The Frankfurt Book Fair hopes to maintain its status as the premier international book event in the world when it opens on October 14.
Frankfurt may almost buck the global recession trend by not contracting in size or scope in 2009. The same number of attendees as last year- 7,000 exhibitors from more than 100 countries, with nearly 300,000 visitors - are expected to be present.
Frankfurt will offer over 2,900 events, nearly all of which are organized by publishers, cultural organizations and other various institutions. But the biggest draw will likely continue to revolve around authors.
"I think consumers come to a book show to be able to be in the presence of authors that they like -- to talk to them, get an autograph, see them speak -- to experience their aura," Thomas Minkus, vice-president of marketing and spokesperson for the Frankfurt Book Fair, told Relaxnews September 22. "Otherwise, why would someone come to a book fair - it's like a badly organized book store," he joked.
Minkus suggested that to take full advantage of all the Frankfurt Book Fair has to offer, visitors should make a plan of the signings, discussions, book launches and other events in which they wish to participate. Organizers are preparing a list of events and star authors now, and should be posted on the book fair's website soon.
Although the reportedly shy, yet incredibly successful, Dan Brown is not slated to attend Frankfurt, but the German-language version of his blockbuster The Lost Symbol will be released on the opening day of the fair, October 14.
As this year is the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of European communism will be discussed at several seminars and events, according to Minkus.
New this is year will be the Gourmet Gallery, which will provide a show kitchen so chefs from around the world can conjure up recipes from their latest cookbooks in front of their fans.
As always at Frankfurt, dressing up in any costume earns free admission. This year's "cos-play," or costume play, is for manga aficionados, which is sure to draw an array of curious-looking and fun-loving characters.
Two important literary prizes will be awarded during the book fair: The German Book Prize and the Peace Prize of The German Book Trade.
"From the Google settlement to e-book readers, from piracy to the protection of intellectual property rights -- these are the big questions that are going to be discussed on an international level at Frankfurt," said Minkus. And it is this international aspect that differentiates the Frankfurt Book Fair from other fairs, where the focus can be rather regional.
The Frankfurt Book Fair runs from October 14 through October 17, and is open to the public on the last two days.