Octoberfest Takes on New Meaning

November 1998
by Jan Nathan

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[Editor’s note: Nick and I both wrote about the Frankfurt Bookfair this month. Though we cover a little bit of similar information, I think you’ll enjoy our different perspectives.]


Each year for the past 13 years we have traveled to Frankfurt, Germany to represent many of our members’ titles in the attempt to license foreign rights. Some books are very successful, while others are of no interest to an international marketplace. And then there are the books in the middle, which may get one or two bites from foreign houses and may actually end up with a better percentage of sales than the ones that get lots of attention and lots of requests for reading copies.

The Frankfurt Bookfair occurs during the first or second week of October. Typically, this is the ugliest month of the year for Frankfurt. It’s cold, it’s grey, it’s rainy. But since we spend our time locked indoors, the rain doesn’t really become a factor, except for when you walk to and from the main train station and the Messe (which is the conference center of nine buildings filled with people in publishing from throughout the world).

Our typical day begins with waking up at 6:30 am. We then have to take the 8:15 morning train to the main station. We’ve been staying at the same house two train stops outside of Frankfurt for 13 years now, and it has become more like coming home to our German house than anything else. Here’s the price factor (for those who may consider going to Frankfurt in the fut…IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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