Today is the first day of the Frankfurt Book Fair! Last year, we asked you all what your favorite memories and experiences at the event were. Here, we share a few with you, for your reminiscing pleasure:
Cecile told us:
First time on the Frankfurt Book Fair as a literary agent.. How nervous I was meeting the contacts I collaborated with for a long time, and how incredible nice it was to see them in person finally!
Now.. 10 years later I am still attending an exhibiting. To me it always is the highlight of the year in publishing world!
Douglas Pfeiffer said:
Most important was the advice I got from a veteran USA publisher who told me that international business is based on trust and friendship so don’t judge results until you have attended for 5 consecutive years. I followed that advice and in the 4th year, rights sales paid back the cost of attending the first 4 years
Pam Boiros advised:
Like every first time visitor, I was amazed at the size, scale, and scope of the event when I first attended in 1997. It cannot be described — it must be experienced. Although I will not be at FBF this year, I will offer the following advice from 10 years of attending:
– Plan carefully or you will wear yourself out. Be realistic. It is not possible to get from, say, Hall 3 to Hall 8 on time if your appointments are at 30 minute increments.
— Meeting people you have never met before is extremely challenging regardless of the location, so send a photo in advance, make sure you have their mobile number so that you can use text messaging to connect.
– If you need to go from Hall 8 to Hall 4.2 frequently there is a back corridor near the pharmacy/post office that saves loads of time!
– Goes without saying, but wear comfortable shoes!
Jeremy Soldevilla reminds us not to forget the most important parts:
The immensity of the event.
The terrific opportunity to meet my clients from all over the world in person.
Meeting an author who spoke no English (and I spoke no German) who took me on a tour of the Rhine River.
The beer. Yeah, the beer.
And Beth Ardner said:
This year will be my second Frankfurt Book Fair. Like everyone else I was absolutely awed by the size of the event. This year I am taking 3 colleagues with me who have not attended before and I’m almost as excited to see their reactions as I am to go back.
To share one of my favorite memories–last year I knew very few people and didn’t always have plans for dinner. One of the evenings I went back to our hotel to eat. There weren’t a lot of seats so I was sharing a table with a gentleman from Saudi Arabia who was at the conference to purchase rights for medical books. After a little bit of time we were joined by a literary agent from the US whose focus was on trade and who had been attending the conference for 30 years. Although we might have been an unexpected match we sat for two hours after dinner that evening sharing stories, insights about publishing, thoughts about the e-books trend, and generally chewing on any book-related topic we could come up with. We may not have had business together at the book fair, but we were all “book” people and it was a treat to hear their thoughts and insights.
There’s a few things to keep in mind as you peruse the fair! If anyone else would like to share their past experiences, we always love to hear a good tale of life in book business. And if you’re at the fair, please let us know how it’s shaping up for you!