Leading US publishers are looking forward to this week's Frankfurt Book Fair, with both Simon & Schuster and Hachette bringing more editors than they did last year.
Hachette US chairman and c.e.o. David Young will be bringing 23 members of staff. He said while there was money to be spent, "very little acquisition business is transacted at the fair".
He said global issues, including concern around the Euro, the global economy and Middle East unrest, would not have a "discernible impact on visitors at Frankfurt [and] rights business will continue to be the mainstay of the fair". He added there "may be less business written by our sales team", which he attributed to the impact of e-books.
Simon & Schuster president and c.e.o. Carolyn Reidy said: "Given the schizophrenic nature of the marketplace, we are cautiously optimistic. We are enthused about the pace at which e-book sales are growing, coupled with concern over the effect of digital sales on the retail environment." She added that S&S worldwide will be bringing 30 members of staff to Frankfurt.
Young added that he was anticipating fun, conversations, some business and "a reaffirmation of the importance of the world of books—and a deep need for sleep at the end of it".
Meanwhile, organisers are expecting 7,500 exhibitors at the fair, as the halls reach capacity. FBF spokesperson Katja Boehne said there will be 761 exhibitors from the UK and 604 from the US, with between 280,000 to 290,000 visitors set to come through the doors—of which around 150,000 will be trade visitors. She said: "We will see at this book fair what publishers have made of the digital options. There will be lots of enhanced e-books and multimedia projects, some of which we don't have a name for. There will be a large dollop of creativity and new ideas."
Boehne added that the numbers of exhibitors and visitors was "more or less" the same as last year, as the fair has "come to the end of capacity; there is no space left for extra exhibitors".
The number of literary agents attending the fair is expected to increase from 522 in 2010 to 527 this year, and the Agents' Centre will now cover 6,130 square metres, up from 5,260 square metres in 2010. Boehne said: "The rights trade is becoming more and more relevant—especially with the digital business."