Not that you’d notice I’ve been missing because the Tumblr keeps a-whirling no matter the weather, but in case you were wondering, this is what took up most of the last three weeks, in terms of planning and, you know, being there and not collapsing from exhaustion-amusement.
My third Frankfurt Book Fair (aka buchmesse, in German) ranks as the most productive yet in terms of spreading the good word about the library market, which has ample room to grow. All but a handful of American publishers are in the game 100 percent and invested in exploring how best to connect with collection development librarians and even end users, aka patrons. I wouldn’t be surprised to see experimentation with models in 2015. A message of ours at the fair: it would be great for the midlist and backlist if librarians had more choice in how they bought.
Canada, whose library system comes close to America’s on funding, is showing strong signs of expansion, possibly because of our entrance in March. At the show, I made it a goal to talk with Canadian publishers about how to leverage the Canadian-grown parts of their lists. My deepest thanks to Dundurn Press, ECW Press, Ebound Canada, University of Regina Press, De Marque, and ANEL for their time and feedback. You’ll see hopefully positive results from my experiments in early 2015.
The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand glimmer not too far off on the horizon. The mood among publishers from those countries was overwhelmingly positive. I cannot say enough how much I appreciate the reception we’ve been given. Sending out undulations of gratitude to Emma House of the Publishers Association, Sandy Mahal formerly of The Reading Agency, Stephen Page of Faber & Faber, Zoe Dattner of Sleepers Publishing, and Chris McCrudden of Midas PR.
Other reasons to love Frankfurt: Amazon was nowhere in sight, you feel the freedom to dream big, pork is sold in all corners, and the camaraderie is unlike that found any other fair in the world. This is a profession built on passion, make no mistake. I’m still high from being so close to so many brilliant minds.
Next year, I want to bring a librarian envoy. Raise your hand if you’re in.