Book Fair

As an author at the book fair - the guide to a successful appearance

The book fairs in Leipzig and Frankfurt mark the highlights in the calendar of the book and media industry. For authors, they are ideal for direct exchange with readers. How could you organise your visit to the fair and is a fair suitable for your marketing? And under what circumstances should you forgo a trade fair appearance?

The Leipzig Book Fair

The Leipzig Book Fair focuses on author appearances and readings throughout the city under the motto "Leipzig reads". With over 2,500 exhibitors from 46 countries, the Leipzig Book Fair is the central industry event of the spring for the German-language book market. Both on the exhibition grounds and throughout Leipzig, around 3,700 events are held at the fair and the accompanying reading festival. A total of around 271,000 visitors can be expected.

Who is the Leipzig Book Fair aimed at?

Browse through books, attend events, make contacts - the Leipzig Book Fair is an audience- and reader-oriented authors' fair. An ideal platform to present yourself as a Author to present, exchange and network with other authors, readers or media representatives. An additional focus is on comics and manga, targeting a young audience. Over 36 percent of visitors are 20 years old or younger.

Host country

Putting the literature of a particular country centre stage is a tradition at both the Leipzig and Frankfurt Book Fairs. Under the motto "Common Ground" from 2020 to 2022, all the countries of Southeast Europe will be presenting their own literature and authors at the Leipzig Book Fair for the first time.

Special features and main topics

The Leipzig Book Fair is aimed specifically at authors and readers. This is also reflected in its Main topics

Reading festival "Leipzig reads

The reading festival "Leipzig Reads" has been firmly anchored with the Leipzig Book Fair since 1992. 3,700 events and 3,600 contributors at 500 venues in the Leipzig area and in forums on the exhibition grounds make the event platform Europe's biggest reading festival. "Leipzig Reads" is designed to awaken a fascination for literature.

authors@leipzig

Authors are the focus of the autoren@leipzig forum. Writers and publishers meet here. In the Forum autoren@leipzig, on the reading island in Hall 5 and in the Congress Center Leipzig, the focus is on topics such as Self-Publishing, Finding a Publisher or the small print in publishing contracts. Self-publishers and debut authors present their books here and meet service providers and readers.

The Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Bookfair is the biggest international event in the book and media industry with around 302,267 trade and private visitors, 7,450 exhibitors from 104 countries and 4,000 planned events. Every year, the fair invites an international audience to Frankfurt on five trade fair days in October and thus offers a central trading place for publishers, authors, readers, journalists and media professionals.

Who is the Frankfurt Book Fair aimed at?

The Frankfurt Book Fair is aimed at a specific trade audience. The first three days of the fair are reserved for trade visitors from publishing houses as well as service providers to the book industry and booksellers. During this time, negotiations take place in Frankfurt between Licensing Departments of the publishing houses among each other. Publishers meet and negotiate with printers or bookstore chains about prices or the presentation of their publishing programmes. Booksellers find out about new titles and thematic trends. Authors also count as trade visitors and the fair also offers many event platforms and events for self-publishers. At the weekend, the fair is open to private visitors.

Host country

Canada will take centre stage at the upcoming book fair - this year digitally, in Frankfurt in 2021. As Guest of Honour, the country will present its own literature and publishing world in the Guest of Honour Pavilion and in the city. Under the motto "Singular Plurality", the guest country will sum up the Canadian publishing world and its multifaceted culture.

Special features and main topics

The Frankfurt Book Fair also offers numerous highlights that go beyond browsing through the new publications. 

Frankfurt Authors

The platform Frankfurt Authors puts authors, whether bloggers, published authors or self-publishers, in the spotlight. As an author, you can make contacts here, get to know the industry better and find the right Service provider for your publications.

Agora

The Frankfurt Book Fair also takes place not only in the exhibition halls, but also offers many events, readings, concerts and performances on two outdoor event areas, the Agora and the Event Area. Numerous food trucks are waiting on the grounds for a break from the fair and the Frankfurt Book Fair's landmark: the Frankfurt Pavilion, the main stage for award ceremonies, book presentations and press conferences.

Bookfest

Even after the fair closes, the Frankfurt Book Fair programme is not over. The BOOKFEST festival offers event formats such as OPEN BOOKS, the urban reading festival, literary productions and stories in unusual places.

Awards

Important literary and media prizes are awarded at the Frankfurt Book Fair, such as the German Book Prize, the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade and the German Youth Literature Prize. The winners of the German Selfpublishing Award will be honored there. More than 1,800 entered the race in 2019. Because no book fair could take place locally in 2020 due to the Corona pandemic, the alternative Selfpublishing Book Prize was created. 

Cosplay

Colourful costumes and performances by cosplayers from all over the world: since 2019, the Frankfurt Book Fair has been providing a setting for the colourful world of cosplay. Throughout the exhibition grounds, there will be a variety of activities, performances and workshops that will allow cosplay to be experienced up close and personal.

When does a trade fair appearance make sense for my book marketing?

The Leipzig and Frankfurt Book Fairs have a lot to offer authors. But when is it worth investing in a trade fair stand, and should you go at all if you don't have any readings or book presentations?

Why go to the book fairs?

The personal exchange with other authors, readers or representatives of the industry and the chance to present your book there can be reasons for a trade fair presence. A trade fair also offers many ideas for your Marketing. Even if you're not represented with your work, there are plenty of events that can help you get ahead or where you can network with other media representatives.

Why not go to the book fairs?

The costs for a trade fair stand and the effort involved should not be underestimated. Even the preparation is time-consuming and begins very early with stand and travel planning. Particularly at the Frankfurt Book Fair with its crowded halls on the public weekend, individual books are easily lost. A visit to the book fairs is nevertheless recommended. Make up your own mind whether you can imagine presenting your work there. Perhaps a special trade fair is suitable for your book genre in order to address your audience directly?

How do you plan a visit to the book fair?

Do you want to find out about developments in the book market or pick up tips about self-publishing? Do you want to meet other authors or attend readings? How you organise your visit to the fair depends on your interests and goals. Prepare for the book fair in good time so that you don't get bogged down on the days of the fair. Get an overview of the large number of events, lectures, workshops and exhibition stands in advance. Think about what you want to achieve there and which exhibitors you want to visit. The trade fair grounds are large, and some of the individual stands are located far away from each other. And on weekends in particular, you can expect a huge rush of visitors and will need longer to get from A to B. You should also organise your appointments well in advance; the exhibition catalogue and the book fairs' calendar of events will help you with this. And don't forget to book your accommodation in good time.

How to get to the Leipzig Book Fair

Its strong focus on bringing authors and readers together makes the Leipzig Book Fair particularly attractive for self-publishers. Even if you're not presenting your book at a trade fair stand, it's still worth looking over the shoulders of other authors, networking with them and exchanging marketing tips.

Authors are trade visitors

As an author, you are a trade visitor. This means that you can take advantage of all the trade visitor services in addition to reduced admission. The Leipzig Book Fair is open to the general public, trade visitors and journalists from 10 am to 6 pm.

Title presentation about Livro

With the joint exhibition for small publishers and self-publishers at the Leipzig Book Fair Livroa brand of the MVB, gives self-publishers and small publishers the opportunity to exhibit and promote their titles. A trade fair presence in Leipzig via Livro is available from 98 euros.

Author presentation in the context of autoren@leipzig

Authors will find a tailor-made specialist programme for all topics relating to their own book in the event platform autoren@leipzig in Hall 5. This programme and the adjoining Authors' Lounge offer not only a platform for joint exchange but also the opportunity to present one's own book. Authors will read from their latest publications at the associated reading island.

Author community presentation with reading island

Those who find their own stand too expensive can present themselves at a joint stand. With the exhibitor registration for the Community presentation participation in the "Leipzig liest" programme is simultaneously linked with an event in the associated reading island.

Leipzig Circle of Authors

How do I present my book to a publisher? How do I market my book? What should I look out for when talking to booksellers or organising a reading? These and other questions will be discussed at the Leipzig Circle of Authors a forum. In inspiring conversations in table rounds, you have the chance to talk to experts and specialists in the industry.

How to get to the Frankfurt Book Fair

In recent years, the fair has moved away from its focus on trade visitors from publishing houses towards authors and self-publishers.

Authors are trade visitors

The same applies in Frankfurt: authors are trade visitors. You can visit Messer on the first three days of the fair and don't have to wait for the public weekend. That way, you can avoid the crowds on the weekend of the fair. The Frankfurt Book Fair is open Wednesday to Saturday from 9 am to 6.30 pm and Sunday from 9 am to 5.30 pm. As a guide, the informative graphic for authors tips on visiting the trade fair.

Title presentation about Livro

Under the brand Livro MVB offers self-publishers and small publishers the opportunity to promote their own titles at the Frankfurt Book Fair. The stand is located in the vicinity of many large trade publishers and is therefore in a prime position at the fair.

Thematic joint stands

You don't have to book your own expensive stand to be present at the book fair. You can also use the Offer of the joint stands use

Frankfurt Authors

In recent years, self-publishers have become increasingly present at the fair. One innovation for self-publishers is the Frankfurt Author Programme. For example, there is an area for readings or a special signing lounge. On the days of the fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair organises open get-togethers three times a day where authors can network. With the "Frankfurt Authors Package", you get a trade visitor season ticket, a ticket for the Frankfurt Authors Conference and a 30-minute slot in the themed area.

Self-Publisher Association

As a member of the self-publisher association you have different options for a trade fair presence or promotional opportunities at the book fair. You can exhibit your book at the Selfpublisher Verband stand, hold a Meet & Greet and get a discount on the Frankfurt Authors package.

Conclusion

Whether with a stand or as a visitor - it's worth taking part in book fairs as an author to make contacts and gather impressions and tips. You can also exhibit your title through various offers without investing in your own stand. Find out early enough about the events surrounding the fair and let your visit inspire you.

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