A Different Frankfurt Fair
Every year, once Labor Day has passed, Publishing’s thoughts turn Frankfurt-ward, eyeing the bustling bookish fair in mid-October.
But next week, mid-May, I’m heading to Frankfurt for a different reason: IMEX Frankfurt, an international gathering of meeting planners, event designers, marketing managers, tourism boards, sales directors, and vendors of various stripes.
The seasonal shift is not by accident. Behind closed doors I’ve talked non-stop over the past year about the potential of digital publishing to break The Book out of its ghetto. Book publishing’s little corner of the global cultural economy might seem quaint and comfortable, but it will continue to shrink, its square footage reduced by the encroachment of media formats more friendly to the eye, ear, and attention span of a culture in present shock.
Unless the book pushes back.
Twice in Frankfurt I’ll be presenting on this idea: how books are the ideal means by which experiences can transcend their limitations. How digital publishing can transform an event from a one-time occurrence to an on-going relationship, from a discrete experience to an open-ended conversation. In the process, what I’m calling “event publishing” can remind us that a book is an object we can all create and deploy, a relevant and accessible technology rather than an establishment commodity.
Of course, while I’m there, I’ll stop by the Haus des Buches and talk shop. How could I not?
(If you’re in Frankfurt—or Hamburg! or Dusseldorf! Or Bonn!—and interested in publishing’s expansion, reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org. At the very least, I’ll introduce you to Scott Wayne. And your life will never be the same.)