Tips from THE Frankfurt Book Fair Veteran

In Frankfurt Tips by Hannah Johnson

By Fred Kobrak

As the world’s biggest book fair, there are thousands of exhibitors spread over many buildings. Getting to your appointments will take more time than at the London Book Fair, BookExpo America or even Bologna.

The busiest time for everyone is Wednesday to Friday of the Fair –- time when everyone has scheduled advance appointments for those 50 hours.

Appointments should be set up in advance –- preferably having your final appointments list complete before the end of the summer.

If you are selling your books (either in physical or electronic form, or translation rights), you should identify potential business partners in your first visit to Frankfurt by visiting exhibits of potential partners in national pavilions and collective stands.

There are free shuttle buses which run between the buildings of the fairgrounds. You can board them at boarding points every 100 yards or so. These can be very helpful and welcome after a long day of running between the halls.

Fred Kobrak has attended the Frankfurt Book Fair for 53 consecutive years. He worked Macmillan for 35 years, first in international sales and eventually as the President of Collier Macmillan International in London. After retiring, he worked for 10 years as a consultant to Thomson.

If you want to contact Fred, ask around at the Frankfurt Book Fair because everyone knows him.

About the Author

Hannah Johnson


Hannah Johnson is the publisher of international book industry magazine Publishing Perspectives, which provides daily information and news about book markets around the world. In addition to building partnerships with international cultural and trade organizations, she works with the Frankfurt Book Fair to organize and support a number of its overseas initiatives. Hannah has also worked as the managing editor for an online media company, The Hooch Life, focused on craft distillers and cocktail experts. Prior to that, she worked as a project manager for the Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office, managing various business and marketing activities.