The German Book Office that looks after the activities of the German book industry in India, including the world’s largest book fair for the exchange of translation and publishing rights, has organized at least two presentations to Indian publishers in the last few weeks. The big news apart from the fact that the FBF will be a hybrid event, both material and virtual, is that German government funding has enabled the organizers to offer 7,500 publishers worldwide virtual or digital participation free of charge. The minister of state and culture is supporting the FBF as part of the country’s NEUSTART KULTUR stimulus package.
In its digital avatar, the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020, with its extensive digital program, can be accessed from around the world. There are a host of offers for the general public and virtual B2B opportunities for trade visitors, such as matchmaking, networking, further education, and rights trading.
In the most recent webinar numbering over 40 publisher participants, Claudia Kaiser vice president of the FBF said, “We will have a physical fair, but it will be smaller.” Kaiser explained that the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic continue and persist and said that in some ways to recreate the flavor and multiple channels of the FBF digitally seems in many ways more challenging than even organizing the physical fair.
Looking forward to the new way of participation
FBF has special tools for the Special Edition from 14 to 18 October that digitally recreate the professional activities at the annual fair. There are special thematic events. Central is the digital catalog that can contain multimedia content and is open to all who register in time up to a limit of 7,500 entrants. Here publishers and other relevant entrants can upload information about their titles and offer for distribution or rights and translation. Requests for online meetings can be made, and video can be embedded.
Frankfurt Rights is Frankfurter Buchmesse’s new digital portal for contacts, information, and trading rights and licenses. It will host an international catalog of rights to browse, discover, and be found in. As Bipin Shah said near the end of the webinar, “We are definitely going to register, and are looking forward to the new way of participation.”