The 2008 Frankfurt Book Fair
Books and periodicals from more than 120 publishers and authors filled our stand again this year at Frankfurt.
Many of us came to this year's fair wondering what impact the current economic situation would have on buying and selling at the fair.
Our best answer is that things were different but business was good.
We returned with contract offers for books in the areas of Art; Business/Management; Collectibles; Cooking; Current Affairs; Disability; Environmental; Gay & Lesbian; Golf; Graphic Novels; Health; History; Literary; Metaphysical; Meteorology; Nature; New Age; Pets; Philosophy; Science; Self-Help; Spirituality; Sports; and the Tarot.
Books especially popular with visiting editors and publishers included Becoming What You Want to See in the World: The Art of Joyful Living by Mary Claire O'Neal (River Birch Publishing, Lexington, KY); Dying Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me, Stories of Healing and Wisdom Along Life's Journey by William E. Hablitzel, M.D. (Sunshine Ridge Publishing, Blue Creek, OH); Everything You Always Wanted To Know About The Special Theory of Relativity by Kenneth Knight (Triumph Books, San Luis Obispo, CA); Lasting Contribution: How to Think, Plan, and Act to Accomplish Meaningful Work by Tad Waddington (Agate, Hoffman Estates, IL); Power of Positive Doing by Ivan Burnell (IPD/International Personal Development, Center Ossipee, NH); Spiritual Business-Creating a Business From the Heart by Kate Forster (Spiritual Business, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia); and The Twelve Universal Laws of Success, 2nd Edition by Herbert Harris (Lifeskills Institute, Inc., Wilmington, NC).
Fiction had a strong year as well. We saw no reason why interest in fiction should not remain strong at the London Fair next April.
Admittedly, there were fewer editors and publishers at Frankfurt this year. Considering the number who still came-there were well over 6,000 stands and this number does not account for those editors and publishers who walk the exhibit floors to shop without a booth-and those who came did as much or even more business than usual, any economic effects were difficult to see.
Our marketing emphasizes having a diversity of titles with a limit on their number so that buyers will come knowing there's a chance that they will find something of interest and having no trouble searching our books when they are on our stand. We think the results of this year's Frankfurt Fair shows how well this approach works in practice.
Our usual stand location-on an aisle corner and opposite a food court-helps, too.
Since the rise of the Internet, we've published a number of pictures from our stands at fairs around the world. One appears here as well.
We thought it would be interesting, however, to publish some photos of aspects of the Frankfurt fair that we seldom or never see because of our appointments and sales meetings.
Brian Haywood, a director of Gazelle Book Services Ltd. (Lancaster, England), found a few minutes on break to slip away from Hall 8 (the International (English language) Hall with his camera. We very much appreciate Brian allowing us to use some of his photos on our web site.
In addition to the many thousands of book professionals from approximately 147 countries that meet at Frankfurt annual, the book fair is a major cultural event for the city of Frankfurt and Germany as a whole. Below, you can see a tiny number of the many other activities that surround the fair venue.
The other photos will give you some idea as to the enormous size of the Frankfurt Fair.
The wall placard shows the half-dozen or so buildings at the Messe (German for 'fairground') connected by an extensive warren of walk ways also of notable size. Those driving to the fair have quite a walk from the onsite parking garages. Most of what lies ahead of the pedestrians in the Messe's inner court is Hall 8 alone, the International/English Language Hall that includes the International Titles stand.
We hope these photos give you some idea of the scope of the business opportunities at Frankfurt as well as the size of the fair facilities.
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