Behind the Scenes: Frankfurt Book Fair

Our intrepid reporter Katie Sheehan chats with Maria Jesus Aguilo, Director of International Rights for Berrett-Koheler, about what it’s really like to attend the Frankfurt Book Fair (October 14 – 18). 

How do you prepare for Frankfurt book fair? What is your objective?

Around July we start soliciting appointments and scheduling our time there. Usually by September our schedule is all full. Our objective is to make as many appointments as possible and to expose our upcoming list to as many foreign publishers as possible.

What is the atmosphere like?

Fascinating: after many years attending it is still so fun to walk the aisles and listen to 5 different languages in 30 seconds. And although people come from all corners of the planet, from many different cultures and backgrounds, they are all there for their common love of books!

What is your agenda like while you are there?

It is very intense. 4 full days starting at 9 am until 6 pm with an appointment every 30 minutes and no time for lunch! Then dinner with colleagues. We meet with over 150 publishers from all over the world. It is interesting and energizing.

What do you pack?

Our appointment book, comfortable business attire, and good shoes!

What kind of tips can you offer new people that might be attending?

Buy energy bars and keep them handy.

Try not to consolidate your appointments as much as possible, like all in the morning, or all in the afternoon.

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