The Frankfurt Book Fair has a decades-long history and is known around the world as one of the premier publishing industry events. Originally limited to the industry, the underlying purpose of the Fair is first and foremost a rights’ event, in which agents, publishers, and publishing houses in foreign markets would negotiate for the book rights in translation and worldwide publishing.
For the past few years, however, Frankfurt has opened its doors to the public towards the end of the event itself, which is typically a time when business meetings are concluded and executives have headed back home, leaving their exhibits staffed by company representatives or hired exhibitors, per Fair regulations. Not only do public attendees get to see some of the wide varieties of publishing industry businesses who make the books happen in some way, they can also get a glimpse at some of the titles and technology that are on the horizon.
Of course, the opportunity to network with other authors drives self-published authors to the event, as does the chance to meet with some of their favorite bestselling authors in attendance. A guide put out prior to the event by Publishing Perspectives’ Hannah Johnson gave authors nearly forty pages of valuable advice for attending the event, and a recent Twitter chat put on by BiblioCrunch and featuring Porter Anderson let indie authors discuss the merits of this type of effort.
For others though, the Fair has turned into a general spirit of book partying and cosplay fandom, with an outdoor stage and festival area focused on reading, live music, and more.
For whatever reason people choose to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair, an event that practically overtakes the entire city for a week each fall, rest assured that there is no more book-centric spot on Earth at that time than the city of Frankfurt.