An AI Focus Opens Frankfurt’s Reformatted Rights Meeting

In Feature Articles by Porter Anderson

The Frankfurt Rights Meeting will be staged in a new hybrid format, across a five-session schedule in Frankfurt’s 75th anniversary year.

In its 75th anniversary year, Frankfurter Buchmesse is staging a five-part digital-and-in-person Frankfurt Rights Meeting. Here are speakers from Frankfurt’s International Rights Directors Meeting of 2009. From left are Zhou Hongli; David Roth-Ey; Annette Beetz; Madeline McIntosh; Thomas Seng; Evan Schnittman; David Campbell; and Tom Turvey. Image: FBM, Fernando Baptista

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

See also: Frankfurter Buchmesse’s Rights Center Reports a Sellout: 584 Tables

Many of Publishing Perspectives‘ international professional readership are familiar with Frankfurter Buchmesse‘s (October 18 to 22) Frankfurt Rights Meeting.

For more than 30 years, the program has been a fixture on the day prior to the official opening of the world’s largest international book publishing trade show, with as many as 200 attendees in place for the program’s presentation of market updates, overviews of trends and developments, and outlooks specifically tailored to literary agents, publishing-house rights directors, and scouts.

In its 75th-anniversary year, Frankfurt is going to leverage some of the digital-production capability it gathered during pandemic-impacted years and produce the Frankfurt Rights Meeting in a new hybrid format, breaking it up into several targeted sessions delivered digitally and concluding in a keynote and reception on-site in Frankfurt.

Artificial intelligence, outlooks on audio, political and social turmoil, book-to-screen development, and more are part of the program announced for the latest iteration of the long-running event.

  • Each of four segments is set for a Tuesday from 4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET.
  • The final event is scheduled as an in-person conclusion at Frankfurt Book Fair, with networking and a keynote address, from 5 to 7 p.m. CEST.

The plans for this year’s program, in fact, represent a return after three years of the event, and this formatting adjustment makes it possible not only for more attendees to be involved (everyone doesn’t have to be in place physically), but also to present a larger, more comprehensive program without the constraints of a single-day setting.

Program Topics and Speakers

At the 2013 Frankfurt Rights Directors Meeting. Image: FBM, Bernd Hartung

September 5: Digital Session
4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET

Madeline McIntosh

The lmpact of AI on the Rights Business: An Outlook

  • Tom Chatfield (moderator), author and technology philosopher
  • Madeline McIntosh, former CEO of Penguin Random House USA
  • Thomas Cox, managing director, Arq Works
  • Duncan Calow, partner, DLA Piper
  • Peter Schoppert, director, NUS Press

September 12: Digital Session
4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET

Lance Fitzgerald

Thriving on Change: Current Developments in Audio

  • Lance Fitzgerald (moderator), vice-president of content and business development, Penguin Random House Audio
  • Galina Lubimaya, rights director, ABP Publishing
  • Videl Bar-Kar, vice-president for audio, Bookwire

Bringing audio developments in publishing into focus, this session assesses the current marketplace relative to trends, subscriptions, revenue streams, new formats, and their potential impact on rights sales

September 19: Digital Session
4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET

Hannah Vaughn

From Book to Screen: Exploring the Film (Rights) Market

  • Erin P. Hennicke, independent literary scout and founder of BookSmart Literary Scouting
  • Hannah Vaughn, literary agent, the Gersh Agency

Spanning both the rights issues related to the streamers as well as more traditional film and television development, this program looks at business models, content requirements, production times and more in the “book to screen” world.

September 26: Digital Session
4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET

Doug Wallace

Licensing in Times of Turmoil: Political Challenges for Rights Sellers

  • Carmen Giménez, executive director and publisher, Graywolf Press
  • Doug Wallace, managing director, Andrew Nurnberg Associates International
  • Hana El Niwairi, rights manager, Cooke McDermid Literary Management

With its particularly interesting title, this session looks at the impact (both professional and personal) on the rights community at times of upheaval involving political issues, sexual identity controversies, diversity and inclusion developments, and more. Publishing Perspectives will moderate this session.

October 17: In-Person Session
5 to 7 p.m.
Networking Reception and Keynote

On the trade show’s eve, a gathering on the Messe Frankfurt, more details to be provided.

Ticketing for the Rights Meeting

Tickets are available for individual sessions or at a special price for all eventsThe ticket shop is embedded into the Frankfurt Rights Meeting page. Should that not work for you, here is an EventBrite booking link.

More information and ticketing links can be found on Frankfurt’s site.

A shot from Frankfurter Buchmesse in 2017, the ‘Publishers Rights Corner.’ In its 2023 75th anniversary edition, Frankfurt is offering tables in a Publishers Rights Center adjacent to the Literary Agents and Scouts Center. Image: FBM, Marc Jacquemin

More on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on international translation and publishing rights is here, and more on international book fairs is 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 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 International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, 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.