Frankfurt Book Fair 2010: successful as ever!


The most awaited event for the book publishing industry – the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010 was successfully held from October 06-10, 2010, attracting an impressive number of exhibitors. Both the exhibitors and the visitors left the show contended and satisfied with diaries packed with further follow-ups and numerous deals. A brief report by SK Khurana, editor, All About Book Publishing. Undoubtedly, the Frankfurt Book Fair enjoys the reputation of being the biggest book and media fair in the world. It also organises the participation of German publishers at more than 25 international book fairs and is associated with the Cape Town Book Fair in South Africa and the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. This year, the Frankfurt Book Fair 2010 chalked up 7,539 exhibitors from 111 countries and 2,79,325 visitors. Attendees had a chance to choose the events of their choice from 3,000 events.

Guest of honour – Argentina

Frankfurt Book Fair 2010:Some 110 publishers were represented at the Argentinean national stand, on area of approximately 450 sq m (Hall 5.1). The country’s presentation in the forum of the Book Fair took up area more than 2,000 sq m in the form of a literary labyrinth, which introduced 45 authors. International stars such as Jonathan Franzen, Bret Easton Ellis and Ken Follett drew the crowds, as did the appearances of Ingrid Betancourt, David Grossman, Thilo Sarrazin and Helmut Kohl.On behalf of all her colleagues, the prominent Argentinean author Claudia Piñeiro said, “Many of the writers’ works have been translated into German now for the first time, just targeting the Book Fair.”

“Argentina’s guest of honour appearance is the most literary we’ve had for years,” said Juergen Boos, director of the Frankfurt Book Fair during the closing press conference. “I’m convinced that a rediscovery of Latin American literature is currently under way,” he continued, and suggested that this is demonstrated not only by the highly successful appearance of Argentina at the Book Fair, but also the Nobel Prize awarded to the Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa. “Argentina is known for its strongly emotional character, and this has also been reflected in the country’s appearance in Frankfurt.”

In the words of Magdalena Faillace, president of the Argentinean Organisation Committee, “With this appearance in Frankfurt, our dreams have been fulfilled.” Due to the state-sponsored translation programme ‘Sur’, some 130 writers from Argentina have been translated in 54 countries. “It’s an erotic feeling to see these translations here at the Fair: German, Russian, English, French and many more,” added Magdalena. Antique books displayed outside the halls in a makeshift structure. These invaluable books were also available for sale.
Frankfurt SPARKS – the digital initiative

With its digital initiative, Frankfurt SPARKS, the Frankfurt Book Fair demonstrated the diversity and creativity of the industry’s current digital projects as well as indicating possible future developments. “With the StoryDrive Conference, the Frankfurt Book Fair has succeeded in creating a platform which promotes cross-media networking between the industries,” in the words of Silja Gülicher of Nintendo.

The events… big number of attandees

“There was increasing demand for guidance,” says Boos. With 16 events, the professional programme ‘Best Practice / New Ideas’ attracted a total of around 1,500 attendees. The annual get-together of international rights experts, the International Rights Directors Meeting, was booked out, as was the trend conference for international publishing, Tools of Change for Publishing (TOC), with delegates from 35 countries.

Tools of Change for Publishing – TOC Frankfurt 2010

Innovative shape books on display, attracting one and all.For the second time, digitisation experts from Europe, Latin America, China and the USA came together in Frankfurt for the conference ‘Tools of Change for Publishing – TOC Frankfurt’. On the day before the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair, 30 speakers and 400 delegates from 35 countries discussed technological innovations and strategies for success for mobile publishing, as well as the interaction between technology and content. Geographically, the conference focused its attention on the markets of China and Latin America.

Thomas Minkus, the Frankfurt Book Fair’s vice president, emerging media and English language markets, pointed out, “TOC Frankfurt helps our industry to analyse new channels of marketing and communication and in the process, to develop new business models.” In his keynote address, speaker Andrew Savikas, vice president, digital initiatives O‘Reilly, said that digital products and marketing models must be adjusted to meet his or her needs. Media specialist Douglas Rushkoff (USA) explained that publishing companies must actively scale down if they are to survive in future.

The e-book market featured prominently in many talks. Product manager Abraham Murray announced that internet giant Google will be starting its own online bookshop this year. Google Editions will initially launch with around 4,00,000 English-language titles.

TOC speakers did provide a reassuring finding for the publishing world: the e-book boom which in 2009 achieved sales of 400 million dollars in the USA alone, is also shown to promote the sale of printed books.

Point of content licensing solution

To maximize the return of investment for the publishers, Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) offers Rightslink, an innovative online tool that allows their customers to license the reuse of their content including website content, blog postings, e-articles, image, audio, video, etc. It’s a low cost, easy-to-implement solution that links the content to title-specific, web-based permission services at CCC’s website and provides basic title-level pricing control for works.

The response…

“We had a real thrust of energy at this Frankfurt Book Fair”, said book fair director Juergen Boos at the end of the five-day Fair. “Business with contents increased yet again this year – be it for the classic book or digital format, and our visitors showed that they were delighted again this year at the huge business potential in such a concentrated form and on an international scale.”

Talking to a few of Indian exhibitors, it was a general feeling that younger generation has suddenly started taking interest in the publishing industry and the industry is gearing up very fast with their participation and shows a good future. Jitender P Vij, group chairman and CEO, Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) Ltd was happy to be honoured by the Frankfurt Book Fair authorities for continuously participating in the fair for 25th time. They had opted for a stall in the fair having area of 112 sq m, which was designed excellently.

Subir Mitra, MD, Ananda Publisher Pvt Ltd, Kolkata has been regularly participating in the fair for the last 11 years and he said that the show is growing steadily. Interestingly, Ananda has been regularly participating in this fair for 28 years.

While Dr Ashok Gupta of Pustak Mahal, New Delhi, expressed his concern, saying, “There are just a handful of big publishers all over the world holding majority of market share and as such, there is very little business prospects left for remaining publishers.”

Rohit Bansal of Sahitya Bhawan Publications, Agra was a first time participant and found it worth to be there. “I had no prior meetings but still I got good response,” he said.

Dilip Sampat, president, Navneet Publications, said that the overall business is slightly low with around 20 percent less demand in Europe. “Also, our readers which comprise of children prefer now to spend around five Euros per book as against 10-12 Euros in the recent past. Europeans now have started the habit of saving, it seems.” Talking about the show, he added that the fair has been more or less of the same magnitude and similar footfalls as in the last two shows.

Small publishers at the show…

Though the publishing industry is dominated by big players, a small percentage is shared by thousands of publishers around the world. Still, there were quite a good number of small time publishers from across the world, trying their luck at the show. One such publisher was Sergi Roses, business developer, ACV Publishing Group, Spain, who has been participating since five years regularly and has been getting good response. “I am generally interested in co-editions and rights selling also. We got serious inquiries from Argentina, Eastern Europe and UAE.”

Printers at the show…

Participation by printers has become a regular feature at the book fairs. Since pricing is cheaper in India, a lot of European publishers are outsourcing to Indian printers. This has largely affected the printers’ business in Europe. One such printer present at the show was Stefano Bagnoli, artigrafiche Bocciaspa, Printing Europe, who said that publishers themselves are in trouble, so the response for printers is less. “Due to digital printing, web and e-books, demand for printing is going down. Also, every time publishers ask for lower production pricing than yesterday.”

Some of the Indian printers at the show included Datamatics Global Services Ltd, Gopsons Papers, JAK Printers, Manipal Press, NCBA Exports, Prints India, Replika Press, Repro India, Srinivas Fine Arts, etc.

The next countdown starts…

The Frankfurt Book Fair 2011 will take place from October 12 to 16, 2011 with Iceland being the guest of honour country.

EARTH Platinum Edition: the biggest book in the world

Proudly published by Millennium House, Earth Platinum Edition is an outstanding milestone in publishing—as 6 ft x 4.5 ft (1.8 m x 1.4 m), this exquisite book is unsurpassed in size, quality, and detail. It is a showcase of the craftsmanship of more than 100 international cartographers, geographers, and photographers. The company has already received orders for some of the limited print run of 31 copies. Printed and hand-bound in Italy at Lem Legatoria press, it is priced at US$ 1,00,000. With its jumbo size and overall weight, four people are needed to lift one such book!

It presents a view of the world like never seen before. The sheer size of the maps in this atlas delivers an unparalleled coverage, detailing our continents and regions of the world. Many of the images are comprised of up to 1,000 individual photos, all pieced together to create just one double page image.

According to Janet Parker, publisher, the printing plates of the atlas would be destroyed after printing 31 copies so as to maintain the value of each copy.

Interestingly, the previous big size atlas was published 350 years back – the Klencke Atlas, a single copy produced in May 1660 as a gift for Charles II of England. It was about one foot smaller all round than Earth Platinum.

Innovative 3-D books to attract one and all

Yu-Shik Kim, VB/MNO Business of SK Telecom, Johanne Wort of Carlton Publishing GroupChildren love to watch animation, so how about combining their reading with animation? That’s exactly what’s now being offered and showcased at the Frankfurt Book Fair. SK Telecom, the top ranking mobile network operator in Korea, offered ‘3D Magic Book’ which combines books and an AR embodied-screen for providing additional values. Targeted at the children aged between 04 and 10 years, it makes learning easy through animation and encourages children to be more intensively immersed in a book. The console can be connected to TV or computer monitor. The project is still in the pilot testing stage. According to Yu-Shik Kim, VB/MNO Business, SK Telecom, their USPs include faster recognition, faster rendering, quality resolution and since they are a mobile network operator, they can link mobile connectivity to content with no technical issues.

Another player offering 3D books was Carlton Publishing Group. According to Johanne Wort of Carlton Publishing Group, they have already printed three books, totaling half a million copies in different languages like German, Spanish, Italian, French, Japanese, etc. “All these books have been produced in China. The fourth book is underway and six more books have been planned for the next year. The price of the book goes around £13 each,” she added.

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