Exhibitor comments from the Leipzig Book Fair and Manga-Comic-Con 2023
This is what exhibitors said...
Leipzig Book Fair
A Fantastic Union With Manga-Comic-Con
Anuschka Albertz, Publishing Director at Ravensburger Verlag GmbH: "We noticed that printed books have become popular once again because people are looking for good quality and attractive designs. Readers long for an alternative counter-world of fantasy and new romance that can also include non-fiction. The gap between books and non-books is also becoming smaller as the boundaries between games and books become blurred. For us, the amalgamation with Manga-Comic-Con is very positive because many people find it hugely challenging to enter a bookshop. It's great that children are discovering books through manga.
"Warming Up" for 2024
Bettina Baltschev, curator for the Netherlands & Flanders, Guests of Honour at the Leipzig Book Fair in 2024: "The full exhibition halls and wonderful audiences have confirmed how important the Leipzig Book Fair is for books and the book industry. All this has also given a huge boost to the Netherlands & Flanders as the Guests of Honour in 2024! Everyone was blown away by the enthusiastic response. Together with visitors to the fair, we celebrated our theme 'Anything but Flat' at almost 40 events. Germany is one of the most important book markets for our authors. All those who were in Leipzig over the last few days – many for the first time – have been very impressed by the atmosphere at the trade fair and in the city. Of course, we will be more than happy to continue with this upbeat spirit into next year. We are looking forward to a wave of new publications and translations in our role as Guests of Honour."
Jürgen Jakob Becker, Managing Director, German Translators' Fund (DÜF): "The Leipzig Book Fair achieved a spectacular relaunch and I am absolutely thrilled. There were three things regarding translation that I found particularly impressive. The Translation Centre and its well-attended event podium have become magnets for visitors and a meeting place for translators, including those who translate literature written in German into other languages. The centre has therefore become a mainstay of DÜF project funding. The translation category of the Leipzig Book Fair Prize has always attracted a great deal of attention and has raised the profile of translation as an art form. Hosting a reception for translators is also more than just a gesture. Translators are very welcome here and play an increasingly important role at the Leipzig Book Fair.
A Wonderful Family Reunion
Antje Contius, Managing Director at the S. Fischer Foundation, and Angelika Salvisberg, Director of the TRADUKI network: "The Leipzig Book Fair was wonderful! It was well worth the wait. Literature from South-Eastern Europe offered new perspectives on the region's cultural landscape and the public embraced this unique opportunity with great enthusiasm. We were delighted to see enthusiastic crowds at almost 30 events around the city and on the TRADUKI-Kafana stage irrespective of whether the readings were by well-known writers such as Mircea Cărtărescu or by Albanian newcomers. Some 50 authors and translators from 14 countries in this politically complex region came together for a wonderful family reunion in Leipzig."
A Positive Connection
Daniel Fiedler, Chief Editor of Kultur Berlin for ZDF TV: "We were thrilled to once again be able to experience a real Leipzig Book Fair. The change from the Blue Sofa to the ZDF/3sat stage worked perfectly. There was always a massive crowd! Together with 3sat, we could get really close to the amazing book fair audiences at our cultural and literary events. We experienced many special moments together. One of these was a guest appearance by Joachim Gauck, the former German President. We will definitely be continuing our positive relationship with the Leipzig Book Fair!"
Spotlight on New Books
Christina Knecht, Media Relations Manager at Carl Hanser Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Paul Zsolnay Verlag: "We have really missed the Leipzig Book Fair! It's like a huge spotlight that shines on new books. And now the fair has given us everything we had long been waiting and hoping for. It provided a feast of encounters for starved readers with a gratifyingly large number of young people among them! It was a joy to see visitors pouring into the fair from the moment it began, full of curiosity, crowding around the books and hanging on every word spoken by the authors. As the Guest of Honour, Austria was the main highlight with a wide range of books and a well-organised programme. Leipzig liest (Leipzig reads) was a great success once again with a perfect selection of reading venues. We look forward to coming back in March 2024!"
Finally No Longer Just Online
Daniel Kraft, Head of Press and Communications at the Federal Agency for Civic Education: "We are very pleased that we are no longer restricted to presenting ourselves online as was the case in the pandemic years. Finally, we can make contact with people personally once more after not seeing them for such a long time. Many of them have remained loyal to us and we can now develop new project ideas together with them again. Such projects can only take shape in personal conversations. We also realised that we had actually forgotten about some of the things we have to do every day when taking part in the fair and we needed to relearn them."
Small Publishers Are the Secret Ingredient at the Leipzig Book Fair
Dr Katharina Meyer, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Kurt Wolff Foundation: "Leipzig Book Fair is the biggest and most significant public book fair in Germany, so it is extremely important, especially for smaller independent publishers. The fair enables us to achieve visibility which we can only do to a limited extent in the bookshops. We are still feeling the aftereffects of the pandemic and the crisis in Ukraine has caused great uncertainty for both readers and publishers. Rising prices have had an enormous impact in general and at the book fair. The smaller independent publishers have their backs to the wall. This is something that must also be addressed by policymakers if they want this fair to thrive. The Leipzig Book Fair is essential for independent publishers and we have to find ways in which we can continue operating. At the same time, it's obvious that small publishers in particular are the secret ingredient of this event."
A Wonderful Setting
Nick Pfefferkorn, Managing Director and Partner at Breitkopf & Härtel: "The concept of the Leipzig Book Fair as a festival for the public is and will continue to be a success. In addition, the German Music Publishers Association presented the BEST EDITION German Music Edition Award in Leipzig for the first time this year – an absolute highlight for me! The Leipzig Book Fair provided a wonderful setting for this. In the past, the award ceremony took place at the Frankfurt Music Fair. Now, the musical city of Leipzig is attracting increasing interest from music publishers and the Leipzig Book Fair has the potential to position itself as a leading trade fair for the music industry."
A Lively Book Fair
Christoph Pienkoß, Managing Director at Verband Bildungsmedien: "We've been a partner of the Leipzig Book Fair for many years. It's now four years since the last book fair, we somehow got through the pandemic, and here we are again in 2023 surrounded by outstanding educational media publishers and with a fascinating forum on educational practices in a packed exhibition hall. The fair is more alive than ever before. We were overwhelmed by the high number of visitors and the level of interest and we have made some extremely valuable contacts. We are looking forward to the next few years."
Leipzig liest Reading Festival Makes the Leipzig Book Fair Special
Rebecca Prager, Head of Corporate Communications at Penguin Random House Publishing Group: "For us, the Leipzig Book Fair means visibility for our books, diversity, enthusiasm for reading and an incredible proximity to the public. Our authors have presented over 100 readings across the city and I've had nothing but positive feedback so far. The concept of Leipzig liest (Leipzig reads) is what makes the Leipzig Book Fair so special because the event reaches far beyond the exhibition centre. The entire city is part of the Book fair."
Books Are a Medium for the Future
Dr Andreas Rötzer, Matthes & Seitz Publishing House Berlin: "The Leipzig Book Fair is an important networking event for authors, readers and fellow publishers. It's like a big school reunion. We had mixed expectations before the event because we were unsure what impact the later date would have after a three-year break. There is an incredible amount going on, actually even more than in the past. I've seen many young publishers here. There seems to me to be a lot of optimism in the industry with many courageous small publishers and numerous start-ups. When you see the number of young people getting involved in publishing, it seems that books are a medium for the future."
Encouraging Reading: Book Podcasts Connect with Children's Real Lives
Lena Stenz, owner and founder of the BÜCHERALARM initiative: "The Leipzig Book Fair provides a huge opportunity and a great stage for BÜCHERALARM. We bring the analogue and digital worlds together and connect with children in their daily lives. Each of our podcast episodes is centred around a book. We read aloud, authors talk about their books and children create their own podcasts. In Leipzig, we had the opportunity to present our work as a new way of encouraging reading which is something that has a special tradition at the Leipzig Book Fair. It is crystal clear that there is a great love of books in Leipzig and plenty of enthusiasm to implement new ideas. In comparison to other fairs, the Leipzig Book Fair provides a livelier space for children."
Numerous Professional Conversations in Person
Elke Wittenborn, Brand Communication & Events Coordinator at Cornelsen: "We are very pleased that the Leipzig Book Fair has got off to such a good start for us after such a long break, and we are delighted with the number of visitors. There are just as many as before the pandemic. Many teachers have visited our stand – this is our main target group – so it has been an excellent opportunity to discuss professional issues in person, at last."
Oliver Vogel, Publishing Director at S. Fischer Verlage: "Crowds at our stand, sold-out readings, numerous conversations with authors, readers, and colleagues from all areas of the publishing sector. And in addition, as the Guest of Honour, Austria put on a witty and ironic show. Anyone who had doubts about the Leipzig Book Fair after its compulsory break has happily been proven wrong. The Leipzig Book Fair is a loud celebration of the fact that books exist. Books matter, but we must also make them matter. This is what makes Leipzig Book Fair indispensable. We look forward to next year's event."
Just the Right Target Group
Sonja Ziemer, Marketing Director, and Jens Petri, Head of Brand Partnerships at Sony Pictures Entertainment: "This is our first time at the Leipzig Manga-Comic-Con and we are here to promote the film 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse'. We have been completely overwhelmed and were very happy to be here. We have reached just the right target group and have been dazzled by the creative and colourful costumes of all the manga and comic fans who bring their passion to life in such a fabulous way. It is fascinating to see the harmonious coexistence of cosplayers and other visitors to the fair. We definitely intend to come again!"
More Space for Manga and Comics
Danny Achilles, Head of Marketing at Tokyopop: "It feels like we're picking up just where we left off in 2019, but we have even more space thanks to the new exhibition hall concept. The fact that MCC is now also present in Hall 3 reflects the importance of manga and comics and shows that the fair organisers have responded to new trends. And we are happy to experience the same vibe at the convention as before the pandemic, despite the long break."
More Artists in Hall 1
Kiriya Kirihara, illustrator and comic artist: "I've had a stand at Manga-Comic-Con since the very first event and I am so happy that the convention is finally back. What I like about the new exhibition hall concept is that, in contrast to 2019, there are so many professional artists' stands this year. I really appreciate this opportunity for exchange. This brings the MCC closer to the major European conventions. However, I have to go to another hall to visit publishers and that means planning more time away from my stand."