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5 Things I Learned from the Frankfurt Book Fair

November 5, 2016

1. People who work with books are really really nice. Approachable, friendly and helpful, I asked for and received lots of helpful comments and advice on specific genres, and the industry in general. If you're ever feeling despondant about our species, hang out with people in the book trade. Your faith in humanity will be restored.


2. Bankers might have a point about the horror of moving the financial industry to Frankfurt.


3. The Germans don’t understand the concept of decaf. This may be a good thing. As soon as I get some sleep, I'Il let you know.


4. The French publish a lot of graphic novels. Scandinavia publishes a lot of gritty novels, only a few of which make it to our screens. The Americans all seem to be extremely well heeled. The Canadians put on a hell of a drinks party. The Amazon area was astonishingly constrained.


5. If you find the right publishing company, it’s dead simple to sell them your book. We sold Brushstrokes in Time to a German company called Drachenhaus Verlag, which specializes in China. “I’ve been looking for a book like this for a year,” Dr Nora Frisch, the head of Drachenhaus, told me happily. If only the rest of my life were so simple.

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