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Frankfurt, 9 October 2018 - The 70th Frankfurter Buchmesse presents itself as a dynamic display of the global book and media industry. This year in Frankfurt, ca. 7,500 exhibitors will showcase their products and markets, an increase of about three per cent over the previous year. With a share of some 70 per cent of international exhibitors, who are coming to Frankfurt from 110 countries, the Frankfurter Buchmesse underscores its position as the biggest international trade fair for content. The rights and licensing business is flourishing: This year, the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) grew by about six per cent.

“Even in its 70th year, the Frankfurter Buchmesse continues to consolidate its position as the most important leading international trade fair”, said Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, at the opening press conference in Frankfurt today. “Whether film producers or literary agents, app developers, booksellers or librarians, education start-ups or database specialists – for just a few days each year, the Frankfurter Buchmesse brings together the entire media industry universe. Anyone looking to operate successfully in the sector benefits from the global network, knowledge sharing and many target-group specific products and services we develop for them.”

The 70th Frankfurter Buchmesse is once again being held in a political climate, continues Juergen Boos: “Since it was reopened after the Second World War in 1949, the Frankfurter Buchmesse has stood for freedom of expression and freedom of publication, for international networking and dialogue. We, like all other international book fairs, believe in allowing opinions to be expressed and in holding discussions – including and especially about controversial issues. Tolerating polarising authors and opinions and engaging them in debate are achievements of a democratic society. We strongly condemn every form of xenophobia. With our programme of events in the Weltempfang and on the topic of human rights as part of our #onthesamepage campaign we are sending a clear message in support of diversity as well as the preservation of fundamental rights in our society.”

Speaking of the German book industry, Heinrich Riethmüller, President of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers and Booksellers Association), says: “There are big, important tasks ahead of us and we are tackling them with confidence and optimism. Books are a crucial medium for entertainment, information and shaping opinion. With our content and communications efforts, we want to promote culture and education and to contribute to mutual understanding, dialogue and peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic society.”

At the opening press conference, Juergen Boos welcomed literary guest speaker Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the prize-winning Nigerian author, whose novels Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun and Americanah have made her one of the major literary voices of the 21st century and who will receive the PEN Pinter Prize on the evening of 9 October. Moreover, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED-Talks “We Should All Be Feminists” and “The Dangers of a Single Story” have sparked consequential debates on the topics of feminism and migration.

With Georgia as its Guest of Honour, the Frankfurter Buchmesse is hosting a cultural nation with thousands of years of history. The Georgian “characters”, the 33 ornately looping letters of the country’s unique alphabet, are part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity and define the motto of the Guest of Honour presentation: “Georgia – Made by Characters”. This nation, located between Europe and the Caucasus, is presenting not only its stories and works at the fair, but the characters behind them as well. During Georgia’s year as Guest of Honour, more than 150 new titles were published in the German-language book market. In addition, 70 German-language publishers have titles concerning Georgia in their catalogues. Since the founding of the Georgian National Book Center (2014) and the creation of the translation funding programme (2011), a total of 200 titles translated from the Georgian have been published in German. More than 70 authors will present their work at a total of 350 events at the Frankfurter Buchmesse and in the city of Frankfurt. Visitors are invited to discover the country at some 100 cultural events. At the heart of the Guest of Honour presentation is the Pavilion on the exhibition grounds, whose design is based on the 33 letters of the Georgian alphabet.

With the Frankfurt Pavilion, the 70th Frankfurter Buchmesse has a new icon, which also serves as the heart of the new BOOKFEST. As part of this festival, from 9 to 14 October, 80 events will be held in the Frankfurt Pavilion and “Harmonie” room on the exhibition grounds as well as in many locations around Frankfurt. BOOKFEST is adding its own literary touches at the book fair. In the new Frankfurt Pavilion on the Agora, visitors to the fair can look forward to a programme with exceptional writers, including Paul Beatty, Dmitry Glukhovsky, Dörte Hansen, Eckart von Hirschhausen, Cixin Liu, Maja Lunde, Robert Seethaler, Martin Suter, Benedict Wells, Meg Wolitzer, Deniz Yücel and Juli Zeh. Sunday, 14 October 2018, from 9.30 a.m. to 2.00 p.m., is Family Day, with events and readings for families and children, with Martin Baltscheit and Ralph Caspers, amongst others. in a new window) // #fbm18

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About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,300 exhibitors from 102 countries, around 286,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and some 10,000 accredited journalists and bloggers in attendance. It also brings together key players from the fields of education, film, games, STM, academic publishing, and business information. Since 1976, the book fair has featured an annual Guest of Honour country, which showcases its book market, literature and culture to attendees in a variety of ways. The Frankfurter Buchmesse organises the participation of German publishers at around 20 international book fairs and hosts trade events throughout the year in major international markets. Access to the Business Club, with its premium services, networking events, and conferences, such as THE MARKETS, is available exclusively with a Business Ticket – the premium option for B2B visitors. THE ARTS+ was launched in 2016 as a fair, business festival and international meeting place for the culture and creative industries. It aims to exploit the potential of digitalisation for creative content and to develop new business areas. Frankfurt EDU, the international education platform of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, presents innovative concepts, content and technologies for the future of learning. Campus Weekend at the Frankfurter Buchmesse is dedicated to university students. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels (German Publishers & Booksellers Association).  (opens in a new window)

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications: +49 (0) 69 2102-138, in a new window)
Kathrin Grün, Director Communications, +49 (0) 69 2102-170, in a new window)