Hachette joins Frankfurt Book Fair exodus

Hachette joins Frankfurt Book Fair exodus

Hachette UK will not be exhibiting at this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, the firm has announced.

The company, alongside Hachette Livre France, Hachette Book Group in the US and Grupo Anaya, said it had taken the decision on the basis of “health and safety” of its employees.

A spokesperson said: “Frankfurt Book Fair is a very important date in the global publishing calendar and Hachette has always had a strong presence at the event. After carefully reflecting on the situation and also taking into consideration the health and safety of our employees and partners, we’ve decided that Hachette Livre France, Hachette UK, Hachette Book Group and Grupo Anaya (Hachette España) will not exhibit at the Frankfurt Book Fair this year.

“We’ll follow with great interest the virtual and digital solutions which are being developed by Frankfurt Book Fair to provide new ways of connecting and working with the global publishing community.”

Hachette's announcement comes after a string of high-profile pullouts following last week's decision by fair organisers to go ahead as planned in October.

Bloomsbury, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan and Macmillan US, Bonnier Books UK and Simon & Schuster have all withdrawn from the physical event, with many German publishers also saying they will not exhibit.

Thomas Minkus, v.p for emerging media and english language markets at Frankfurter Buchmesse, said his team “completely understand and respect that many people are uncomfortable about participating in a large event right now”, laying out the options for them to still participate.

He said: “First, we are offering 100% refunds to exhibitors who choose to cancel their stands. Second, we are creating new on-site participation options—like workstations and tables—that will allow companies to decide last-minute, and based on the changing health situation, whether to attend the fair in person. And third, for those who choose to participate virtually, we are developing an online offering that will enable people to meet, network, attend virtual events, and buy and sell rights.

“Our commitment to supporting the global book business is unwavering. This will be a hard year financially for the fair and for many in the publishing industry, and we are doing everything we can to create more opportunities to keep meaningful business going in this challenging environment.”