Getting a book exhibited at a major international book fair is a plus for an author, and Create Your Own Job Security: Plan to Start Your Own Business at Midlife will be exhibited by Stonewall Press at this year’s Frankfurt Buchmesse. The Frankfurt event is the world’s largest assembly of publishers, agents, authors, suppliers and distributors with some 278,000 people attending the five-day event last year. The first three days of the book fair are for industry members only, and during the last two days the event it is open to the public.
This is an opportunity for authors and publishers to link with their international counterparts and arrange for foreign language translation contracts, rewrites of books for foreign markets and for authors to interact with publishers and distributors from all over the world. As might be expected for a European event, the majority of the publishers are from Germany and France, but all other European countries are present. Each year a different country is highlighted and this year it is Georgia, the nation – not the state. U.S. publishing houses will have about four percent of the booths.
Frankfurt, one of Germany’s major industrial cities and transportation hubs, was fairly well flattened during World War II. Consequently, almost all of the interior of the city is composed of modern buildings or those that were almost completely rebuilt. The more intangible features of the culture such as food, the climate and its position as one of the major crossroads of Europe is the reason that it is one of Europe’s major financial centers. In pre-Brexit times it was considered second only to London in significance. With the U.K. leaving the European market many institutions are relocating to Frankfurt or increasing the size of their operations in the city. All of these reasons is why the book fair continues to be held in the city.
Many European cities have large facilities for trade fairs, and the interior and exterior space available in Frankfurt is one of the largest exhibition grounds on the continent. It is so large that their are four entrances that enable multiple events to be held in the center simultaneously. The book fair uses all available space with a years-long waiting list for new exhibitors.
For an author like myself who does not have a world-wide reputation, this will be very much a press-the-flesh event. The contacts with foreign publishing houses both at the Stonewall booth where my book will be exhibited and me walking the floor will be significant as will random encounters with others browsing the exhibits. I do not have to do absolutely all the selling because my book will be shown and described in a published Stonewall catalog for the event. However, I know the book and can promote it better than someone else who is also telling people about another 199 other titles.
French publishing houses publish more books that are translated from English to French than any other country with about 20 percent of last year’s titles being translated works. Germany is the second largest publisher of books in translation with the U.S. being far down the list with only a few percent of its titles translated from other languages. The market in the U.K. is interesting in that a book with technical content like mine will be more useful if some chapters are re-written for U.K. readers and some of the word usages, spellings, etc. recast in the British fashion. While not quite a translation, republishing an American book in the U.K. can require revisions and editing to yield the best result.
I was offered the opportunity to have a book signing at the event. Here I would have for a period of time a table, my books, a cardboard cutout of me beside the table where I would be signing and giving away books. Most of this activity takes place during the general admission days on Saturday and Sunday. Well known authors may sign hundreds of books, but for someone like me a signing is not worth the time tied up at a table or the extra costs and bother of transporting a larger number of books to the event. This signing would nearly double my expenses and, as I see it, bring relatively little benefit, however ego-stroking it might be. I will make more significant contacts by sitting at a local bar filled with fair-goers that I would at such a signing.
Create Your Own Job Security
Now available on Amazon.com for special promotion price of $10.99. Signed copies and free shipping are available for books ordered from me at the full price.