Publishing is about to decamp for its annual excursion to the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the IPG is going with it. Next week we will be hosting some of our members on our collective stands and doing all we can to help independents get the most out of their visit.
As we have written before
, it seems odd to some that, in an age when communication is so easy via email, Skype, web and phone, publishers still feel the need to gather in one place—and, for UK companies, even stranger that they should travel to Germany to do so. But modern digital communication can make us lose sight of the need for publishers to get away from the desk and meet face to face. Publishing is built on networking and socializing, and book fairs give us the excuse at to get offline and enjoy proper human interaction.
Big international fairs like Frankfurt are also important because IPG members are global businesses. It is something that has been confirmed to us once again by the new Harbottle & Lewis Independent Publishing Report, our major annual analysis of our sector. Among a host of fascinating insights from our survey of 184 members is that independent publishers are truly international, drawing nearly a third of their annual turnover from overseas. And that is just the average: for many larger members, especially in academic or professional publishing, the figure is much higher.
Selling overseas, whether through exports or rights, isn’t easy: it takes a lot of strategic thinking and legwork, and for IPG members with small teams, it can be hard to find the time or resources for that. But our report shows that more than four in five members have exported at least some books in the last year, so it clearly can be done. At the IPG, we try to provide help with international sales, through events, resources and our collective stands at the London and Frankfurt fairs.
We are taking two stands to Frankfurt this year: one for trade publishers and another for academic and professional specialists. They are always lively and friendly places to be and, like our members, we are really looking forward to meeting old friends and making new ones. We will also be hosting our legendary Frankfurt Book Fair stand party
on Thursday (20 October), and an informal dinner
for members on Friday (21 October). If you are out in Frankfurt, do join us if you can; and if you are not, see what we get up to at the fair via our Twitter feed
Find the IPG at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Hall 4.2, stands J94 & 95 and Hall 6.2, stands A75 & 76. Our stand party will be in Hall 6.2.
Pace yourself, be punctual, get some fresh air and wear comfy shoes… just a few of the Frankfurt Book Fair survival tips from our members. Read more here
Going to Frankfurt for the first time and feeling a bit daunted? Take heart from the experiences of Georgia Edwards at Search Press, who blogged for us
after her debut.