present in the LitAg – the largest contingent is from the USA, with 72 agencies, followed by 59 British and 44 German registrations. Some 25 new agencies are coming to Frankfurt this year, among them visitors from Bulgaria, Chile and Italy.

The Literary Agents & Scouts Centre is not just a place for organised networking, there is also plenty of space for chance encounters. Under the title ‘Serendipity’, Riky Stock, director of LitAg, asked agents and scouts to share some of their success stories, and these will be presented at this year’s Fair.

New focus on children’s and YA publishing

The Frankfurt Book Fair Fellowship Programme will be held this year for the 17th time – and for the first time ever, it will focus on children’s publishing. The programme will be geared specifically toward international publishers, editors, agents, product and project managers and licensing professionals specialising in children’s and YA books. The goal of the programme each year is to offer talented and highly qualified publishing professionals an inside look at the German publishing industry and to motivate them to take on an active role in the global network of publishing professionals.

Particularly worth celebrating is the fact that an impressive 98 applications were submitted this year. In addition, five countries will be represented in the Frankfurt Fellowship Programme for the first time in 2014: Belgium, Lebanon, the Philippines, Serbia and Thailand.

Mobile & publishing…hand in hand at Frankfurt Book Fair

Frankfurt Book Fair is partnering with Samsung, a global leader in mobile technology, in a new collaboration that will highlight the convergence of mobile technology and the global publishing industry. Over the course of the Frankfurt Book Fair, the impressive content experiences that can be brought to life through innovative technology.

Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair said, “We are delighted that Samsung will be the new Innovation Partner of the Fair. As Samsung continues to embrace new forms of storytelling and evolve the reading experience of millions of users, we think that the publishing industry can profit from this collaboration in many ways. At the same time, we also know that the book trade has a lot to offer the mobile technology sector, especially as an important content provider. As the world’s biggest book fair, we think we are well-placed to open many important doors to the key movers and shakers in the content industry and help facilitate some exciting business conversations going forward.”

NBT, India pavilion @
Frankfurt Book Fair 2014

NBT, India has been regularly participating in Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) since last 40 years. To boost India’s presence in FBF, they took the initiative and began to setup India Pavilion since the year 2012. In this Pavilion, they put up a collective exhibition of publications from Government of India publishing houses like Sahitya Akademi, Publications Division, etc.

In 2013, NBT had setup the India Pavilion in association with Sahitya Akademi which was a huge success at the FBF. The Sahitya Akademi had also sponsored an Indian writers’ delegation to FBF to participate in literary discussions at the India Pavilion. The Pavilion was visited by a large number of visitors belonging to different countries.

This year, three government organisations (Sahitya Akademi, National School of Drama and Publication Division) have partnered with NBT and shall be displaying some of their prominent publications in India Pavilion (E-127 in Hall 5.1) in the FBF. Sahitya Akademi has also sponsored eminent authors Dr Gourahari Das, Ramanunni Karumathil Puthanveetil, Damodar Esvonta Mauzo, Balram Prem Narain, who will have literary discussion in India Pavilion. NBT has collected approximate 300 titles from 34 Indian publishers to display at India Pavilion during Frankfurt Book Fair.

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