The 2022 edition of the Frankfurt Book Fair will be remembered as the “reconnection” one after pandemic times. It took place between October 18th-23rd and the Pontas Agency attended it for the 31st time, since its founder and director Anna Soler-Pont’s first Buchmesse in 1992! However, this year marked the 25th time in a row having a table booked at the Literary Agent’s Center within the fair, and we got a framed diploma, a bottle of champagne and some nice German chocolates!
The Pontas Agency had two tables at the Agent’s Center, where more than 700 agents got in every day, and where Clara Rosell (who attended the fair for the first time) and Anna Soler-Pont met with as many editors, publishers, producers and literary and film scouts as possible. The pleasure of meeting up was not shunned but, nevertheless, the way of working has changed a little, confirming the pre-pandemic trend of contracts being tied up before the event.
Spain was this year's “Guest of Honour” and several authors were invited, like Dolores Redondo, who had the chance to meet with many of her international publishers at the fair and over dinner. It is always great to catch up with publishers like Sharmaine Lovegrove from Dialogue Books, championing the just released paperback edition of JJ Bola’s second novel The Selfless Act of Breathing.
Rahul Soni, editor at HarperCollins India, was talking to everyone he could about Janice Pariat’s new novel Everything the Light Touches on the eve of worldwide publication; while Susie Nicklin was updating us on the preparations for the forthcoming editions of Priya Hein’s Riambel and Ennatu Domingo’s Burnt Eucalyptus Wood to be published by The Indigo Press in 2023.
As our colleague Gregory Messina nicely summarized in a piece over at Publishing Perspectives: “It was like any good year with a nice mix of meeting new contacts and cementing previous relationships. And sometimes the most surprising or productive meetings were the ones not planned for, when we crossed paths with people not on our schedule in the aisles or over drinks. Zoom does not, as far as I know, have such a function.”
A total of 93.000 professional visitors came this year, from more than 100 countries, compared to 36.000 last year, when the fair was still very affected by the impacts of the health crisis. There were 87,000 private visitors, 4.000 exhibitors and 6.400 media representatives. Apart from China and Japan, only represented symbolically for health reasons, Russia and Iran, absent for political reasons, all the delegations found their way back to the book fair.
The Frankfurt Book Fair is an event that the Pontas Agency has never missed and certainly never will!