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The Frankfurter Book Fairy

Posted on | October 13, 2010 | No Comments

[flickr]photo:5079193442[/flickr]

Having been shipped off to battle zee Germans with Zakk, courtesy of our very own Tardis, I can now safely say that they have one hell of an enormous book fair in Frankfurt. In comparison with the local equivalent, the size difference is similar to that of the two airports. But although the size itself was impressive (though irrelevant – most of the fair itself was of no interest to us, since we’re not in the market for German cookbooks or the local crime/romance superstars), what struck me most is how most of the really big rightsholder publishing houses – McMillan, Penguin, and the likes, simply decided to ignore their SF-oriented imprints. Yes, there were a few books on display here and there, and yes, SFs more hip urban-vamp-romance cousin is huge, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone qualified to talk to about the actual books… and it’s not like they are ashamed, the people we found at their booths were all very cheery in noting that they do, indeed, publish SF as well, but it looked as if no one actually cared about providing actual hands-on support for those imprints.

Now, one could argue that SF is simply not an interesting market for publishers, and hell knows, the marketing numbers probably show this, but I did hit a strong cognitive dissonance upon leaving the hall with the largely uninterested publishers only to emerge into a field of thousands of cosplayers all dressed up in… well, SF outfits. True, no Klingons or spacemen and lots of people with spiky hair and ginormous swords, but nevertheless, SF it is.

I won’t get into details on the publishers we met and talked to or the schwag we brought with us (and we did), since those things are kinda businessy and confidential, but I will note that, although I would certainly not recommend Frankfurt as a destination for tourists (bars close at 10PM sharpish, so yeah… no),  I would most certainly recommend a visit to Neubach, the place where I got my brand-spankin’ shinin’ new Eleuke CC100PHP. So prepare for some heavy rockin’.

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    Written in minutes and fact-checked in seconds via Google. May contain unsafe levels of self-righteousness. Past cleverness is no guarantee of future results.
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