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70 hours of professional programme with acclaimed guests, including James Daunt, Ananth Padmanabhan and Jenny Fry / A celebration of literature online and in Frankfurt with Karin Slaughter, Elizabeth Gilbert, Irvine Welsh and many more

Like no other happening in the publishing industry, Frankfurter Buchmesse leads the way in activating global networks, opening up future markets and putting both sector-specific and socio-political issues on the agenda. That will be truer than ever in 2020, the year of corona, as demonstrated by the fair’s thousands of digital exhibitors from approximately 85 countries (as of 20 September 2020). It also makes this Frankfurter Buchmesse Special Edition as international as ever, with participants from throughout Europe, China and Taiwan, Argentina and Columbia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, the US, Canada and many other nations. Its exhibitors will include publishers, booksellers, literary agents and scouts, self-publishers and service providers. They will participate in the fair’s online programme, present their new titles on the relevant webpages at and contribute their own events to the programme.

“For the global publishing industry, Frankfurter Buchmesse is always an opportunity to take stock. Such self-assessment is more important this year than ever before: We have discovered that the world of publishing can react flexibly, inventively and courageously even in times of crisis. Over the five days of the fair, we want to hear from our colleagues all around the globe – from Egypt, Brazil, Finland and Singapore. We want to promote an exchange of experience, facilitate contacts, share successes and identify trends. Together with international media partners and publishers, we have successfully added a digital component to Frankfurter Buchmesse that can be accessed from anywhere in the world. In this year of uncertainties, this is, for me, a ‘beacon of hope’, to quote Margaret Atwood. The intensive exchange with a wide range of industry players over many months and under difficult conditions has been unique – and I would like to thank everyone involved for their contributions,” said Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse, at today’s preview press conference.

The Special Edition’s approximately 70 hours of trade programming include conferences, market insights and networking sessions. Moreover, the programme is designed to be interactive and participatory. Many international industry leaders will speak, including James Daunt, CEO of the Waterstones and Barnes & Noble bookstore chains, Ananth Padmanabhan, CEO of HarperCollins Publishers India, and Jenny Fry, Commercial Director & Board Member of the Scottish indie-publisher Canongate.

Frankfurt Rights provides rights managers with access to a digital rights platform that is used by publishers, agents, scouts, film producers, screenwriters and merchandisers. This is where programme directors find the new titles they are looking for. Thanks to generous financial support from the German government’s NEUSTART KULTUR programme, the digital offerings can be accessed free of charge until summer 2021.

BOOKFEST digital will be broadcasting on Saturday, 17 October 2020, from 10 am to 10 pm on two channels around the world: 28 hours full of stories, discussions and stimulating conversations with a range of guests, including Karin Slaughter, Elizabeth Gilbert, Kirsten Boie, Axel Scheffler and Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor. For literature lovers, the ARD Book Fair Stage and BOOKFEST city will bring international stars to Frankfurt: on the main stage in the Festhalle and at many locations in the city itself, readers can discover more than 150 authors and their latest books during the week of the fair, including Irvine Welsh, John Niven and Chilly Gonzales.,  

Canada, which has postponed its appearance as Guest of Honour until 2021, will offer more than 25 digital events at the fair, highlighting the unique diversity of the country’s literary and cultural scene. The programme will be announced on 24 September. German translations of 246 books by Canadian authors will be released by October 2020. A list of the new titles is available here:

The first digital edition of Weltempfang, Frankfurter Buchmesse’s centre for politics, literature and translation, is dedicated to the topic “Europe – Connecting Cultures”, while the first digital symposium by Litprom e.V., the association that promotes literature from Africa, Asia and Latin America, and the KfW Foundation will examine African literatures and their reception in Germany. The symposium can be viewed on 12 October from 2.00 to 5.30 pm on the YouTube channels of the organisers, Litprom and KfW Foundation, and on and Frankfurter Buchmesse’s YouTube channel.

The programme of live events at Frankfurter Buchmesse can be found at

Information on the Signals of Hope campaign:

The events taking place on the ARD Book Fair Stage will be broadcast on

Tickets for events in the Festhalle:

The Exhibitor Directory and Calendar of Events can be accessed here:

The press kit (as of 21 September 2020) is available for download here: