Skip to main content

New online formats: Frankfurt Conference, Market Insights, Curated Networking, The Hof / Speakers include: James Daunt, Ananth Padmanabhan, Jenny Fry, Andrew Nurnberg, Anna Soler-Pont, Magnus Nytell, Videl Bar-Kar, Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen 

Frankfurt, 16 September 2020 – Frankfurter Buchmesse is launching its first all-digital programme for publishing professionals, comprising more than 70 hours of online events, conferences, talks and networking opportunities. James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble and Managing Director of Waterstones; Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO of HarperCollins Publishers India; Jenny Fry, Commercial Director at Canongate; renowned literary agents Andrew Nurnberg and Anna Soler-Pont; Magnus Nytell, Head of International Expansion at Nextory; Bookwire’s Global Head of Audio, Videl Bar-Kar; Javier Celaya, CEO of; Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director of Library Network Services at the National Library of Finland; Dr. Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost at UCL Library Services, and many more are among the international experts who will give insights and discuss current trends and developments in the international publishing landscape.

Frankfurter Buchmesse’s new online programme comprises five different formats: the digital conference series Frankfurt Conference, further online B2B sessions with expert talks during the book fair week, the Market Insights series, and two networking formats – the business-focused Curated Networking sessions and “The Hof”, a more casual series of online events.

Stefanie von Beöczy, Project Lead Frankfurt Conference & Professional Programme, says: “Our digital B2B formats bring the events, market information, opportunities, and networking that would happen in Frankfurt to attendees in their homes. Our programme this year taps into the challenges the industry has seen this year with COVID-19, as well as the developments in the audio market, the international rights trade and in academic and scholarly publishing. I am looking forward to lively discussions and expert talks that will provide insights and inspiration for our international publishing community.”

The online events organised by Frankfurter Buchmesse will be starting in late September, reaching its peak during the book fair week (12-18 October 2020), and will continue with selected sessions after the fair, in November and December. Participation in all digital conferences and online events for publishing professionals is free of charge. To participate, registration at My Book Fair is necessary:

Frankfurt Conference – Signals of Hope: New Perspectives for a Stronger Future

The book fair’s first all-digital conference series – Frankfurt Conference – offers a virtual professional programme on four days of the book fair week from Monday to Thursday (12-15 October 2020). Under the motto “Signals of Hope: New Perspectives for a Stronger Future” high-class speakers from the international publishing industry will provide insights and engage in discussions. Sponsored by Premium Partner Copyright Clearance Center, Frankfurt Conference will put one of the key areas of the publishing industry in the spotlight each day between 3pm and 5.30 pm CEST.

Academic & Scholarly: Open Science and the management of a cultural change
Monday, 12 October 2020, 3pm - 5.30 pm (CEST)
Open Science and the management of a cultural change will be in the focus of the Academic & Scholarly conference track, chaired by Dr. Tiberius Ignat, Director of Scientific Knowledge Services. International speakers, including Dr. Paul Ayris, Pro-Vice-Provost, UCL Library Services (UK); Kristiina Hormia-Poutanen, Director of Library Network Services at the National Library of Finland; Sofie Wennström, Analyst at Stockholm University Library (Sweden); Catriona MacCallum, Director of Open Science at Hindawi Limited (UK), and Emily Poznanski, Director Strategy at De Gruyter (Germany), will be discussing topics such as the transformative power of Open Science. The Academic & Scholarly track is organised in cooperation with Scientific Knowledge Services and sponsored by Wiley, Elsevier and TrendMD.

Rights & Licensing: Rights trade in a post-COVID world / Focus on Canada and Spain
Tuesday, 13 October 2020, 3pm - 5.30 pm (CEST)
The Rights & Licensing track will give expert insights into the rights and licensing markets of Spain and Canada, as well as take a look into the future, giving an outlook on rights and licensing in a post-COVID world. Moreover, the issue of working with sub-agents will be discussed, and brand licensing opportunities for publishers will be presented. A look on the development of international rights markets will round up the range of topics. Diane Spivey, publishing and rights consultant and former Group Contracts Director at Hachette UK, will discuss the rights trade in times of COVID-19 with leading UK literary agent Andrew Nurnberg. Rights experts from Canada and Spain will present the different language markets of these multilingual countries and talk about rights sales into and out of these markets. Speakers include Anna Soler-Pont, founder of Pontas Agency; Sandra Parejas, Casanovas Lynch agency; Florence Bisch, International and Domestic Rights Director at Groupe Homme; Janie Yoon, Editorial Director at House of Anansi; Corinne Quentin of Bureau des Copyrights Français; Marty Brochstein, SVP Industry Relations and Information at Licensing International. The conference track will be chaired by Jo Henry, Managing Director of the UK trade magazine BookBrunch. The Rights & Licensing track is being sponsored by the
Institute for Literary Translation; media partners of this track are BookBrunch and Licensing International.

Publishing Insights – The publishing industry in times of COVID-19
Wednesday, 14 October 2020, 3pm - 5.30 pm (CEST)
2020 was, and still is, a challenging year for the publishing industry. What processes were accelerated in those times of crisis? What will keep publishers resilient going forward? And how can we make sure that topics like diversity and innovation are not left by the wayside in a year when many players in the publishing ecosystem are just trying to survive? At Publishing Insights international voices from the book industry will discuss struggles and strategies for success during and after COVID-19. James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble and Managing Director of Waterstones (USA and UK), will talk about the changing retail landscape. Moreover, leaders from several important book markets – including Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO of HarperCollins Publishers India – will share their experiences guiding international companies through the pandemic. They'll discuss current challenges and new opportunities resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, as well as their expectations for the book business in the coming months. Jenny Fry, Commercial Director at Canongate (UK), Gustavo Lembert, founder of TAGLivros (Brazil) and Caroline Leavitt, author and co-founder of A MIGHTY BLAZE! (USA), will talk about marketing and PR in times of change. Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of the international trade magazine Publishing Perspectives, and Erin Cox, Head of US PR at Frankfurter Buchmesse, will be among the moderators of this track.

Audio: What does the future of audio look like?
Thursday, 15 October 2020, 3pm - 5.30 pm (CEST)
Audio is the darling of the publishing industry and a steady growth driver. But what does it take to safeguard this development? How can publishers ensure that they are at the helm of the audio revolution? How can audiobooks and podcasts elevate content to reach new consumers and create new business opportunities? At the Audio track on the Thursday of the fair, experts from the international audio publishing industry, including Magnus Nytell, Head of International Expansion at Nextory, and Videl Bar-Kar, Global Head of Audio at Bookwire, will give insights and discuss the production of audio content, consumer behaviour and the future of subscription and streaming models. Javier Celaya, CEO of, will be among the moderators. Further speakers will be announced soon. The Audio track of Frankfurt Conference is sponsored by Bookwire, Beat Technology and Zebralution.

All events of Frankfurt Conference will be held in English. Participation is free of charge; to take part, register at My Book Fair: The timetables of each conference track as well as further information about sessions and speakers are available online:

Further online B2B sessions of Frankfurter Buchmesse’s professional programme
In addition to Frankfurt Conference, 36 further online events will be offered during the book fair week (12-18 October) as part of the fair’s digital programme for publishing professionals. These include, for instance, sessions focussing on current trends and issues in international publishing, talks with marketing experts and further sessions focussing on key topics from Frankfurter Buchmesse’s areas THE ARTS+, Frankfurt Kids, Frankfurt Academic, Frankfurt Authors and Frankfurt EDU. The complete programme and timetables will be available at shortly.

Market Insights – from Brazil to China: insights into international book markets
Frankfurter Buchmesse’s new Market Insights series offers in-depth information about international book markets. Starting at 5 October 2020, one online session will be broadcast each day Monday to Friday at 9.30 am (CEST) until 16 October. The markets to be presented include the Spanish-speaking Latin American markets, Brazil, the UK, the US, Germany, Finland, Russia, Slovenia, China and Indonesia. The facts and figures about these international markets will be presented by (media) partners of Frankfurter Buchmesse, including The Bookseller (UK), Publishers Weekly (USA), PublishNews Brazil and PublishNews Spain, the German Publishers & Booksellers Association, Finnish Literature Exchange, 17,000 Pulau Imaji Foundation (Indonesia) and the Slovenian Book Agency. The entire timetable and more details about the online sessions will be available soon at

Curated Networking – meeting new business partners
A further part of Frankfurter Buchmesse’s digital events’ programme are the curated networking sessions, taking place daily from 12-17 October during the book fair week. The aim of these sessions is to offer 30-50 participants the opportunity to make as many relevant business contacts as possible within one hour. During the digital events, the participants will find themselves in various break-out sessions, having the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with their peers. To ensure that the participants find meaningful business contacts, the networking sessions will focus on certain topics or areas of publishing. For instance, sessions focussing on children’s publishing and university presses in Latin American are being planned. Due to the limited number of participants, prior registration is essential to secure a place. More information about the sessions and the registration process will be provided soon at

“The Hof” – Frankfurt’s informal digital meeting space
Alluding to one of Frankfurt’s popular after-fair meeting-spots –the Frankfurter Hof hotel –, “The Hof” is the fair’s informal online meeting space. It offers one-hour networking sessions with live music, talks and the chance to connect with other book fair enthusiasts in a casual setting. Every session starts with live music by “Jazz and More”, with Argentine guitarist Dario Acosta Teich and multi-lingual vocalist and cellist Eleanor Dubinsky. Guest speakers join for short, inspirational interviews, followed by breakout sessions during which all participants can get to know each other and exchange ideas in smaller groups, just as they would in a real-life bar setting. The Hof will be hosted by Felix Zeltner, an award-winning journalist, author and co-founder of Work Awesome.

The series of events at The Hof kicks off by getting everyone in the mood at the end of September, reaching its peak during the book fair week, and continuing with sessions in the run up to Christmas during November and December. Highlights announced today include a session with Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse, and Jenny Kühne, Project Lead Digital Book Fair, as co-speakers on 1 October, as well as the “My Frankfurt Blues Edition” on 12 October, when the Frankfurter Hof bartender will mix their signature cocktail at the hotel bar – live during the session. Furthermore, speakers from the audio and the EdTech businesses will give insights at dedicated The Hof sessions.

Selection of upcoming online events at The Hof:

24 September 2020: Trends in Rights & Licensing
with literary agent Michael Gaeb as guest speaker

29 September 2020: Audio Futures: How to Own Your Audience and Forge Your Own Path
with Nathan Hull and Njål Hansen Wilberg from Beat Technology as guest speakers

1 October 2020: October – Frankfurt Is in the Air
with Juergen Boos, Director Frankfurter Buchmesse, and Jenny Kühne, Project Lead Digital Book Fair at Frankfurter Buchmesse, as guest speakers

6 October 2020: October – European EdTech – Where Are We Now?
with Swedish EdTech specialist Jannie Jeppesen as guest speaker

12 October 2020: My Frankfurt Blues Edition
with live cocktail session by Frankfurter Hof’s bartender and other regular guests

Participation in The Hof sessions is free of charge, but pre-registration is required. The registration links can be found in each session’s description at The website is being updated constantly; further sessions and speakers will be announced soon.

In addition to Frankfurter Buchmesse's online events, the online business tool Frankfurt Rights as well as the Matchmaking Tool will be available for free for publishing professionals worldwide. More details will be announced.

About Premium Partner Copyright Clearance Center
Copyright Clearance Center (CCC) builds unique solutions that connect content and rights in contextually relevant ways through software and professional services. CCC helps people navigate vast amounts of data to discover actionable insights, enabling them to innovate and make informed decisions. CCC, with its subsidiary RightsDirect, collaborates with customers to advance how data and information is integrated, accessed, and shared while setting the standard for effective copyright solutions that accelerate knowledge and power innovation. CCC is headquartered in Danvers, Mass. with offices across North America, Europe and Asia. To learn more about CCC, visit