Inspired go to Frankfurt

A couple of weeks ago  Inspired Search & Selection, publishing recruiters and head-hunters to publishers, flew over to join the publishing industry at the world’s largest book fair, Frankfurt. You may have heard of it?!

Now we are back and up to speed after a busy few days, we thought we would get in touch and let you know what we learnt.

The Messe was awash with rights and sales teams in their elements. CEOs and MDs launching new books, announcing acquisitions and as well as meeting with key suppliers and a whole lot of “networking” cleverly disguised as multiple drinks parties on the book fair stands and company parties in glamorous venues around the city of Frankfurt. It’s such a great opportunity to celebrate success and bring global companies together under one roof. 

In our meetings, we speak to most of our clients about their predictions and ideas around trends in the industry for the next year ahead. A lot of what we speak about is highly confidential but what we can tell you is they are all continuing to innovate, get better at what they are doing. Sales teams are excited by the products they are selling, publishing definitely seems to have moved on in terms of being commercially and understanding they need to innovate. I feel there is a new phase still to come in trade publishing when it comes to technology but overall the feeling was positive.

You cannot ignore the elephant in the room of course that there is a slight hesitation and obvious tension around what will happen in April next year, I refuse to write the B word here! It does make any business hard to predict and is not in any way exclusive to publishing. What the industry is doing however is commendable and very sensible, looking for innovative and sensible contingency plans now and if you haven’t already then I would highly recommend speaking to either local printing partners or global POD providers. There are some excellent companies out there, building local partnerships all over the world to enable publishers to print on demand locally and they can manage global print runs for you. They are working round the clock to build more and more partnerships so this can be a great solution for you.

Meanwhile over in our beloved hall 4.2, for those in the know this is where STM and Academic and Professional publishers hang out in Frankfurt, they are navigating their way through the new legislation coming out which was announced just before the ALPSP conference in September, that all research must be Open Access by 2020. This has sent the industry into turmoil as they work through what this means for their authors, researchers, journals, impact factor and equally importantly bottom lines. As this is so new, the conversation will evolve and we will be able to be clearer on the outcome over the next few months. What I can tell you is that again, these companies are having to innovate and create alternative revenue streams.

For more information on this do please look at #openaccessweek on twitter this week and also Richard Poynder’s fantastic blog