Alice Sutherland-Hawes on Frankfurt Book Fair 2017
With more than 200 meetings over the course of four days, the Frankfurt Book Fair is always a busy time, but it’s an intrinsically exciting one too and easily ranks as one of my favourite roles as Rights Agent. It is the perfect opportunity to meet foreign colleagues, pitch our wonderful authors, and hear what editors are looking to publish next. And it’s a bonus to get to see the people I’ve been emailing over the past year.
There’s nothing more thrilling than offers being made at the table and deals being confirmed in meetings, and thanks to our authors there was ample for people to get excited about.
So what are editors looking for in 2018? It’s a big question, and the answer is equally broad. Many of the conversations we had seemed to suggest that women’s fiction and narrative non-fiction might find themselves increasingly at home in the upper echelons of the bestseller lists. And writing aimed at 8-12 year olds is as popular as ever. So in the absence of one dominant genre, it was a nicely balanced and mixed fair.
Hayley Steed, our TV and film co-ordiantor, was enthused by her first Frankfurt: “There was a great buzz. The film & TV world is booming, and books are a rich and popular source of material. We found a real variety in the projects they were looking for. From incredibly specific requests, to a desire for the next big crime, there’s an open mind for adaptation.”
Madeleine Milburn reflected: ‘I’ve been going to the Frankfurt Book Fair for eleven years now, and I felt there was more buzz around our entire client list than ever before. It’s hugely exciting to see international publishers coming to our tables year on year saying ‘we want your authors’ and ‘we share your taste’. Foreign rights are so important at the MM Agency, particularly as we’re living in a global world, so we are always delighted that our authors work so well on an international stage.’
So as the sun sets on another Frankfurt Book Fair, we continue to feel lucky to work in such an exciting and vibrant industry, and we look towards 2018 with optimism and a great deal of excitement.