The agency team attends the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Cannes Film Festival every year.
Frankfurt is the premier yearly event for the publishing industry and showcases new titles from all the major publishers. Beyond this, it is the ultimate forum for agents to sell rights and canvass interest in their client’s titles. Meetings with publishing house editors are booked by appointment and pitches to publishers regarding individual titles and projects are inevitably of the ‘elevator pitch’ variety.
As an agency, we use the fair to establish which of our new titles and backlist rights are of interest to the wide variety of international publishers attending the fair.
After the fair, we send further sample material to the publishers (generally a detailed synopsis, sample chapters and PR and marketing info about the author). This is to narrow down to a final list of publishers who may wish to make an offer for the work. Full copies of the manuscript are sent once continued interest is confirmed by editors after having read the sample material.
IMPRESSIONS OF FRANKFURT BOOKFAIR 2023
by Dan Springer
It was a pretty mind-blowing experience attending Frankfurt for the first time. The scale of the bookfair is just so vast (the size of three aircraft hangars!) making it quite a challenge to get around all the stands you wish to visit! The fair is a vibrant hub and plunging in on day one I discovered an atmosphere teeming with exciting ideas and the energy of passionate minds.
The venue, bustling with agents, journalists, publishers, and enthusiasts, went beyond networking; it was a catalyst for inspiration and collaboration. Each conversation offered a potential turning point, connecting with like-minded individuals, and deepening my literary pursuits. Amidst back to back pitches and feedback sessions, the true magic of the Frankfurt Book Festival unfolded in a heady atmosphere of challenge and inspiration. Authors, agents, and publishers converged not just for discussions and negotiations but to share passion and expertise. Here, creativity flourished, and feedback on the short and pithy ‘elevator pitches’ which necessarily make up the bulk of the agency stock in trade resulted in incisive feedback from publishers – they are very quick to say what they are looking for and what may or may not work on their lists.
The gratifying thing was that even with a portfolio of over seventy projects there was nothing that did not get a bite and indeed some we could have sold many times over. I spent three days at the fair and returned exhausted but elated. I made many new friends and enjoyed the partying too! I will certainly be going back next year!