Calling all librarians (and bookworms)! The legendary Frankfurt Book Fair is currently underway, and as avid readers ourselves, this type of event is right up our alley. Not only is it the world’s largest trade fair for books, but it’s a chance for new and upcoming authors to promote their work on a global scale. Plus, as an individual visitor, you could snag a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to network with some of the most respected names in the publishing industry. Here are some of the highlights of this year’s five-day book extravaganza.
We’re all about the new concept.
Last year, the fair’s concept was revamped to make it even more internationally accessible. English-speaking attendees can now find English language exhibitors located in the very center of the action, while those with more specific literary interests will enjoy hallways catered to different themes and linguistic areas. Other enhancements include a special focus on the Weltempfang, or the Center for Politics, Literature and Translation, as well as an increased number of participating start-ups intended to encourage innovation and culture exchange. On behalf of Mangos everywhere, we applaud the organizers for integrating even more language and culture aspects into the international event. And, as you can see from last year’s turnout pictured below, there is certainly no shortage of excitement in Frankfurt either.
There’s always a guest of honor.
One of the best things about the book fair is its commitment to choosing a different region of the world each year as their guest of honor. The 2016 spotlight is on Flanders and the Netherlands with the slogan Dit is wat we delen: “This is what we share.” Representatives from the region will present poetry and nonfiction highlighting trends in Dutch and Flemish literature, with over 250 Dutch titles being translated to German just for the event.
The goal behind the “guest of honor” tradition is to encourage international networking with foreign publishers, while increasing the number of translations being produced in the guest country. Last year’s choice was Indonesia, a country with a steadily growing economy but little impact on the book market. Their presentations at the 2015 Frankfurt Book Fair showcased both the country’s rich culture and vast literary potential.
It’s a publisher’s paradise.
If you’re looking to negotiate a killer book deal, this is the place to be. Typically over 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries attend the fair, each hoping to market their own books to a new audience while connecting with international publishers that they might not have access to otherwise. This cultural exchange also produces new translations of existing books - in fact, without language translators and interpreters, there would be no Frankfurt Book Fair at all. Start learning a new language now, and maybe one day you’ll be signing your very own translation deal!
Librarians love it too.
You might have heard that Mango is available at thousands of local libraries around the country, so naturally we had to check out exactly what the book fair offers for visiting librarians. They don’t disappoint: the International Library Center (ILC) is a large, permanent space designated solely for business and networking opportunities between librarians and potential customers. Notable participants you’ll find at the ILC this year include the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the ISSN International Centre from Paris, and Germany-based Dietmar Dreier International Library Suppliers.
Librarians, publishers, and international readers alike are sure to make this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair a rousing success. Join the #FBA16 excitement from the comfort of your own home, or if you’re lucky enough to be attending this year, share your experience with us!
Looking to learn some German in preparation for next year's book fair? Find out if Mango Languages is available for free at a library near you and start learning with one of German courses: Mango Conversations in German or Oktoberfest German.