The world's largest book fair is in Frankfurt, Germany. Why Frankfurt? It is just down the road from where, in the 15th century, Johannes Gutenberg once played with the idea of movable type. It should not come as any surprise then to learn that the local booksellers started holding the first annual book fairs nearby—in Frankfurt.
Nowadays it is the world's largest based on the number of publishing companies represented, with more than 7,300 exhibitors from 100 countries, 299,000 visitors and over 10,000 journalists. The Frankfurt Book Fair is a meeting place for the industry’s experts. Be they publishers, booksellers, agents, film producers or authors. It is held every October and during the week, the Frankfurt Book Fair is only open to accredited trade-visitors; the general public is welcome only on the last weekend of the book fair.
And for the first time ever, Riyria is going to attend.
This last Spring, when three separate Czech Republic publishers asked for the rights to publish the Riyria Revelations, I thought it was time to get an agent. Contrary to popular belief, an agent's primary function is not to sell an author's book to a publisher, but rather to negotiate the deal for you. They are sort of like the lawyers who handle a merger. You don't need them to make the deal, but they can help to make the deal better.
Realizing that I know nothing about foreign trade agreements, international tax codes, banking systems or currency exchange, I knew it was time to find a hired gun. Through some friendly contacts I found Teri Tobias a wonderful, and experienced, New York-based foreign rights agent who not only handled the Czech deal, much to my satisfaction, she also requested the opportunity to continue to sell the books abroad.
Phase one of that strategy is the Frankfurt Book Fair. She set off for Germany with several copies of my books and some glossy sheets of slick, series marketing material. The Fair ends today and whether Royce and Hadrian have what it takes to impress the Frankfurt elite is yet to be seen, but at least they are in the game.
I wonder if Teri would mind if I started calling her Viscount Winslow.