The Insider Guide to Frankfurt Book Fair 2019 – Vol.1

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It’s that time of the year again!

The Frankfurt Book Fair is back! If there’s one occasion which brings all the who’s who of the publishing industry at one place, it’s the Frankfurt Book Fair, or as the Germans call it – Frankfurter Buchmesse.

With a 500-year-old history, this event is considered to be the world’s largest trade fair for books. The fair is attended by the likes of publishers, booksellers, librarians, academics, institutions, authors, technology companies, trade associations and many more. While there are publishers, authors and organizations who attend the event to exhibit their products and services, a large number of people also attend as visitors to know more about the international book market and industry trends. Last year, over 285,000 visitors attended the fair!

What to expect at Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019?

Spread across a massive four million square foot exhibition space, the Frankfurt trade fair grounds turn into a hotspot for negotiating international publishing rights and licenses and signing off international deals and trading. This year the event starts from 16th October and continues up till 20th October. For a book enthusiast, these five days may seem too less, so we’ll help you make the most out of it by providing you all the information you need about FBF 2019.

Here’s the gist of what you can expect at Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

  1. An opportunity to meet new and best-selling authors.
  2. Learn about new content, trends and developments in the publishing industry.
  3. The book trade features audio books, children’s books, comics, books in translation, books on international culture and politics, and more.
  4. Attend Frankfurt Audio Summit and visit Frankfurt Audio Area with dedicated exhibition and events to explore trends around audio content.
  5. There will be a Cosplay for fans of manga and anime, with international Cosplay Stars in attendance, and Cosplay workshops.
  6. Visit the Gourmet Gallery to uncover new culinary discoveries, from health cuisine to wine and spices.
  7. Attend seminars and exhibitions that reveal new innovations in the fields of education, film, science, technology, games, STEM, academic publishing which contributes to the publishing industry.
  8. Attend the Weltempfang for an open exchange of ideas and political dialogue. This year’s focal point will be ‘Our Influence on The Planet’.
  9. Visit A LAB where visitors can participate in hands-on learning workshops on digital skills such as coding games, building robot bugs etc.
  10. For the first time, exhibitors at the Frankfurter Buchmesse will be able to sell books on both Saturday and Sunday of the fair, so make the most of this opportunity! (in the past, sales were allowed only on the last day of the fair).
  11. Do not miss the Frankfurt Antiquarian Book Fair where you can find attractive rare books, graphic arts, book art etc.
  12. There will be various best-seller readings, poetry slams, taste tests and panel discussions which you can attend for either free or with a ticket.

Guest of Honour

Every year, the Frankfurter Buchmesse hosts a country as the Guest of Honor. This year, Norway will be the Guest of Honour at FBM. The slogan for the Norwegian program is “The Dream We Carry,” which is based on a poem of Olav H. Hauge. The guest country presents its literature and culture to the world at the fair. Which means, you will have an opportunity to experience Norway’s rich culture and literature for full five days!

Frankfurter Buchmesse President and CEO Juergen Boos said, “This year, we will get to know Norway’s vibrant literary scene, which I personally am looking forward to very much.”

More than 75 Norwegian authors are expected to be in Frankfurt during the fair. The topics will range from Norwegian golden age, the country’s literary system, new voices, mixed market economy and storytelling in times of change.

The guest country usually showcases their literature, art, culture, music and stories throughout Germany for the whole year, and which finally culminates at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. You can meet with Norwegian authors and artists and view their work up close.

The guest country programme comes to an end on the last day of the fair at the Guest of Honor pavilion with the traditional Handover Ceremony, where the acting Guest of Honor takes its leave and hands over the role to the future Guest of Honor by passing on the GuestScroll. The GuestScroll is designed every year and is enriched with a new literary quote by the current Guest of Honor.

Awards at Frankfurter Buchmesse

An award ceremony for the Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards will be held on 19th October 2019, in the Frankfurt Pavilion on the exhibition grounds. The Frankfurter Buchmesse Film Awards are presented for the categories “Best International Literary Adaptation” and “Best International Adaptation for Children or Young Adults”. The international peace prize ‘The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade’, ‘Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year’, children’s literature award- the ‘ Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award’ are also given out at the fair. The event will also present the Global EdTech Start-up Award for the second time to identify and recognize the world’s most promising EdTech start-ups for 2019.

So, if you’re planning to visit the Frankfurter Buchmesse this year, get ready for five days filled with exciting meetings and events. Use this opportunity to meet new people, expand your network, explore new inventions, discuss ideas, know more about publishing rights and licenses and listen to experts speak about their vision, and of course, visit the numerous stalls and exhibitions. At the end of the day, the fair organizers also let you loosen up with happy hours, music and delicious delicacies.

We are definitely going to the Frankfurt Book Fair. If you think you can make some time to meet us, schedule a meeting here. Let’s connect at Frankfurt!

Stay tuned for part two of the Frankfurt Book Fair blog series to know more about things to do at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

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