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I’ve been with IPR for nearly a year now and this was my first Frankfurt. It was a long, exciting, tiring, eventful, amazing week. And this is what I got up to. 

We arrived late Monday night and the Tuesday got off to a very wet start.  But after a lovely breakfast and last minute instructions from the boss, we were raring to go.  After we’d finally found a good place for our IPR banner, we spent the morning at THE MARKETS conference. THE MARKETS was full of interesting talks with our very own General Manager Jane Tappuni chairing a panel on women in publishing and what we need to do to succeed. 

The Frankfurt Rights Meeting, which our talented colleague Jenny Kuehne put together and compered in the afternoon, was fascinating. So many different views on rights all coming together in one programme. I particularly liked the ‘International overview of audio books’ that Helena Gustafsson from Storyside gave and took down some suggestions for some new reads on the train back.

I also enjoyed the ‘Social Media meets Rights’ talk with Lisanne Mathijssen-van Hoorn from HarperCollins Holland and Maria Cardona Serra from Pontas Agency which sparked a discussion outside about whether your personal life and your business should come together. Probably not in my case otherwise IPR would be tweeting an awful lot about cats and wine. We ended the day with a team dinner and we were back at our hotel asleep astonishingly early.

On Wednesday we caught the train in for the first official day of the fair. By midday I’d already done 8000 steps and ‘slightly’ fallen all the way down an escalator, but the feedback from meetings was great, especially from our German publishers Karger and Eugen Ulmer. I got asked about our IPR ToolBox from simply just carrying some flyers around, something I may now do in the streets of London, because you never know which publishers you might bump into.

At the Ingram stand drinks everyone was talking about the worst book they’d ever read, with Fifty Shades of Grey coming in as a clear winner. After this we headed to our Frankfurt Chinese dinner at Apfelweinlokal “Zur Sonne” with delegates from our new investor CNS as well as some of our clients . I had great conversation with Kathryn from De Gruyter and Anahita and Mary from Wolters kluwer Health about our favourite parts of London. Guishan from CNS, who has visited our London office before, was also comparing German and English food, with Germany winning for him. It’s the sausages, he said!

Thursday was bright and sunny, although we felt quite the opposite after drinking the local Frankfurt apple wine late into the night before. I had a lot of meetings with new people all through Thursday, and it was lovely to meet so many publishers from all around the world, even if their stands were quite far away from each other. I had to do some serious power walking. 

In the evening we travelled to the Byte the Book event which was in AMP bar and became great friends with the taxi man who told us in great detail about the book he’d written. I spent the evening with a number of our clients and enjoyed being in my first German nightclub. German techno is something I will be listening to again. I broke my heel while getting into the hotel and was thankful I’d packed another pair of shoes, just in case…

I started Friday by realizing I’d left my other pair of shoes in London, so I stumbled down to breakfast and somehow fixed the heel with a paperclip and some blu tack. Highlights of Friday include being given compliments on my accent because I ‘sounded like Mary Poppins’, being able to give directions to someone because I now knew the halls oh so well, and a lovely lunch with Mindy from Panoma Press.

In the evening we got taken out by our resident German colleague Jenny for a full Frankfurt experience, which included more of the famous apple wine, green sauce and a wonderful man singing west end songs in German. I thoroughly enjoyed his rendition of the Lion King.

I fell asleep on the Eurostar home on the Saturday with a case full of books and …. it won’t be long until LBF!

Effi Paul

 

Effi Paul is the Accounts and Marketing Executive at IPR License.