Friday, October 17, 2008

Frankfort Book Fair Day 3

It was another great day at the fair. I had a meeting with a wonderful French publisher, three UK publishers, and two Aussie publishers. I picked up catalogs from each of them earlier in the week and made appointments for today. I went through the catalogs and dog eared the pages for books that caught my interest. Many were already sold but some are still in consideration. I also had meetings with publishers from Russia, Italy, Spain, and India who are interested in licensing some of our books. The health titles seem to carry the most interest.

I will be much better prepared next time with a list of contacts to set meeting ahead of time. If I have the privilege of going to the London Book Fair in the spring or back to Frankfurt next year, I will reach out to the UK, Aussie, Kiwi, Irish, Scottish, and any other English-speaking publishers registered to attend the show who publish the same categories we do and schedule appointments to pitch our upcoming list for potential co-publishing editions. While we get distribution into those countries now, it is my belief that co-publishing with a house in those territories would increase the marketing attention given to the book. Of course, I’m still learning the ropes so there may be a down side to that strategy I’ve not seen yet.

One thing that struck me as I walked the floor today was that whatever new idea I have, someone has already done it. I am new in this game. That does not discourage me. It challenges me to try to think beyond what everybody is already doing or already done.

Today I also walked two more halls of International publisher exhibits. I took pictures of the signs that listed all the countries in each hall but the names are probably too small to read. It was another “small world” experience for me. It was so strange to walk the halls and see the books and people from every country. The Spanish and South American countries have a very high regard for design and production quality, as do the Danes, Swiss, Italians, and French. I know China, Korea, and Japan all understand high production value. They print most of the books for the US, but they don’t seem to have the same regard for production value for their own books. Perhaps they are more concerned with content than packaging. Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Eurasian countries still have a ways to go in understanding or appreciating production quality.

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