Around 105,000 trade visitors from 130 countries | Salman Rushdie in conversation
Today, Friday, marks the end of the official trade visitor days at the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse (18-22 October 2023) and now the fair opens to the general public. "Compared to last year, we have seen an increase of almost 20 per cent in trade visitors. Thanks to around 105,000 trade visitors from 130 countries, we are drawing a positive interim overview of our anniversary fair. A strong international professional programme and more than 4,000 exhibitors from all over the world make the book fair so attractive for the industry", says Juergen Boos, Director of Frankfurter Buchmesse.
The 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse is taking place in the context of numerous international crises, which are being discussed from different perspectives at a variety of events throughout the week. The essence of the book fair as a platform for pluralistic discourse was also evident at the Opening Ceremony on Tuesday evening in the Congress Center. At the Opening Press Conference on the same day, the British non-fiction author and environmental journalist Gaia Vince spoke about the connection between climate change and migration movements. Despite this worsening crisis, Vince struck an optimistic note about the book fair: "The power of a book is that we can leave our insularity." The biggest international gathering of the publishing industry was opened on Tuesday by Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar and German Minister of State for Culture Claudia Roth. The 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse ends on Sunday, 22 October 2023.
This year’s hot topics, and the centre of much discussion in the halls, included the growth of AI technology and its consequences for the book industry, the issue of sustainable book production for small and medium-sized publishers, what publishers can contribute to climate protection, the promotion of reading skills as a basis for political and social participation. Fields of the book industry such as "book-to-screen" and a developing audio market have also been discussed by experts from around the world in Frankfurt.
In front of packed audiences, the top speakers of the professional programme included Nihar Malaviya (CEO Penguin Random House), Anna Soler-Pont (Founder The Pontas Literary Agency), Hou Xiaonan (CEO Yuewen Tencent Entertainment), Jes Wolfe (CEO Rebel Girls), Peter Warwick (CEO Scholastic) and Pedro Sobral (CPO Grupo Leya). Back to the buoyant days before the pandemic, a number of spectacular book deals were signed this week. Penguin Random House announced a contract for two books with tennis champion Serena Williams. Faber signed ”Parade”, a novel about art, femininity and violence by Rachel Cusk, author of the ”Outline” trilogy. Orion signed a new six-book deal with Sarah Pinborough for crime and fantasy titles at Orion Fiction and Gollancz, and plans to reissue the author's fantasy backlist in a revised form.
Today, winner of this year's Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, Salman Rushdie, addressed more than 100 international media representatives. "Literature shows us a world of openness and variety and therefore tolerance" said the author in Frankfurt. Together with authors from different parts of the world, the United Nations also honoured the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The inaugural Aficionado Award was presented at the fair this year. The award went to Nigerian writer and publisher Lola Shoneyin, founder of the Aké Arts and Book Festival, which brings together authors, artists, poets and filmmakers from 29 African countries.
You can find all the weekend's events in the Frankfurter Buchmesse App and in the calendar of events online (www.buchmesse.de/events).