HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE FRANKFURT BOOK FAIR
by Constanze v. Kitzing
Going to the Frankfurt Book Fair
only once won't help you. I don't think you get to meet a lot of American publishers there. Most of the countries that are far away only send their license people, art directors are often not there, except for quite a few european publishers.
The Bologna Book Fair
is much better if you actually want to meet people. so, for me it's not that I go to any fair once and think that's it, but that it's one of many ways of getting in touch with art directors. I really built my network over quite a long time, going to Frankfurt and Bologna every year, last year I also went to Paris
and hopefully one day I'll make it to NY!
At the first fair I had maybe one or two contacts and I kept sending stuff to all the publishers, so they could see that I am serious about it and I keep going to all those fairs.
10 things to help you get the most out of the Frankfurt Book Fair
1. Do your research
: which publisher do you want to meet and who's the art director or editor?
2. MAKE AN APPOINTMENT
with them about 2 month prior to the book fair
3. Have a hardcore-mega-cool portfolio
(only the VERY best pieces!!!), some postcards and business cards to hand out
4. Take a friend
who will comfort you after you talked to an evil art director or editor
5. Take notes
It is the best way to remember what the art director or editor tells you
editors and art directors what they want you to send
7. Follow up
-after the book fair: send the requested images or texts to the art directors and editors
8. Look for opportunities
If you have time between your appointments, use that time to find more publishers that you will fit in
9. Take a chance
- sometimes publishers have a so-called "illustratoren stunde", where you stand in a queue and show your work to an art director. this can definitely be really annoying, but it's a chance to meet the art directors that didn't have any more slots on their schedule
10. Expand your horizons
- check out if there's stuff happening beside the fair, like exhibitions or dinners - great way to meet new people - HAVE FUN!!!
Thank you to Kirsten Carlson, Illustrator Coordinator and Donna Weidner, RA Germany for sharing these tips from Constanze v. Kitzing an illustrator in Germany who has attended the Frankfurt Book Fair many times.
Frankfurt Book Fair 2011: 12 to 16 October
Guest of Honour Iceland http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/
SCBWI will Showcase at the Bologna Book Fair in 2012 for more information visit www.scbwibologna.org