The Markets 2018: Frankfurt’s Agenda-Setting Conference Follows the Money

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

Taking world publishing revenue models as its thematic focus this year, Frankfurter Buchmesse’s The Markets conference on October 9 gathers the best insights of international specialists for analysis and networking.

Some of the speakers featured in The Markets on October 9 at Frankfurter Buchmesse are, top row from left, Charlie Redmayne, Gvantsa Jobava, Jiang Yanping, and Pieter Swinkels; middle row from left, Katja Böhne, Pablo Laurino, Niclas Sandin, Anki Ahrnell; and lower row from left, Andre Breedt, Sophie Jonathan, Shobha Viswanath, and Gustavo Lembert

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Setting the Agenda
Held on the day before the official opening of the Frankfurter Buchmesse, The Markets conference has become a focusing and defining event each year, set in the Business Club (Hall 4.0) and devised as a half-day gathering for the most dedicated industry pace-setters.

This year, the event, on Tuesday October 9, opens at 9:30 a.m. with welcoming comments from Katja Böhne, Frankfurt’s vice president for marketing and communications, and runs to 1 p.m., with a lunch served immediately afterward. Ticketing information for The Markets is here, and seating is limited.

In its fourth year of operation, The Markets has turned to the one of the most abiding interests of the world’s largest trade show in book publishing: revenue models, with input, analysis, and innovations from the UK, Georgia, Brazil, Sweden, and Southeast Asia, alongside perspectives from Germany, the Netherlands, France, India, the United States, and China.

The programming changes during the morning as the audience hears from book publishing executives, pioneers, innovators, founders, and colleagues from Buchmesse’s international network. What’s more, the conference attendees will meet with their counterparts and other professionals during Market Player sessions.

Böhne will hand off to Charlie Redmayne, CEO of HarperCollins UK for the day’s keynote address. Redmayne, at the company’s summer party in London in July, talked of having begun the corporation’s third century in “incredibly strong” condition, with 14 Sunday Times No. 1 bestsellers that spanned 53 weeks in the past year at the top, including 17 weeks of the year with the industry’s No. 1 book in the UK, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

HarperCollins UK was named Publisher of the Year in May at The Bookseller’s British Book Awards, and has doubled the size of its Northern Ireland team, according to The Bookseller’s Heloise Wood.

Redmayne’s address will be followed by a panel of expert viewpoints on trends in various parts of the world. This group includes:

  • André Breedt, managing director of Nielsen Book Research International in the UK
  • Publishers Weekly’s Andrew Albanese
  • Kyra Dreher of the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, Germany’s Publishers and Booksellers Association
  • Pablo Laurion, founding director of Publica.la in Argentina
  • Jiang Yanping, CEO of OpenBook in Beijing

Gustavo Lambert Da Cunha, who founded TAGLivros—the 20,000-member Brazilian book club—will talk specifically about how he works with publishers.

A dual-presentation from Anki Ahrnell, chief digital officer with Stockholm’s Bonnier, and the BookBeat CEO Niclas Sandin will explain the especially promising subscription models in Sweden.

From Canada, Lisa Lyons Johnston, president of Kids Can Press, will speak to how critical developing your own intellectual property can be to develop partnership and support for your brand from others.

Gvantsa Jobava, the Georgian Publishers and Booksellers Association chief who spoke recently with Publishing Perspectives, will put forward the rationale for Georgia’s participation as Frankfurt’s Guest of Honor.

And the programming before the lunch break will conclude with a panel looking at long- and short-form content in the marketplaces today, with speakers including:

  • Pieter Swinkels, executive vice president for publisher relations and content with Rakuten Kobo
  • Shobha Viswanath, the co-founding director of publishing with India’s Karadi Tales
  • Elena Favilli, CEO of the States’ Timbuku Labs, which is behind the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls–and Favilli is this year’s PW Star Watch program’s Superstar
  • Ella Balagula, of John Wiley and Sons’ knowledge and learning markets work
Market Players Networking Sessions

At Frankfurt Book Fair 2017. Image: Frankfurter Buchmesse, Christoph Seubert

In the first of two Market Player sessions, attendees, will meet:

  • Sophie Jonathan, senior commissioning editor of Picador, UK , and Shooting Star among The Bookseller’s and Frankfurt’s Rising Stars this year
  • Linda van Scherrenburg, editor, Unieboek / Het Spectrum, the Netherlands
  • The as-yet unannounced Swiss Career Climbing Award winner
  • Francesca Cavallo, co-founding author with Timbuktu Labs in the States, and with Favilli the 2018 Superstar winner of the PW Star Watch program

And in the second of the two Market Player sessions, conferees will be meeting with:

  • Dong Hui, senior editor with CN Booky of China
  • Noemi Frontana, junior editor, AtlasContact in the Netherlands and a winner of the 2018 Me naar de Fair program
  • Roselinde Bouman, commercial fiction Editor, Meulenhoff Boekerij in the Netherlands, another 2018 Me naar de Fair program winner
  • Diana Passy, marketing analyst, Companhia das Letras, founder of the  YA literature festival FLIPOP
  • An as-yet unnamed rising young talent from the German industry

Further programming information on The Markets can be found here. And more on speakers for the program are list is here.


More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here.

And our Summer Magazine is ready for your free download and is themed on politics and publishing.

It includes our extensive preview of Frankfurter Buchmesse. Download the PDF here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.