As the Frankfurt Book Fair is approaching its closing days, record numbers of authors are counting their lucky stars. Translation rights have changed hands at a brisk pace, and, frankly, for good money. Nobody reveals the true numbers on these foreign rights contracts, but the buzz on the floor is that a good many authors earned six-figure numbers this week. No big names, and no big book titles, but that's what's so nice about it. An unknown author whose book is 'discovered' at the right moment can make it big, arguably more so than in the past because so many more unknown authors now have an opportunity to be read, and that includes authors such as yourself.
As we indicated earlier this week, the e-book phenomenon is decidedly low-key in Frankfurt. To understand this, one must realize that the rest of the world has seen no competition between two giants on the level of a Barnes and Noble and Amazon. That competition, more than anything else, drove the development and release of two highly competent e-readers in the US, the Kindle and the Nook, which, in turn, had an ever larger consumer audience starting to buy e-books as soon as last year's holidays sales season began.
In the absence of this, Europe has not yet warmed to e-books. That will certainly change now that the Kindle is becoming available in different languages, together with a Kindle store of their own, but we won't see the real effects of this until sometime next year. That's why most experts in Frankfurt are holding their breath: everyone is curious to see how fast and how sky-high the e-book will take off on this continent. Most people agree that there's every reason for hopes to soar.
PublishAmerica has had a really good week in Frankfurt, with lots of traffic to our promotion booth, and interest from publishers from a record number of countries. Today was another truly busy day, and as we tallied the countries of origin of the publishers and agencies that came to introduce themselves, we noticed that we had never been contacted by so many different publishers from so many different countries.
We were especially gratified to hear from a major German literary agent. He stopped by and asked for a list of books that he wants to be able to consider, with a right of first refusal. We're informing you about this in a separate message, it's that promising.
The Fair ends on Sunday. You will receive a final update once our delegation has returned and a full "impact assessment" has been made.
Have a wonderful weekend!
--PublishAmerica Author Support Team
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