From 10 to 14 October there’s nowhere else you should be but in the Frankfurt Book Fair. As the world’s largest, even legendary book fair, Frankfurt is always exciting, innovative and very, very colourful. This year, once again, we’re keenly awaiting more than 7,000 international exhibitors, diverse new customer groups and more than 3,200 events. Among its many activities, the Frankfurt Academy is hosting four conferences to help international publishers find their way in the digital world, as well as the two-day event, StoryDrive, to highlight the potential for crossmedial cooperation.
The rest of the Academy’s programme is also well worth a look, whether it’s assistance for first timers, new technologies in the classroom, marketing for publishers. We promise a lot – and we keep the promise.
The Frankfurt Book Fair has a tradition that spans over more than 500 years. Soon after Johannes Gutenberg had invented printing in movable letters in Mainz near Frankfurt, the first book fair was held by local booksellers. Until the end of the 17th century, it was the most important book fair in Europe. As a consequence of political and cultural developments, it was eclipsed by the Leipzig Book Fair during the Enlightenment. After World War II, the first book fair was held again in 1949 at the St. Paul's Church. Since then, it has regained its pre-eminent position.
It's a critical marketing event for the launching of books, but it is also an important event to facilitate the negotiation of the international sale of rights and licences. Visitors take the opportunity to obtain information about the publishing market, to network, and to do business. Publishers, agents, booksellers, librarians, academics, illustrators, service providers, film producers, translators, printers, professional and trade associations, institutions, artists, authors, antiquarians, software and multimedia suppliers all take part in the events and business climate of Frankfurt Book Fair. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the biggest book and media fair in the world - with around 7,400 exhibitors from over 100 countries. It also organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs. It maintains the most visited website worldwide for the publishing industry and its directory of decision-makers in the book and media industries features around 30,000 contacts. Frankfurt Sparks, the Frankfurt Book Fair's innovation platform, unites the industry's digital products and projects under one roof, with the aim of bringing together contents and technology. The Frankfurt Academy – the new conference brand of the Frankfurt Book Fair in collaboration with the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, Börsenverein – offers international congresses and trade events year-round. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.
“What tomorrow’s world will look like depends to a large extent on the imagination of those who are just now learning to read.” This quote from the famous children’s book author Astrid Lindgren is more relevant than ever in today’s digital age – and it also raises questions. How will tomorrow’s readers interact with content? Which trends will evolve into universal standards? Do new technologies limit the imagination or just the opposite? The Frankfurt Book Fair (10 to 14 October 2012) gives these and other questions room for debate, with a special focus this year on children’s and YA media and education. “In order to keep up with the changing reading and learning habits of future generations, we need to constantly create new formats and develop and expand popular topics and trends. Our children’s and YA book area brings innovative developments into focus. It hones in on and highlights the innovations the publishing industry has to look forward to in that it introduces the media to tomorrow’s global leaders”, said Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair. In addition to the established Forum Children's and Young Adult Media (Hall 3.0 K371), this new area is also home to the Hot Spot Kids & eReading (Hall 3.0 J316), where the focus is on digital and social reading and writing. Hot Spot exhibitors include literature portals, social reading providers and self-publishing platforms. Those who prefer to browse printed books can do so in the Ikea Kids Café (Hall 3.0 K381), featuring a wide range of contemporary children’s and YA literature that will invite you to curl up with a book.
Closely tied to children’s and YA media is the subject of education, which has had its own dedicated area at the Frankfurt Book Fair since 2006 – Hall 4.2, the home of education, science and specialist information. In the “Classroom of the Future” – which covers over 300 square metres – visitors can see for themselves how tomorrow’s students will learn, i.e. in 3D using multimedia glasses, with interactive or digitised learning materials, powerwalls and whiteboards. The neighbouring Forum Education (Hall 4.2 B1450) will also host discussions and presentations with education experts, educators and developers every day of the fair. Visitors with an interest in science should check out the stand of the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN (B1422) in Hall 4.2. There you can get an inside look at the CERN control room at any time via live circuit. Researchers at the stand will also answer all questions about the famous CERN particle accelerator or the newly discovered Higgs particle.
Frankfurt Book Fair: A stage for world literature
The Frankfurt Book Fair offers a real plethora of stages and events for literature connoisseurs and enthusiasts. A total of more than 3,000 events are scheduled, including readings and discussions in prominent locations, like the ARD Forum with its own stage (TV), or the ARD Studio (radio), the “Blaues Sofa” (passage between Halls 5.1 and 6.1) – a cooperation between Club Bertelsmann, ZDF and Deutschlandradio Kultur – or the reading tent on the agora. In the city of Frankfurt itself, the “Open Books” and “Literatur im Römer” festivals both serve as gathering points for literature enthusiasts. International authors and film and TV stars have already announced their attendance at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2012, including Donna Leon, Herta Müller, Friedrich Ani, Hakan Nesser, Simon Beckett, Martin Suter, Wolf Haas, Karen Duve, Dieter Moor, Elke Heidenreich and Arnold Schwarzenegger. More than 60 authors from this year’s Guest of Honour New Zealand – including household names like Anthony McCarten, Paul Cleave, Alan Duff and Paddy Richardson – will also add to the international literary programme.
A shower of awards and colourful images in the Comics Centre
The Guest of Honour will also be well represented in the Book Fair’s Comics Centre (Hall 3.0 K833), where comic artists and experts from the international comic scene will gather once again this year. New Zealand comic artist Colin Wilson, who is particularly beloved by fans for his “Blueberry” and “Star Wars” comics, invites guests to attend the New Zealand breakfast on the Saturday of the fair at 10 a.m. On the same day at 1 p.m., Achdé, the new illustrator of “Lucky Luke”, will demonstrate how he creates all the Lucky Lukes, Daltons, Jolly Jumpers and Rantanplans for this cult series on his graphic tablet. And prestigious awards will also be presented in the Comics Centre: for example, the Sondermann audience award (Saturday, 13 October, 4:30 p.m.) or this year’s German Cartoon Prize (Friday, 12 October, 2 p.m.), which will be awarded to the cartoons that best reflect the motto “You are not alone”.
Intellectual and culinary trips of a lifetime: Off to Hall 3.1
“Life is a book – and those who don’t travel have only read one page.” Quotes like this one reveal just how much literature is inspired by travel. The Frankfurt Book Fair is now dedicating an entire area to Tourism & Travel: the new Travel Gallery in Hall 3.1 (L691). On over 180 square metres, you’ll encounter city guide publishers alongside poetry-writing globetrotters and ambassadors from dream destinations. Readings, panels and performances will be held on a dedicated event stage. If, for example, you’ve always wanted to know how a luxury cruise ship is built, check out the talk “From design to maiden voyage: How a luxury cruise ship comes to be” (Saturday, 1 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.).
For those who’d like to continue on a culinary journey, we recommend a visit to the Gourmet Gallery (Hall 3.1 L1703). In the area’s show kitchen, international chefs will demonstrate the array of exotic and delicious recipes the national cuisines of New Zealand, Hungary, Turkey and Asia have to offer, e.g. on the Sunday of the fair at “Budapest Bites” (11 a.m.) or at “Wonder Foods from Turkish Cuisine” (10 a.m.). In additional cooking demos, well-known chefs like Alfons Schuhbeck, Cornelia Poletto and Tim Mälzer will show off their skills in the kitchen. And in the large exhibition area, visitors can also discover the latest titles focused on cooking, food and epicurism, and get decoration ideas from the beautifully designed theme tables.
Welcome to the “State of the Arts” in Hall 4.1
Hall 4.1 has always been the home of the arts at the Frankfurt Book Fair – that’s why, starting this year, the saying goes: Welcome to the “State of the Arts” in Hall 4.1. Visitors will find exhibitors here from the categories of art and literature, design and photography, along with exhibitions and beautiful books they can marvel at, touch and even hear. On each day of the fair, the Paschen Literatursalon (D150) will feature readings and literary discussions in a relaxed atmosphere, for example with an author from the German Book Prize 2012 longlist. A complete retrospective of Book Prize authors in the Literatursalon will invite visitors to browse and explore. “State of the Arts” will also feature the Leseinsel, a reading zone for independent publishers – a place for debates, fine poetry and funny rhymes, where participating publishers will present their most important new releases – the Collective Stand Audiobooks, exhibitions on the German Photo Book Award 2012 and the Best German Book Design Award 2012, along with the 3sat Forum with its comprehensive programme and many literary discussions.
Focus on Africa: The Weltempfang
The Weltempfang, the Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation, (Hall 5.0 D949) is home to great literature from countries that might otherwise not be in the spotlight: authors and industry experts from sub-Saharan Africa. One of the programme highlights will take place right on the first day of the Book Fair (Wednesday, 10 October, 4:30 p.m.): the famous performance poet Chirikure Chirikure from Zimbabwe will set the tone for the week’s overarching theme. Other highlights will tie into the sub-Saharan Africa theme, including Spanish-language literature in Africa and the new translation of “Things Fall Apart” by Chinua Achebe – the “father” of the modern African novel. We will explore conditions for publishers in the region, as well as German-Namibian relations. And as always, the “transparent translator” is something to behold in the Weltempfang: This year you can follow along as a science fiction novel is translated live.
For more informations and the complete program visit www.book-fair.com