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Book fare

The last day of the Frankfurt Book Fair comes to a close and the 45,000 delegates are packing up their stands, Kiwi exhibitors included.

This was the first book fair for me and like many first timers my overwhelming impression is of scale. Set in eight large halls, each as big as Auckland airport, the fair grounds in Messe, Frankfurt cover several kilometres square. You get around by bus because as with most of the international exhibitors the Kiwi stand was some 1,200 metres from the main entrance.

The second impression is one of opportunity. The key outcome for most publishers I rights dealing—selling the rights to your books to other regions or looking for rights for distribution in your own markets. Mike Bradstock, our book editor, had set up a punishing schedule of 10–12 meetings day our followed by debrief over shall we say some fine German conviviality.

The outcome is yet to be established but I’m pleased that we have some very strong interest own for some of our books, particularly our undiscovered manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson and some natural histories.

The key lesson I think from the last few days of hectic meetings and floor walking is that in big, big world with many, many competitors is that more of the same just won’t cut it. Trade fairs, like auctions, are the market in all its naked brutality. In such a competitive place you really get forced to ask that question: what do I do that’s different and better than anyone else.

Tonight the Kiwi contingent is off to dinner and then share the love with the French and English rugby fans at an Irish pub. Who do we want the least to win? Maybe they’ll both be consumed by a hole in the ground.

The last day of the Frankfurt Book Fair comes to a close and the 45,000 delegates are packing up their stands, Kiwi exhibitors included.

This was the first book fair for me and like many first timers my overwhelming impression is of scale. Set in eight large halls, each as big as Auckland airport, the fair grounds in Messe, Frankfurt cover several kilometres square. You get around by bus because as with most of the international exhibitors the Kiwi stand was some 1,200 metres from the main entrance.

The second impression is one of opportunity. The key outcome for most publishers I rights dealing—selling the rights to your books to other regions or looking for rights for distribution in your own markets. Mike Bradstock, our book editor, had set up a punishing schedule of 10–12 meetings day our followed by debrief over shall we say some fine German conviviality.

The outcome is yet to be established but I’m pleased that we have some very strong interest own for some of our books, particularly our undiscovered manuscripts of Robert Louis Stevenson and some natural histories.

The key lesson I think from the last few days of hectic meetings and floor walking is that in big, big world with many, many competitors is that more of the same just won’t cut it. Trade fairs, like auctions, are the market in all its naked brutality. In such a competitive place you really get forced to ask that question: what do I do that’s different and better than anyone else.

Tonight the Kiwi contingent is off to dinner and then share the love with the French and English rugby fans at an Irish pub. Who do we want the least to win? Maybe they’ll both be consumed by a hole in the ground.