Frankfurt Buchmesse 2015
Every year the Frankfurt Book Fair gets better and better for Modjaji Books. This was the year we had a number of agents come and look us up, and to look at our titles and see if they would work in their markets. More of this anon, when these meetings bear fruit.
I was so busy with meetings I didn’t get to do the fun things that have become part of my Frankfurt rituals – going to the Guest of Honour pavilion, this year it was Indonesia and visiting the best designed books exhibition.
I got to speak on a panel about feminist publishing across borders with Renate Klein and Susan Hawthorne (both from (Spinifex, Australia) and Müge Gürsoy Sökmen (Metis,Turkey). We had a good crowd at the Weltempsfang Centre which this year was in Hall 3, quite far from where I mostly hang out. The English language publishers were all in Hall 6 this year, with the Agents Centre at the very top of Hall 6. Quite a few publishers came over to the stand to talk with me after this talk.
A highlight of the Fair had nothing to do with publishing apart from the fact that most of the South African publishers at the Fair were there, watching the Springboks play Wales. Quite a big deal for me, who isn’t known for being a sports fan.
It was also a little sad, as Corry von Mayenburg who has managed the Invitation Programme is retiring, and this was her last Frankfurt Book Fair in this role. Corry assured me though that she will be able to visit the Fair properly and see all the things she has been too busy to see.
Huge thanks to Rhulani Bila and PASA and the DTI for organising the stand at the Fair and making it possible for smaller publishers like Modjaji Books to be there. It’s always very enriching too, to have a chance to discuss issues with fellow publishers and solve all our problems over breakfast.