frankfurt book fair 2017

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: The Hits & The Misses

My last blog is a testimony to the love I have for Frankfurt Book Fair. Like every year, I was glad to be a part of it this time around too, and all the more delighted to share my experience here.

I attended the prestigious fair for the first time back in 2006, and it has been an annual event for me since. I even exhibited at the fair till 2012, but have been visiting it just as a trader post that.

The global recession hugely impacted the fair this year with a major drop in the number of exhibitors. The organizers had also cut on the cost as earlier the fair used to take place in 8 halls, but the number had been reduced to half this time around. What amazed me more was that even the big players had reduced the size of their stalls.

I remember how we used to struggle while walking in the halls, owing to the overwhelming number of visitors, but I experienced a different scene altogether this year. The footfall during the very first hour was extremely less, making it look like a flop show.

Having said that, I must mention that despite a slightly lower number of people than previous years, the unwavering enthusiasm of the attendees was indeed a sight to behold for! Some of the world’s biggest authors enjoyed giving readings & lectures and signing books for the thrilled visitors. Another highlight of the celebrated event was some great book launches there.

With France as the guest of honour, the book fair opened with speeches by the French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

More than 130 literary stars from the Francophone world were on hand to discuss their books and sell the translation rights. Among them were Leila Slimani, Edouard Louis and Michel Houellebecq.

Notable attendees from the English-speaking world included Ken Follett, Cecilia Ahern and Nicholas Sparks. A number of German authors were also present, including the German Book Prize winner Robert Menasse, revered mountain climber Reinhold Messner and boxer Aya Cissoko amongst others.

On the closing day, Canadian author Margaret Atwood was presented with the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade for her body of work.

There’s more! Four Malaysian books made it to the final list for the Beauty and the Book Award 2017 at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2017. Im Licht – Im Bild won the coveted award.

As I conclude, I’d like to underline that it was undoubtedly an eventful fair, and the experience has truly overwhelmed me. No wonder, I’m already looking forward to the next year!

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