Friday, October 12, 2007

Frankfurt Book Fair Day 2

On Day 2, my objectives were to attend a couple of children's book events. The first was in the film forum at 11 am - a panel discussing the multimedia possibilities for children's books. It was all very Web 2.0 and the bulk of it was about an author Andy Briggs who will utilize viral, web, and mobile marketing to build up interest in the launch of his new book series. Since I do a lot of work for multimedia agencies, it was nothing new to me, but I do think his book project sounds interesting and he says he plans to do a "making of" video (along the lines of what Peter Jackson did while he was making King Kong) so we could follow him through the whole process of writing, marketing, etc.

The second event I went to was in the Reading Tent at 2 pm. It was advertised as a discussion of writing good children's books but... I got nothing out of it. Oh well.

I also visited Florian's girlfriend Alice at her stand in Hall 4 briefly (she is working at a Swiss publishing house in Zurich right now) and walked around in Hall 3 looking at German children's books. I happened to walk past the Langenscheidt stand and saw that they distribute bags on the hour, every hour. Since it was nearly time, I joined the small crowd that had gathered - I mean these were "high quality" plastic - not just paper like other stands were giving away. After a few minutes, a sales rep came out and dumped a whole bunch of bags on the floor and ran away. That's when people began pushing and shoving from all directions trying to get at the bags!!! It was unreal. I did get a bag and a couple of bruises as well. If I had known it would go down like that, I would have just watched from a distance.

After that, I just wanted to get home quickly, but had to walk all the way through the hall to get to the subway. I happened to see that German publisher Goldmann was giving away reader's copies, but it didn't look like something I would read (especially since I have only ever read 2 novels in German). I asked the rep if it was easy to read and he said that I shouldn't read that one since it was translated from English and he gave me a book from a German author Leonie Swann. It's published in English as "Three Bags Full - A Sheep Detective Story". Looks pretty interesting - and free is always good :)

In the evening we went to a children's book launch at a gallery here with our new neighbor who has a baby, Jonah. It was a joint Spanish/German effort and since they just moved to Frankfurt after living in Barcelona for 3 years, I thought they might enjoy it. The illustrations were quite nice, but they story itself was rather bizzare. We left after an hour since Jonah was getting restless.

Daniel, Kerstin and Jonah with book illustrations in background

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