The 66th Frankfurt Book Fair: A Fast Arc Into Change

Image - iStockphoto: Meinzahn
Image – iStockphoto: Meinzahn

‘Beer swilling and book selling’

But he doesn’t stop there.

When Frontier Project Partner Jason Allen Ashlock talks about why that international strategy consultancy goes to Frankfurt Book Fair, he makes it clear that his Global 500 clients need him there because of one word: innovation.

Ironically, it’s precisely that bid for the future — innovation — that many in publishing will tell you has no business in the books business.

Clearly, they’re not listening to outfits like the States-based Frontier consortium. And this is one reason I’ve invited Ashlock to serve as interlocutor in the Book Fair’s Master Class “Possibly the best book marketing campaign ever.” It’s set for 10 a.m. CEST on October 8 in the Europa Room of Halle 4 in Frankfurt — part of BuchMesse’s all-new Business Club nexus of dealmaking interests at the heart of the big trade show.

How big is Frankfurt Book Fair? Last year, more than 275,342 people were there at one point or another.

  • 170,664 of those visitors were “trade,” meaning part of the publishing industry, the worldwide business of books.
  • 130 companies were represented amid 3,700 events held during the week.
  • More than 9,300 journalists were accredited for the kind of coverage  you’ll see me doing next week. I’m always proud to be part of a press corps that comes from 71 nations.
  • 631 literary agents from many parts of the world worked last year in the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre
Jason Allen Ashlock
Jason Allen Ashlock

And this year, some 7,275 exhibitors — publishers, publishing services, media outlets, associated companies and enterprises — are headed into Frankfurt from 102 countries.

And what is it that Ashlock is telling us?

Over the last few years, the Frankfurt Book Fair has undergone a steady transformation from a traditional, transactional rights fair to a gathering place for creators, technologists, and futurists.

Just get hold of that idea for a minute. The books business, which came creaking to life more than 400 years ago as the wheels turned in Gutenberg’s shop down the road, in the estimation of a globe-trotting corporate strategist, now is “a gathering place for creators, technologists, and futurists.”

Ashlock is hardly alone.

Read the full story at Thought Catalog

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: The 66th Frankfurt Book Fair: On a Fast Arc To Publishing’s Future

Originally published by Thought Catalog at



 Join us for Frankfurt Book Fair’s first Business Club synthesis of conference events, networking opportunities and negotiation comfort, all in Halle 4:

300 x 100 proportion Frankfurt 2014 Business Club

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