Frankfurt Fellowships: Katerina Petrich of Argentina’s Libros de la Araucaria

In News by Porter Anderson

A participant in this year’s Frankfurt Invitation Program, Katerina Petrich is a designer with Argentina’s Libros de la Araucaria.

The Casa Rosada in the Plaza de May, Buenos Aires, November 9, 2022. Image – Getty iStockphoto: Armando Oliveira

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

The Frankfurt Invitation Program
As many Publishing Perspectives readers know, Frankfurter Buchmesse each year welcomes participants in grant and fellowship programs, all designed to encourage international collegiality, professionalism, and perspective among their participants. Those chosen to take part are early-to-middle career people in publishing—according to each program’s makeup.

You can learn more about all of Frankfurt’s fellowship and/or grant programs here.

The program we hear from today, the Frankfurt Invitation Program, enables publishers from developing book markets to participate in Frankfurt Book Fair, so they can form networks  in the book business. Support for this program, founded in the 1970s, comes from the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, and is curated and organized by Frankfurt.

Katerina Petrich, Libros de la Araucaria SA, Argentina

Publishing Perspectives: What is your work like at Libros de la Araucaria?

Katerina Petrich

Katerina Petrich: I coordinate and supervise design choices and editorial selection, but I’d love to take more part in the direct design of the covers. As my job at Libros de la Araucaria started recently, I have yet to see the fulfillment of my work, but I’m looking forward to it!

Publishing Perspectives: What are the main challenges you see in your country’s book market today for publishers?

Katerina Petrich: I think the biggest challenges we have to face as an independent publishing house based in Argentina are no different than what the country’s economy is going through at the moment.

Regarding the bigger picture, we have to face inflation and the continuous dwindling of the exchange rate, generating difficulties for international deals. These same items have a huge impact in the people’s economy, resulting in them cutting off buying books from their expenses.

As a more specific challenge, we have disproportionate production costs because of the price of paper being used as a way to speculate. Furthermore, the Argentinian market is more oriented to traditional media and ebooks don’t have a big consumer pool.

Nevertheless, we do have a very active and flourishing author community, producing a vast amount of both fiction and nonfiction that’s widely recognized amid the boom of Latin American authors. We have yet to find a way to cope with the external demand  for these authors, as we have to compete with big publishing groups.

Publishing Perspectives: What are expecting from your trip to Frankfurt Book Fair?

Katerina Petrich: I truly believe the best parts of work come with team effort and knowing who to call to integrate that team. I expect to connect with fellow publishers from countries that have a similar background to ours and generate a strong sense of community for future project planning.

There are more Frankfurt fellowship and grants program interviews in our Frankfurt Book Fair Magazine, which will be distributed on October 18, in print at the trade show and digitally here at Publishing Perspectives.

The magazine has previews of programming from our Publishing Perspectives Forum at Frankfurt including our Executive Talks with Penguin Random House worldwide CEO Nihar Malaviya and Nanmeebooks’ Kim Chongsatitwana; highlights of key events at the 75th Frankfurter Buchmesse; and coverage of Frankfurt’s upcoming guest of honor programs (Italy, the Philippines, the Czech Republic) and this year’s Guest of Honor Slovenia.

There’s also news of literary agents and agencies; award-winning books from guest of honor markets; focus articles on artificial intelligence, sustainability; and a forthcoming effort to get more Korean literature into world markets; as well as 75th-anniversary “Frankfurt Moments.” Be sure to get your copy of the magazine when you arrive at Buchmesse on Wednesday, or download it here at Publishing Perspectives.

More from Publishing Perspectives on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on Books at Berlinale is here, more on publishing in Europe is here, more on publishing and Turkey is here, more on international book fairs and trade shows is here, and more on rights trading in international publishing 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.