Frankfurt report • 22 October 2007 • The SnowBlog
So I have bided (bid? bod?) my time in reporting our news from Frankfurt until I had firm things to say. Lots of follow up is still being done, so doubtless more things will be reported on as we go, but here are the main things so far. Guess what's going on here?
Only the start of another groundbreaking Snowbooks Frankfurt Song! Yup, the occasion above marked the point at which Anna and I spontaneously penned the following lyrics:
Three book deal
Three book deal
Three book deal!
The tune is hard to describe. For those of you who can read music, in four four time, first two lines are all crotchets, G, E, C (rest) / D, B, G (rest) then crotchet quaver quaver for the next two lines A, B, C /B, C, D then all crotchets C, E, G. Da capo al fine until the adrenalin's worn off. The nice man in the picture is from Random House Germany who came, saw Mike McBride's God's End series, read some of The Fall overnight, came back and asked Anna for the synopsis of the rest and promptly offered us a three book deal for the lot! To his credit, even my offer, delivered with a high-pitched squeal, of a kiss - right there in the aisles - didn't put him off.
Next up: brandwiches. That's right - not only a new song, but a new invention.
I had wrapped my new skirt in the tissue paper from the shop. Anna made her own sandwich (because you Do Not want to eat the crap they serve in the festhalle) and needed something to wrap it in. And lo, was born the brandwich, complete with sticker to safely seal it closed.
There are loads of other things brewing, particularly interest in Sarah Stovell's Mothernight and Leila Johnston's How to Worry Friends, but we'll just have to wait and see on those. We had lots of lovely visits from nice people and although we'd only gone with 12 meetings in the diary were chocka the whole time.
So it's been interesting hearing people say that Frankfurt is outmoded. We have met people we would have never had the opportunity to meet; we have had our serendipidous meetings with all sorts of people (the lovely chaps who do own-label for Barnes and Noble; notable industry people with their little black address books of delights; people with interesting insights into some of the questions we've been wondering about, e.g. returns; new clients for our design services; new sub agents; and the Brazilian and Israeli publishers of Dan Brown who were v. interested in certain of our books, amongst lots of other things) and we have had that wonderful thing happen where someone finds out about a book at the Fair, makes a decision, spits in his hand and holds it out. (He didn't really spit in his hand. It's a figure of speech.)
So we are quids in (the deal paid for Frankfurt in its entirety) and with a richer address book. Can't complain about that! I think for small companies like ours who don't know every international publisher out there yet, it's a fabulous opportunity to meet, talk, share and enthuse and I wouldn't miss it for the world. And I am social recluse!