Earlier this month we attended the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 8-12). It is the largest trade fair for books and publishing in the world. The Messe Frankfurt Convention Center is also where the world's leading trade fair for the automobile industry is held. With eight building complexes, each one almost the size of New York's Jacob Javits Center, it was like the Javits Center on steroids! Much of the convention center had the look and feel of an airport terminal. There were even moving walkways in between the building complexes and also a shuttle that ran around outside of the convention center to transport people in between each of the eight halls.
It was hard to know the entirety of what was happening at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Imagine trying to keep up with all of the events simultaneously happening in eight halls!
On the day we arrived, October 7th, which is technically a day before the book fair exhibits are open, there were some panels and talks. During each session there was a live artist on hand creating an illustrated representation of the topics covered.
Here's an illustration from a discussion about the evolution of ebooks and ereaders.
We wondered what we might be missing out on, so we asked people we met at the fair about the real networking scene, in other words, where did the after hours networking happen? That's how we discovered that the lobby of the very hotel where we were staying at was a late night gathering spot for people attending the Frankfurt Book Fair! On a nightly basis, at 11:00 pm, publishing professions in town for the book fair descended upon our hotel. Like clockwork, soon the lobby was teeming with people networking and drinking. How serendipitous that was! When it comes to "being in the know," the best thing to do it seems, is to take the old fashioned approach, and to just talk to people. In case you're wondering, the hotel we stayed at was Le Meridien Parkhotel Frankfurt.
The most memorable part of being at a book fair like this is meeting and hearing successful authors talk about how they made it. One of these was Ananth, the author of Play With Me, a bestselling novel in India. Ananth is a publishing executive at Penguin Books turned bestselling author.
We also met Orna Ross, Founder and Director of The Alliance for Independent Authors. What a pleasure it was to meet her in person. Felicia was impressed that Orna remembered her from a Twitter exchange that they had had a few years ago.
Both of us have read Choosing A self-publishing Service 2014 and Opening Up to Indie Authors, which are publications of The Alliance for Independent Authors. We'd highly recommend these publications for indie authors. They are a great resource and must read!
Orna shared this photo that we took together and mentioned Metropolicks on The Alliance for Independent Authors Self-Publishing Advice Blog.
Orna was on a panel with Kit Berry, the entrepreneurial author of the Stonewylde book series. Kit has quite a following and has created a line of merchandise related to her book series. She first self-published and then later landed a book deal with a publisher, so she was able to share her experiences and perspectives on self-publishing and and being published traditionally through a publisher.
And finally, we discovered that the finale of the German Cosplay Championship takes place annually at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Below is an album of some of the photos we took of the cosplay characters we saw that day. You can click on the photo below to go through all the photos. Enjoy!
UPDATE: In late October we learned that we were quoted in a Frankfurt Book Fair press release about StoryDrive 2014. We were definitely impressed by the speakers at StoryDrive, and it's not always easy to impress the two of us New Yorkers! But seriously, Frankfurt was incredible and an experience unlike any other book fair that we've attended previously. You can read the complete press release by clicking here.