Wilkins Farago @ the Frankfurt Book Fair

International Rights Directors Meeting, Frankfurt

International Rights Directors Meeting, Frankfurt

Just returned from this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. It’s the world’s largest book trade fair and an important one for Wilkins Farago.

We found our first children’s picture book here—Lila Prap’s Why?—way back in 2004 and each year we meet with interesting publishers from all over the world to try and find exciting books to translate and publish in Australia. Increasingly, we’re also trying to sell the rights to books to overseas publishers too.

All the buzz at this year’s fair was about digital publishing, especially e-books. There seemed to be a consensus at events such as the O’Reilly Tools of Change conference especially convened for this year’s fair, the International Rights Directors’ Meeting (pictured above), and on the floor of the exhibition halls, that e-books have now arrived as a viable medium.

Exactly which flavour of e-book—Amazon Kindle, epub, downloadable to an iPhone or whatever—is another matter. That’s still to be resolved (in fact, it may be a case of everything rather than one dominant format). But expect to see publishers get seriously into this area over the next 12 months—including us.

I also spent a bit of time writing for the inaugural book fair editions of Publishing Perspectives, a great new international publishing news service. If you haven’t signed up already for their free email bulletins, click here.