Frankfurt Book Fair, Handkäs mit Musik and Apfelwein

Publishing Master’s student Lydia Evers writes about the recent visit by her class to the 2010 Frankfurt Book Fair:

On Thursday, 7th of October, at 6.45am a group of 32 postgraduate students together with Beverley Tarquini, Angus Phillips, Mary Malin and Rosalyn Dobrzanski made their way to Heathrow Airport to take a plane to Frankfurt – city of Handkäs mit Musik, Apfelwein and the Frankfurt Book Fair. Being from Germany (only about an hour away from Frankfurt), travelling there with a group of international students from Oxford was an amazing and almost too strange to be true experience for me. (I forgot where I was and that I actually spoke the language...)

The Frankfurt Book Fair was the first book fair I have ever been to and believe me when I say that it was overwhelming in both size – 7,500 exhibitors from 111 nations - and content. (A little advice here: never wear heels!) Our course is made up of people from not only a lot of different countries (even continents!), we also vary a lot regarding our work experience in the publishing industry. For me, publishing is (or was?) completely new and I consciously absorb everything that goes on around me. The Frankfurt Book Fair was an amazing opportunity to get an insight in how the industry works, what the current issues are and it showed how important networking is. (At one point we almost lost our bags, which were full of publisher catalogues, and a lovely lady pointed out to us where they had been taken – turns out, she was a literary agent who had worked in children’s publishing for a long time and we ended up having a very interesting conversation over a Bratwurst and coke.)

Despite their very tight schedule we all had appointments on stand with professionals at the fair – we had the chance to meet and speak with many publishers including Dorling Kinderley, Bloomsbury, Macmillan, Random House, OUP, Usborne, the ILO and many more. The publishers were mainly from rights and sales departments dealing with translations, permissions, buying and selling licences. Emphases of the fair were the growing presence of e-books and e-readers, digital developments and resulting questions about the future of the printed book.

All in all the trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair was an incredible experience – both socially and professionally. It made me aware of the industry I will work in, the people I will work with and the issues and developments publishers have to face nowadays. I can’t wait for London!

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 06 Nov 2010 around 12am

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