By Hannah Johnson
“Nobody here is available for a meeting right now.”
“If you don’t have an appointment, we can’t let you in.”
Hearing answers like these for five days would leave most people frustrated and angry, and this is unfortunately the experience many authors have when they come to the Frankfurt Book Fair.
To give yourself the best chance of success at the Frankfurt Book Fair, you need to research your trip in advance, set realistic goals, and create a plan of action.
Publishing Perspectives has created a comprehensive Authors Guide to the Frankfurt Book Fair to help you do that. Attending the Frankfurt Book Fair is a big investment, both in terms of time and money. Our guide outlines some of the decisions you need to make, how much the trip might cost, and how you can effectively network while you’re there.
4 Tips for Authors in Frankfurt
Here are a few tips from our guide to get you started.
1. Decide if a trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair is right for you.
Are you an unpublished author looking for an agent, or a self-published author looking to sell foreign rights? Are you willing to spend your time in Frankfurt building a network of contacts and learning about the business, but not necessarily coming home with a rights deal? Take a few minutes to write down your goals and think about whether the Frankfurt Book Fair is the right place to achieve these goals.
2. Research people and companies in advance.
If you’ve written a science fiction book, you should try to meet with people and companies working on science fiction. If you’re looking for a new ebook publishing platform, you want to find one that works directly with authors. Do as much research as you can ahead of the Fair, and you’ll end up with a targeted list of contacts and the best chance of meeting the right people.
3. Schedule meetings in advance.
Prevent a week of frustration at the Fair by requesting meetings in advance. As you research people and companies, contact them before the Fair and ask to meet in Frankfurt. You may get a few “no’s” but you’ll also likely get some positive responses.
4. Leave time for serendipity.
Some of the most successful books that publishers and agents have discovered in Frankfurt are the result of serendipity—chance meetings in hallways, at parties, or in hotel lobbies. Be sure to schedule some free time to simply wander the halls, discover, and chat with new people. Be open to new ideas that you hadn’t previously considered, and always have your business cards handy.