The word on the Strasse
And in Hall 8 of the Frankfurt Book Fair the difference between us and Harper Collins was just 18 metres – I measured it out. That and about £250 million in annual revenue of course, but still it’s exciting.
The week was amazing in so many ways. In terms of business opportunities we got a sackful that we’re now developing. Our apps and books got a very positive feedback (which of course they would amongst publishing folk, the politest and most genteel of industries). But we have interest in our books now from China to Turkey, in Canada, USA, South Africa and Norway. Our apps too may well be translated into various languages on the basis of offers made during the show.
In other ways too the week was a success. We met so many interesting (sometimes downright wacky) individuals. Writers and illustrators are few and far between at Frankfurt but we met a great writing/illustrating team from Norway with a book we may well wish to develop. Sally Greer from Beatnik Publishing was a lovely lady we met with a great attitude and energy. Through her we met poets and publishers from New Zealand, the Fair’s special guests this year, and drank a Kiwi beer or two. The Kiwis put on a great show as the special guests (I particularly enjoyed the Samoan dance team, Tatau).
Lucky for us Anita Pouroulis, the author of our latest books and apps, was there to promote her work and us. She pulled on a Digital Leaf t-shirt and wore it with pride! And it looks like we have a distribution deal in the bag for South Africa, Anita’s native land, so her friends and family will have no trouble getting their hands on her work now.
I can’t go without saying a word about Phaidon. They were exhibiting after having just been bought by billionaire Leon Black. And you can see his thinking. The books by Phaidon are all incredibly beautiful. Incredibly expensive too, yes, but what a thing to hold and to experience. We admire your work.
So even though our hotel was right be a nightclub that boomed out techno until 8am and Neil, my business partner’s, snoring was at times annoying even this could not put a damper on our time in Frankfurt. I suspect our fond memories of Germany will continue long after all the Schnitzel and Frankfurter have passed from our systems.
Arnold Schwarzenegger was the big celebrity name at this year’s Fair, there to promote his new autobiography. It would be fitting then to sum up Digital Leaf’s experience of the Frankfurt Book Fair by paraphrasing one of his most famous sayings: ‘We’ll be back!’.