The Frankfurt Book Fair
1480 – 2014
It is with sincere regret that we confirm that the Frankfurt Book Fair quietly passed away in its sleep this October.
Though it had been ill in recent years, the fair's sudden passing took quite a number of us by surprise.
No official cause of death was given. Many, however, knew that the fair's health had declined in recent years, along with the world's economies. Nor had the fair's signature gusto been quite the same after the global outbreak of eBook Fever.
There is some sentiment, in fact, that the quackeries with which world publishers sought to treat that eruption hastened the Fair's demise.
Present with stands at the Fair's passing were a number of wine merchants, travel agencies and other non-book entities while crucial long-time book supporters were absent.
The Frankfurt Fair is survived by a number of its children, though some, particularly BookExpo America, are known to have critical health issues as well.
What most of us knew for years as "the most important book event in the world", has been rebranded for 2015 by the Frankfurt organizers as 'the global city of ideas', which is one way to acknowledge the very real reduction in size of the 2015 fair.
Hall 8, the traditional English language building, will no longer be used. Most English language publishers will be scattered among three floors in a building that formerly housed mostly publishers from Eastern Europe. Exceptions are English language publishers of academic and STM materials who have been banished to another hall altogether.
'The global city....' Perhaps this new concept explains the leasing of stands for the 2014 fair to wine and drink merchants, food wholesalers, travel agents and tourist boards at what previous had been a book industry only event. A 'city' needs such services while the fair organizers need to minimize profit-neutral floor space.
Anyone remember when BookExpo America leased otherwise unsold floor space to car dealerships?
Frankfurt calls this a 'new concept'. Others may feel it more accurate to call it a good old-fashioned Zombie Jamboree.
Effective with this posting, International Titles will now work on a project rather than book fair basis.
Fairs, of course, do remain options. A number of useful and cordial appointments during this year's Frankfurt served as something of a positive wake for the fair.
Attending future fairs is dependent on our determining that doing so can prove useful to our clients and their work.
We very much look forward to working with you on this new, more comprehensive basis and to discussing your project in the near future.
Our contact information is:
931 East 56 Street
Austin, TX 78751-1724
Please contact us by email if you'd like to schedule an individual phone consultation.
Wampe de Veer (right) and associate, Blackbird Literary Agency, Baam, The Netherlands
American novelist, playwright and scriptwriter Francis Hamit