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Latest update from this week's Frankfurt Book Fair

9 October 2017

International publishing seems to be flourishing, to judge from the reports coming out of 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., and Amazon Crossing now champions translated fiction in a remarkably effective way.

It's all go at the Frankfurt Book Fair, where publishers are immersed in half-hour meetings with other publishers, but there is positive news coming back, if, that is, big advances can be viewed as positive. Publishers are flourishing their cheque-books and there have been a run of big deals agreed at the Fair.

Publishers WeeklyInternational news website of book publishing and bookselling including business news, reviews, bestseller lists, commentaries reported that Penguin Random House CEO Marcus Dohle had highlighted the stability of the global book publishing business, saying:

‘Book markets have seen growth in most countries, slow, but continuous growth," Dohle said, noting that some emerging markets have seen "double-digit" growth. One contributing factor to financial stability is the re-invigoration of the print market and the now "healthy co-existence" of the print and digital markets. Overall the markets have stabilized, with print accounting for 80% of sales and digital 20%. "Who would have predicted this five years ago?" Dohle asked. "Most people would have thought it would have been the opposite."

International literary agent Andrew Wylie said ‘I think that autocrats and autocratic societies are doomed to fail. Why? Because the desire politically to enforce a single view of the world is inevitably destined to run afoul of the fact that a diversity of views is what we have. People want more. They want to travel locally and globally, and to encounter different perspectives, because that's the way the world is. This is the human condition.'

Wylie said that he was not in favour of publishers publishing authors across the world though, as dealing separately with individual countries led to a better outcome for the author.

The visit of Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to the Fair provided excellent support for books and for the role of the publishing industry, especially in Europe. Frankfurt Book Fair 2017: Macron, Merkel Speak of a Europe United by Culture.

Amazon's imprint for literary works in translation Amazon Crossing proudly announced that it has made its website for book proposal submissions navigable in 14 languages. They now accept submissions in Arabic, Bengali, German, English, Spanish, French, Hindi, Italian, Dutch, Japanese, Punjabi, Polish, Portuguese, and Russian, although they only deal in translations into English at present.

Mikyla Bruder, publisher at Amazon Publishing, said: "We have received excellent submissions through the website and today's announcement empowers those who do not speak English to get in touch with us more easily, and we are excited to meet this expanded network of passionate readers. Our editors find books for translation from a variety of sources, and the new localized submissions website opens the door for suggestions from a variety of countries and languages, including those traditionally underrepresented in translation."