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'It's incredibly bullish out there'

14 October 2013

The Frankfurt Book FairWorld's largest trade fair for books; held annually mid-October at Frankfurt Trade Fair, Germany; First three days exclusively for trade visitors; general public can attend last two. seems to have been a great success this year, amidst signs that publishers have been having a better time than in recent years and are more actively buying and publishing. Amongst the reasons for this are an improved outlook in Europe and the fact that for many publishers ebooks are making a solid and cost-effective contribution.

Deputy CEO and books MD of Curtis BrownSee Curtis Brown listing, Jonny Geller, said: ‘There have been more books offered this year than anything in the past five years. It might be that publishers are now opening their doors again. It feels like with sales of e-books and hardbacks working, it is having an effect in publishers' forward planning.'

Brian Murray, CEO of HarperCollins Worldwide, said because of the shift to digital the company's working capital commitments had been reduced. 'The money is no longer going into inventory; it is going into author advances and marketing. This is good news for writers, even if the trickle-down to them may be slow and it will fuel the feeling amongst authors and agents that authors should get much higher royalties on ebooks than the 25% many are offering.

European markets have been much stronger than for some time, with Germany and Scandinavia leading the way, and this involves both buying and selling of rights to those countries. Fiction, including genre fiction, is strong, but illustrated books and the co-edition market as a whole, still seem subdued.

275,342 visitors attended last week's Fair, 142,921 of them during the trade visitors' days. More than 9,000 journalists attended, including about 17% more international media professionals than last year.

Juergen Boos, Director of the Frankfurt Book Fair, said the Fair had shown how "new tectonic shifts" were emerging in publishing. 'We can see the ongoing concentration of the publishing sector, but at the same time there is a plethora of new, creative players, including start-ups, tech specialists, investors and business developers in all the creative industries.' Additional activity was thriving. 3,500 participants from 72 countries took part in the more than 20 seminars and conferences of the Frankfurt Academy.

The number of international participants showed an increase on the year before, reported organisers. CEO of the PFDRepresents authors of fiction and non-fiction, children's writers, screenwriters, playwrights, documentary makers, technicians, presenters and public speakers throughout the world. Has 85 years of international experience in all media. PDF now have a POD section. Some good advice for those seeking a representative. agency in London. Caroline Michel, said: ‘We have had nearly £1m worth of deals done before the fair; it's incredibly bullish out there.'