Kieran Leblanc on Attending Buchmesse 2018

It was a whirlwind week at the Frankfurt Book Fair, full of meetings, tours, events and nearly 80,000 steps to covering 56km of the Fair delivering our Alberta/B.C. catalogues to the German and other publishers who are in attendance. It’s been an eye-opening experience seeing the vastness and all encompassing participation in this Fair by publishers from all over the world (literally!). Striking, for me, was witnessing the intense focus of publishers, rushing to meetings, managing packed schedules, and the deals being made to move stories from one country/language/region to reach a larger audience in the world.

Our catalogue was well received, and I’m hoping that it will result in some translation/rights activities in the near future. The German publishing community is now well aware of the Canada Council for the Arts translation program (and a shout out here to Joanne Gerber who spent hours and hours with every German publisher who would listen, promoting the program). And a shout out to Heidi Waechtler, the Executive Director of the ABPBC, who spent yeoman’s hours and energy both in the production of our catalogue, organizing meetings at the Fair, and boots on the ground, distributing our collective catalogue.

There is excitement building around the upcoming FBM 2020, when Canada will be the Country of Honour, and many of my meetings were focussed on plans for celebrating that event. The cloud that hangs over our Country is our copyright legislation which creates a lack of compensation for our creators and publishers, and that was evident in meetings and conversations that occurred during the Fair. We need to continue our advocacy work to make this right.

Here are a few photos from the event:

Read more about the event in Publishing Perspectives Show Daily Frankfurt 2018.

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