Before You Go to Frankfurt: Trade Publishing in Focus

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Coming up to speed: The Frankfurt Conference tracks on Monday and Tuesday will orient you swiftly to the coming issues and talking points of Frankfurt Book Fair 2021.

S. Fischer president and publisher Siv Bublitz, speaking at the 2019 Publishers’ Forum in Berlin from Klopotek. She’ll talk about editorial strategy in the trade track of Frankfurt Conference on October 12. Image: Klopotek, Adam Janisch

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

See also: The academic publishing track of Frankfurt Conference 

Quickly Illuminated Issues and Analysis
Designed to accelerate your preparations, the digital Frankfurt Conference framework is quick, efficient, targeted.

Separate from the Messe-based Frankfurt Studio program that will produce content from Hall 4 during Frankfurter Buchmesse itself (October 20 to 24),  Frankfurt conference is set on this Monday and Tuesday (October 11 and 12), each day’s events running just 2.5 hours to maximize efficiency.

In this article, we’ll look quickly at the agenda for the trade program set for Tuesday, October 12. (Here, you’ll find that same quick look at the agenda for the academic publishing program on Monday, October 11.)

Frankfurt Conference: The Trade Publishing Track
Tuesday, October 12

Putting Frankfurt together. Image: FBM, Peter Hirth

Looking at the consumer publishing market, the trade publishing track is curated by Publishing Perspectives publisher Hannah Johnson and features a fast survey of the most pressing and interesting issues the commercial industry is facing in a time of unique transition–and a future with many questions.

Hannah Johnson

In quick-turn 30-minute intervals, attendees will get a high view on:

  • Where the last 18 months have taken world publishing and what you can expect ahead
  • Newly acute questions in publishers’ title output and diversity
  • The landscape for children’s books at a time of change that isn’t over
  • Film and the current shape of its opportunities for publishing
  • What rights buyers are looking for—and might realize they want in the near future

Simon de Jocas

There’s a session of “The Hof” in place for networking, immediately following Johnson’s concluding comments to this fast-paced sequence of “prep talks.” Joining us there will be Simon de Jocas of Quebec’s Les Éditions 400 Coups, and as ever, the host of “The Hof” is Felix Zeltner.

Here’s a rundown of the agenda.

Time (CET) Session Speakers
14:30 – 14:40 Welcome Hannah Johnson, Publisher, Publishing Perspectives
14:40 – 15:00 International Perspective: Book Sales and Bookselling

From temporary bookstore closures and delayed publication dates to accelerating online book sales and out-of-the-box strategies for reaching readers online, the pandemic has changed and disrupted many of the ways books are marketed and sold to readers. Looking at the global book marketplace through the lens of book sales and bookselling, Cyrus Kheradi (Senior Vice President of International Sales and Marketing at Penguin Random House) will share his insights on the past year and a half and explore whether we’ll see these trends continue in the near future.

Cyrus Kheradi, Senior Vice President International Sales and Marketing, Penguin Random House
15:00 – 15:30 Editorial Strategies: Quantities and Qualities

Two editorial experts look at two specific trends today in publishing’s development—each with elements intensified by the pandemic. Siv Bublitz talks about her title output strategy, and Marco Garcia addresses the necessity of diversity in the acquisitions process. A spirited and insightful look at values now enriching the international publishing landscape, more as imperatives than as options.

Siv Bublitz, President and Publisher, S. Fischer;
Marco Garcia, Editorial Director, V&R Editoras;
Moderator: Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives
15:30 – 16:00 Scholastic: What’s Ahead for Children’s Book Publishing

Scholastic’s global footprint and engagement across publishing, education, literacy, and accessibility puts the company in a prime position to influence and observe the direction of children’s book publishing in many countries. In this session, world publishing leaders share memories and tributes to Scholastic’s late CEO, Dick Robinson, and his enormous contributions to the book community. Then, Scholastic’s newly appointed CEO Peter Warwick shares his top-level views on what’s ahead for children’s book publishing and for Scholastic, in an interview with Publishing Perspectives editor-in-chief Porter Anderson.

Peter Warwick, CEO, Scholastic;
Moderator: Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief, Publishing Perspectives
16:00 – 16:30 Film Market Insights for Publishers: Lightning Talks

Three film industry experts present key insights on how their regional markets operate, which important trends are emerging, and how book publishers can make connections in the film business. This session is co-organized by Frankfurter Buchmesse and Berlinale Co-Production Market, as part of the “Books at Berlinale” cooperation project.

Noemi Ferrer Schwenk, Executive Director of DR Sales, Danmarks Radio (DR);
Raymond Phathanavirangoon, Film producer, Executive Director, Southeast Asia Fiction Film Lab;
Jeffrey Sharp, film producer, Executive Director, The Gotham Film & Media Institute;
Moderator: Syd Atlas
16:30 – 17:00 What Rights Buyers Want: Lightning Talks

Five experts from five markets offer quick insights into what’s selling in translation their countries, which book trends are coming and going, and what types of titles they’re looking for from foreign publishers.

Anna Soler-Pont, Founder, Pontas Agency;
Banu Ünal, Vice General Manager, Günışığı Kitaplığı;
Ciccy Yuqi Shang, Rights Manager, Phoenix Juvenile and Children’s Publishing;
François von Hurter, Co-founder, Bitter Lemon Press;
Thomas Tebbe, Editorial Director for Literary Fiction, Piper Verlag;
Moderator: Emma House, international publishing consultant
17:00 – 17:10 Conclusion Hannah Johnson, Publisher, Publishing Perspectives
17:30 – 18:30 The Hof: Networking for Trade Conference Attendees

Separate, free-of-charge registration required.

Simon de Jocas, President and owner, Les Éditions 400 Coups;
Hosted by Felix Zeltner

More from Publishing Perspectives on rights and trading is here, more from us on children’s books is here, more on diversity and inclusivity is here, and more on bookselling is here.

More from us on Frankfurter Buchmesse 2021 starts with our special guide, which includes a detailed list of highlights, latest coverage, and links to ticket purchases, COVID guidelines, the exhibitor directory, ground plan, and more.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As as an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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