The most political, but also the most youthful book fair in years, the new concept has been successful at the 67th Frankfurt Book Fair 2015, which was held from October 14-18, 2015. The visitor numbers increased marginally by two percent and the LitAg and Business Club concepts were sure-shot winners. A report by SK Khurana, editor, All About Book Publishing (ABP).
Salman Rushdie opened the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015 with a plea for freedom of opinion. And over the next five days, the Book Fair remained a place of debate about moral codes and the boundaries of tolerance. From an organisational point of view, the new concept of the Book Fair supported the dynamics of this year’s event.
Director of the Book Fair, Juergen Boos, shared his impressions, "The new neighbourhoods created by the restructuring have strengthened the feeling of togetherness. At the same time, they've opened people's eyes to new areas of business. It’s now clear that there is still plenty of scope for all the communities to expand their international licensing business." And he detected euphoria in the industry as a whole. "FBF 2015 has been the busiest and most successful Book Fair for years! Exhibitors from all the different regions told me the same thing time and again in our personal talks," he added.
Navid Kermani receives 2015 peace prize of the German Book Trade
The German author, essayist and expert in Middle Eastern Studies Navid Kermani was awarded the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade at a ceremony attended by roughly 1,000 invited guests, including Bundestag president Norbert Lammert. The ceremony was held at the Church of St. Paul in Frankfurt, and the speech honoring this year's recipient was given by literary scholar Norbert Miller.
In his acceptance speech, Navid Kermani called for resolute behavior on the part of Europe with regard to the war in Syria. He also spoke of the coexistence of Christianity and Islam, of the religious culture of Islam in history, its originality, its intellectual scope, its aesthetic power and also its great humanity. He tells the story of Father Jacques, a Syrian Christian who loves Islam and always sought to validate it. Navid Kermani is a Muslim who says, "Any Muslim who does not struggle with it [Islam], does not doubt it and does not question it critically, does not love Islam." In his laudatory speech, Norbert Miller focused his attention on Kermani's literature and drew an arc from novelist and Middle East expert to reporter and beholder of images.
The Peace Prize of the German Book Trade has been awarded by the German Publishers and Booksellers Association on the final day of the Frankfurt Book Fair since 1950. Among the previous recipients of the Peace Prize are Amos Oz, Albert Schweitzer, Astrid Lindgren, Václav Havel, Siegfried Lenz, Susan Sontag, David Grossman, Boualem Sansal, Svetlana Alexievich and, in 2014, Jaron Lanier. The Prize is endowed with a sum of €25,000. The Frankfurt Book Fair is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with 7,100 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, around 270,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and around 9,300 accredited journalists in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries.
FIP reception @ FBF
Around 50 professionals attended the regular Federation of Indian Printers (FIP) reception, which became one of the most sought-after events by the publishing fraternity. Here, people not only came from India but from international publishers as well. There were attendees from German Book office, IRRO, CAPEXIL, IPA, etc. The absence of publishing veterans Shakti Malik and Anand Bhushan was felt by one and all. This time, the presence of Sadhana Rout, ADG (I/C), Publications Division, Ministry of O p e n i n g P r e s s Conference: At its opening, the 67th Frankfurt Book Fair presented itself as an industry network in a twofold sense. Firstly, as the largest trading place for content worldwide, it is the most significant businessto- business network in its field, hosting interactions between all involved: the players in the international rights trade; providers of technology and content; traditional publishers and start-ups. At the same time, the Frankfurt Book Fair is also the international hub that connects everyone who has anything to do with content, literature and storytelling, bringing them together to discuss their ideas or to argue their points. After all, publishing and literature have always been troublemakers, working to unsettle the prevailing consensus.
“It is the role of literature to describe the state of the world and to question the things we take for granted,” said Juergen Boos, director of the Book Fair. “And by the way, a rule we observe in our international network is that there is no superior idea and no superior culture. Rather, it is our task to engender respect, one for the other. This is true for authors as much as for publishers.” The idea of the network can also be seen in how the new Book Fair concept was organised. The publishing world sat more closely together, with the exhibition halls now mirroring the ever more closely interlinked trade.
Prize for Best International Literary Adaptation goes to Todd Haynes
The Frankfurt Book Fair’s prize for Best International Literary Adaptation went to the US director Todd Haynes for CAROL, based on Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Price of Salt, published in 1952 (German title: Carol - Salz und sein Preis, published in Germany by Diogenes). With an outstanding cast including Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, the production was presented this year at the Cannes Film Festival, where Rooney Mara received the award for “Best Actress”.
The English-speaking countries have moved closer to the actual centre of the Fair. There were also new products and activities, such as the Orbanism Space for digitally driven communities, or the new international Gourmet Gallery, or the Handmade Day for the do-it-yourself community. Here are the highlights of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015: Positive visitor numbers: The Book Fair welcomed around 275,000 visitors (trade visitor days: 140,474). That means a two percent increase in visitor numbers compared to that of the last year. Also, the number of attending journalists has increased. It rose from 9,300 in 2014 to around 9,900 journalists in 2015.
My World, My Writing: Readings by Indian Authors
Sahitya Akademi, the Indian academy of letters, hosted the literary event featuring illustrious authors like K Jayakumar (Malayalam), Raghav Chandra (Indian English), DP Sinha (Hindi) and Joe Dcruz Remigius Nicholas (Tamil). Jayakumar expressed that authors have a right to freedom of expression but within limitation.
Political Book Fair: "The political tensions around the globe have had a direct and very apparent impact on the literature business," said director Juergen Boos, at the close of the Frankfurt Book Fair 2015. "This was demonstrated, for example, by Zeruya Shalev’s surprisingly personal description of everyday life in Israel, during her "Brigitte Live" talk, and in the meeting in the Weltempfang between Iranian publishers and Navid Kermani, winner of the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade." Heinrich Riethmüller, president of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, said, "The book industry has taken a clear stance in support of freedom of opinion and the freedom to publish."
Rejuvenation: The venues and exhibition areas for new communities added to the overall dynamic. Bloggers on books, food and do-it-yourself trends held their own events, thereby enhancing the world of publishing both as creators and consumers.
Nominees announced for 2016 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award
Next year 215 candidates from 59 countries will be in the running for the world’s largest children’s literature award, jury chair Boel Westin announced at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) recognises creators of literature in a broad sense. Nominees include authors, illustrators, storytellers, and persons and organisations who work to promote literacy. Jury chair Westin said, “We are deeply impressed by the work of the nominating bodies in proposing qualified candidates for ALMA. I hope the nominee list will be an active reference for literacy promoters and educators around the world as they seek out the most outstanding contemporary literature for children and young adults.”
A total of 111 nominating bodies worldwide proposed candidates for the 2016 award. Many chose to re-nominate previous candidates, but this year’s list also includes 42 new names. New nominating countries for this year are China, Nicaragua, Palestine, Austria, and the United Arab Emirates. Some 300 participants turned up in the new Orbanism Space in Hall 4.1, just to attend the LovelyBooks meeting for readers and bloggers. The Orbanism Space was organised by Leander Wattig and Christiane Frohmann, in a partnership with the Frankfurt Book Fair. This new room quickly established itself as the meeting place at the fair for the digital content industry and its networks. Stimulating and self-assured, young digital professionals occupied podiums and stands in all the other halls of the fair, too. Riethmüller welcomed this clear trend from the point of view of the book industry, "The book industry has intensified its contacts with startups and new market players, so that we can work together to develop innovative business models for the market.
The new Book Fair concept: New, thematically arranged neighbourhoods inspired additional business. “The new Gourmet Gallery shows particularly clearly how effectively communities define themselves at the fair, and what new business opportunities that generates," said Juergen Boos, "For example, there were extremely lively exchanges between the Gourmet Gallery to which we welcomed a large number of new exhibitors – and the calendar gallery."
Bestselling illustrator Millie Marotta reveals cover for new book
Millie Marotta unveiled the cover for her eagerly-anticipated title, Wild Savannah: a colouring book adventure, at Frankfurt International Book Fair. The book, published by Pavilion imprint Batsford, will be released in February 2016. Wild Savannah, which is the third in Marotta’s series of intricately illustrated colouring books, builds on her love of nature and is inspired by the breathtakingly beautiful grassland-savannahs of Africa, Asia, South America and Australia. Wild Savannah is a feast of beautiful illustration, invitingly laid out for the reader brings to life with colour or add their own illustrations.
Millie Marotta is a best-selling author and illustrator who creates her much-loved illustrations in her studio by the sea in West Wales. Millie’s love of illustration is fuelled by her long-time fascination with the natural world in all its complex symmetry, patterns and detail, which are ongoing themes in her artwork.
There are now over four million copies of Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom and Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland in print around the world and her books have been translated into 32 languages. Millie Marotta’s Animal K
LitAg: The new Book Fair concept was also welcomed by the agents and scouts of the LitAg, in Hall 6. For them, it meant a new proximity to the English-speaking publishers. According to the organisers, the keenest interest among the agents was for Scandinavian literature. In all, some 620 agents were present.
Business Club: Once again, the Frankfurt Book Fair’s Business Club proved to be the central meeting place for the creative pioneers and key players in the international content and media business. In all, some 3,200 guests from 48 countries made use of the professional products and services offered by the business platform. The round-up of the Business Club suggests that some 1,200 appointments were arranged between participants.
Dada's books draw many @ FBF
Gita Publishing House (GPH), the publishing arm of Sadhu Vaswani Mission, also took part in this fair to make the treasure of Dada JP Vaswani's books available to people across the world.
Many publishers and distributors took a keen interest in Dada's books, some of them being from Vietnam, UK, Germany, Sweden, USA, Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia, Holland (Dutch) and Bucharest (Romania). They were awed by Dada's age and wisdom, one of them even, wanting to publish Dada's books under his own banner at the centenary of Dada's. Many of them were eager to translate Dada's books in the respective languages. So much so that in a record short time of publishing standards, a Dutch Publisher grabbed the rights to translate Dada's book in Dutch language—Women, where would the world be without you?
Guest of honour – Indonesia: Indonesia was the guest of honour country at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The international exhibition "Books on Indonesia" was organised with the intention of reflecting and presenting the "outside view" of Indonesia from authors and publishers. While, Island of Spice exhibition featured aroma, texture and a firework of colours presented through the spices of Indonesia. Island of Images showcased Indonesian comics, graphic novels and animations while Island of Illumination presented various traditional scripts used in the Indonesian archipelago from ancient times.
Visitors weekend: The weekend proved that true fans of literature are not put off by cold weather. Visitors thronged in front of the Star Wars Poetry Slam in the newly designed Agora. In the heated Reading Tent, literary stars like Jenny Erpenbeck attracted such large crowds that the doors had to be closed for some periods. And the cosplayers in their imaginative outfits made sure that the Book Fair weekend will remain in people's memories as a colourful and diverse festival of literature.
Varied display: Apart from books, the show also showcased furniture made of corrugated, e-learning options, 3D/ embedded information technology by companies like HP and of course e-books.
Indin exhibitors: Indian exhibitors at Frankfurt Book Fair were present in Hall 4, 6.2 and 4.2 and had mixed reactions. Many new publishers have come up in children publishing. For instance Nageen Books of Meerut and Mehta Offset Pvt Ltd of New Delhi younger generation opted for publishing children books with content created by international authors and illustrators. Other printers to start their own publishing include Batra Art Press and Nutech Print Services both from New Delhi.
Some of the exhibitors like NBT, India, Thomson Press and Nova had to wait for their books for first day as they were stuck up in customs.
Ashish Kapoor of Quixot Publications said that he wished his stall was in Hall 6 as there were no walk-ins to Hall 4. Bikash Niyogi of Niyogi Books was of the view that since it is a B2B expo, it could have been a shorter fair. All in all, it was smart and successful book fair for all.
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