Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017: The industry demonstrates confidence and optimism

Rights trade is booming / international opinion leaders / Festival atmosphere

Frankfurt, 18.9.2017 - In a highly political year, the Frankfurter Buchmesse (11-15 October 2017) is establishing itself more than ever as a seismograph of global social developments. “When world affairs become confusing, when deep rifts mark most societies and when fake news challenges journalistic reporting, the desire for trustworthy sources of information, solid knowledge and well-researched news grows. This makes publishers enormously important – a responsibility they know they have”, said Juergen Boos at a press conference in Frankfurt today.

Boos continued by stating that a glance at the programme previews reveals that, in fast-paced times, publishers rely on quality – on the careful evaluation of information and the nuanced sorting of facts. He explained: “2017 will be remembered as a year that set the course at many levels – both in politics as well as in economic and social contexts, in Germany and in many parts of the world. The Frankfurter Buchmesse brings together exhibitors from over 100 nations. For five days, the focus is not only on the content business; rather, the book fair is the place where the industry proves that it is keeping step with the times – open to innovation, stable in its economic development and as opinionated as ever.”

The rights trade is booming, international opinion leaders position themselves in Frankfurt

In 2017, the Frankfurter Buchmesse once again claims its position as the international book industry’s biggest and most important event. Rights trading in Frankfurt is booming. The Literary Agents & Scouts Centre (LitAg) has set a new record with 500 tables sold. The industry’s most influential figures use the fair to place their messages: At the opening press conference of the Frankfurter Buchmesse (Tuesday, 10 October), Markus Dohle, CEO of Penguin Random House, will present his view of the industry’s global development. Also on the Tuesday of the fair, the Business Club Conference THE MARKETS will open with Andrew Wylie, one of the most powerful literary agents in the world; at the closing discussion, five influential women managers will take the floor: Tracey Armstrong (Copyright Clearance Center, USA), Sophie de Closets (Fayard, France), Arpita Das (Yoda Press, India), Xandra Ramos-Padilla (National Book Store/Anvil Publishing, Philippines) and Vicky Williams (Emerald Group, UK) will discuss career opportunities and obstacles. At the CEO Panel on Wednesday, 11 October 2017, Carolyn Reidy, CEO of the American publishing group Simon & Schuster (and, as such, the only woman to head one of the “Big Five” trade book publishers), fields questions from industry journalists. Also at the CEO Talk, Guillaume Dervieux, Vice President and CEO of Albin Michel, will provide information about the French book industry. In the Business Club, Nils Rauterberg, Managing Director of Audible Germany, will present the Audible Audio Compass 2017 and talk about the dynamic development of the audiobook as a mass medium. In a discussion entitled “Reporting the truth in the age of fake news”, Chad Thomas, Bloomberg Germany Bureau Chief, and Bloomberg Executive Directors Heather Harris and Matthew Miller will debate the media’s responsibility in the age of fake news.

New event format: Weltempfang Satellites

In a new event format, the Weltempfang Satellite, Juergen Boos, President/CEO of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, meets with well-known figures and writers to discuss current events. He will talk about the influence of fake news with war correspondent Åsne Seierstad and Hans Leyendecker, one of Germany’s most well-known investigative journalists (Wednesday, 11 October). His conversation with Turkish journalist Can Dündar and author Burhan Sönmez will consider living and writing in exile (Thursday, 12 October). Finally, together with Thomas Wagner (author of “Die Angstmacher”) and Gerald Hensel (Founder of Fearless Democracy), Juergen Boos will examine the phenomenon of the New Right (Friday, 13 October, each talk will be from 9.30-10.15 a.m. in the Business Club). At the Weltempfang – the Frankfurter Buchmesse Centre for Politics, Literature and Translation – in Hall 3.1, current areas of conflict will be explored under the title “Crisis-order-creation”.

THE ARTS+, the business festival launched last year dedicated to the themes of digitalisation, creativity and society, looks forward to welcoming, among others, Chris Dercon, Artistic Director of the Volksbühne Berlin, and Peter Weibel, Chairman and CEO of ZKM (Center for Art and Media) Karlsruhe. On the Wednesday of the fair, THE ARTS+ Innovation Summit will be held in cooperation with European institutions from politics, the creative industry and culture. In a workshop discussion, the artist collective robolab (ZKM Karlsruhe) will present its robot “manifest”.

Guest of Honour: “Francfort en français / Frankfurt in French”

In the age of globalisation, the activities of the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017 Guest of Honour, France, will revolve around not only the country itself, but also around the French language, which is spoken on five continents and in some 80 countries: 180 authors who publish in French are expected as part of France’s appearance as Guest of Honour at the fair, including Philippe Dijan, Michel Houellebecq, Édouard Louis, Alain Mabanckou, Yasmina Reza, Leïla Slimani, Amélie Nothomb and many others. As part of France’s participation as Guest of Honour, 143 German-language publishers have translated 555 titles from French into German, and 269 publishers and exhibitors from France and French-speaking countries will attend the fair. “France’s presentation as Guest of Honour is under the aegis of the President of France Emmanuel Macron – that alone shows the political dimensions of the occasion. In 2017, an election year, France’s presence at the fair is a powerful symbol of the solidarity and partnership between Germany and France within Europe – and a cultural highlight”, says Juergen Boos.

A celebration of literature

With Margaret Atwood, Cecelia Ahern, Paula Hawkins, Nicholas Sparks, Daniel Kehlmann, Paul Maar, celebrated mountaineer Reinhold Messner, thriller authors Ken Follett and Sebastian Fitzek, bestselling philosopher Dr Richard David Precht, teenage star Lukas Rieger and many others, the Frankfurter Buchmesse once again promises to be a very special celebration of literature. On the Saturday of the fair, some 1,800 guests, international publishers and accredited representatives of the press will have the rare opportunity to see bestselling US author Dan Brown live, when he presents his new thriller “Origin” (Saturday, 14 October 2017). At the end of the day, after the fair closes, BOOKFEST beckons visitors with a full programme of events at various locations in the city. (

Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017– more international than ever

Like last year, this year exhibitors from over 100 countries will once again take advantage of the Frankfurter Buchmesse to present themselves. The collective stand “Publishers from Africa & Haiti” will celebrate its premiere at the fair, with 20 French-language publishers showcasing their publications from 13 countries for the first time (Niger, Madagascar and Gabon will be represented in Frankfurt for the first time ever). These publishers will be located in Hall 5.1, in the immediate vicinity of the French collective stand (Hall 5.1 E 17).

The “Guest of Honour effect” is already making itself felt again at the fair: This year, French exhibitors have expanded their floor space by 12 per cent over last year. The floor space occupied by Norway, Guest of Honour at the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2019, has grown by 23 per cent, and Canada (Guest of Honour 2020), which was already very well represented in 2016, has already booked 3 per cent more floor space. Georgia’s presence at the fair last year was also very notable – and the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2018 Guest of Honour is maintaining the same degree of visibility at the fair again this year.

Despite consolidation processes, the floor space occupied by exhibitors from North America as well as from Northern, Western and Central Europe has remained stable. The floor space of Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East has grown considerably. The regions Eastern Europe (+8 per cent), Iran (+6 per cent) and East Asia (+5 per cent) have all seen slight increases. What is surprising is that relatively small book markets such as, for example, Kazakhstan and the Baltic nations Estonia and Lithuania have increased their presence in Frankfurt significantly compared to last year. Swiss publishers are also expanding their floor space this year (+14 per cent over the previous year).

About the Frankfurter Buchmesse
The Frankfurter Buchmesse is the international publishing industry’s biggest trade fair – with over 7,150 exhibitors from 106 countries, around 278,000 visitors, over 4,000 events and approximately 10,000 accredited journalists of which 2,400 are bloggers – in attendance. It also gathers key players from other media, including the film and games industries. Since 1976, the Frankfurter Buchmesse 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. With its Business Club, the Frankfurter Buchmesse offers essential services and an ideal setting for the activities of publishers, entrepreneurs, pioneers, experts and visionaries. Founded in 2016, THE ARTS+ is a business festival for creatives, investors, publishers, museums, tech companies, that takes place at Frankfurter Buchmesse. The Frankfurter Buchmesse is a subsidiary of the German Publishers & Booksellers Association.

Contact for the media:
Press & Corporate Communications, Frankfurter Buchmesse
Katja Böhne, Vice President Marketing & Communications, tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-138,
Kathrin Grün, Head of Press & Communications, Tel.: +49 (0) 69 2102-170,

> Press information online >
> Photos in print quality >

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