Archive | March, 2013

Germania

22 Mar

As you well know, I was recently in Germany for a few days. In the city of Leipzig to be exact. I had visited L. for a few days last year, and so I was already familiar with the city.  The purpose of my trip was to quickly check out the Leipzig book fair, and to see if this was a book fair our agency could ever benefit from by attending.

The verdict: It was great to suss out, but unless we represented our fair share of German writers, there really isn’t any point in TRF attending it in a professional capacity. Like the BEA, the Leipzig book fair is very much geared towards the promotional side of things. Whereas the Frankfurt book fair is all about negotiating international publishing rights. It is the largest trade fair for books, and so it makes more sense for TRF to attend the FFBF. 

But by no means was my trip to Germany a lost cause. Not only did I have fun checking out the fair, I also had the opportunity to meet with a writer that I had been hoping to sign for quite some time. She had approached me with an idea for a non-fiction project, and we had been writing one another back and forth for nearly six months. I convinced her to meet me in Leipzig for the day, and we spent the entire afternoon walking and talking around the city center. Her name is Liv, and she is a wonderfully bright and engaging woman. We’ve decided to work together, and I couldn’t be happier for it!

This was my second visit to Germany, and I must confess that I am a bit smitten. Perhaps even more than smitten? Granted, I have only visited three cities in Germany (Berlin, Leipzig, Frankfurt). Nevertheless, there is something about the rhythm and aesthetics of that country that I find very appealing. Enough so, that I might be able to get past their wretched climate and undesirable cuisine if the opportunity to move there ever presented itself.

Keeping with my current German-y obsession, I am looking to get my hands on a copy of Simon Winder’s Germania. The reviewers refer to his book as an entertaining and strange overview of the last 2,000 years of German history. It sounds fantastic!

But enough about Germany. I fly out to Italy tomorrow. I land in Venice, where I will be spending a mere 24 hours and then it is on to Bologna via train. I must confess, I am terribly curious to see what the children’s book fair is all about. I am also beyond envious that they get to congregate in tantalizing Italy each spring while the rest of the publishing industry is banished to a rain sodden England. Depending how this visit goes, I may be looking to sign more children’s authors…

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February, WBD, and fairs galore

7 Mar

I’ve been meaning to post about the Canada Reads 2013 winning title for quite some time. I was beyond elated when Lisa Moore won for her novel February. In my mind, it truly is the quintessential Canadian novel. Although the narrative of the book (the sinking of the Ocean Ranger) is specific to the Atlantic region; the topic of the global oil industry is something that speaks to all Canadians. As does the subject matter of grief. February centers around the life of one woman, whose grief is all pervasive as she comes to terms with the loss of her husband, and the responsibility of raising their children on her own. If you have not read it, it really ought to be on the top of your reading list.

Speaking of books, today is World Book Day http://www.worldbookday.com/. I posted about WBD last year, and I really cannot stress how important the fight against illiteracy is. Reading is a means of learning, and learning is what helps us grow and connect with others. And what better time to instill the passion for reading, then at a young age. 

And speaking of connecting with others; the book fairs are nearly upon us once again. This year is especially going to be a busy one for me in terms of how many fairs I will be attending. I will be checking out the Leipzig book fair next week. It is a smaller fair than the Frankfurt one, but I have heard such good things about it. It’s main drive is to drum up more publicity for books, and I have heard that several businesses promote the fair and that it truly is a community event. 

Towards the end of the month, I will be travelling to Bologna to suss out the book fair there. This fair is devoted to the children’s side of publishing. From what I have heard, it is similar to the London book fair in that it results in a grueling schedule for all of its attendees. Nevertheless, it is in Italy and the setting and food should make up for the long hours. 

My last pit stop will be in London for the LBF. I am especially looking forward to this one. I made some great connections last year with editors/publishers and I am excited to meet with them again and to promote/discuss my new titles and find out what it is they are looking for in terms of their lists. 

It’s going to be a whirlwind of travel, meetings, and books. La vita é bella