Friday, October 19, 2012

Frankfurt Book Fair: The EC Experience

by Raelene Gorlinsky

We had a very busy time at Frankfurt Book Fair, we were swamped with foreign publishers who wanted to talk about the potential market for erotic romance. We saw publishers from markets/countries that in past had little interest in romance or erotica--eastern Europe, South America, India. They are still a bit tentative, not sure erotica will work in their countries, but starting to think about it and look for books to which they can buy translation rights. Some expressed that they may want to start with acquiring rights to romance novels, see how those fly in their countries (yes, in some parts of the world there are few romance books, it's not considered a desired genre). Then, if they can sell romances to their readers, they'd try erotic romance.

The Friday edition of the Frankfurt Show Daily magazine had an article on the growing popularity of erotica--and a sidebar for us, "Ellora’s Cave, the wildly popular digital and print erotica and romance publisher from the United States"!
(scroll down)

Representatives from several library distributors came to talk with us. We already make EC ebooks available for library lending through several US distributors, but so far not in other parts of the world. The lady from New Zealand was very eager. I also talked to some audio book companies. And talked to Google about their international expansion of Google Play (their ebook retailing division).

The college students came around on Friday. We had a good time chatting with them, they were so eager to learn about publishing and e-publishing, about the business and marketing aspects, about the varying acceptability around the world of romance and erotica. Several expressed their gratitude that we were so friendly and willing to talk to them--apparently some of the companies and publishers at the Fair brushed off the students, made it clear they wouldn't waste time with them. Not a good attitude--these students are readers/customers themselves, and future employees for our industry.

Fun tidbits:
There was a very strong police presence at the fair--groups of good-looking, young, buff (female and male) uniformed officers everywhere. They stopped by our booth a lot to look at the Cavemen calendar and chuckle. I wasn't able to convince any of them to actually take a calendar or book. I guess they can't really carry such around when they are on duty and in uniform. One of them explained to me that they aren't allowed to take gifts or giveaways of any sort--it could be construed as an attempted bribe, I suppose.

The new acronym in the publishing industry is GAMA: Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon. The technology and etailer giants that now control our publishing world.

We gave away 1000 of our big Bad Girls of Romance bags. They were widely acclaimed as the best bags available at the Fair--huge and sturdy. We saw people everywhere carrying them.


anny cook said...

I've noticed more readers from Asia--and India, in particular--expressing interest in my stories. Nice to find you had a similar experience there.

Katalina said...

I've received some lovely fan emails and blog mentions from India and South East Asia. I see potential there.
The Frankfurt Book fair sounds like a great success.
If the buff police officers can't accept a calendar, would it be wrong to ask if they'd like to pose for the next calendar? "Protectors of the Book Fair" It could be good.

joysann said...

Raelene, you make it sound so interesting. The cautious approach editors take about romance/erotica is fascinating. I look forward to hearing more. I hope you took pictures!