The Frankfurt Book Fair, which is scheduled for October 18-22, celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, and is giving renewed attention to those who matter most at the event: rights sellers and buyers. The fair has expanded its Literary Agents & Scouts Center (LitAg) to 548 tables—more even than the 528-table record set in 2018 prior to the pandemic—and is now sold out. A total of 326 agencies from 31 countries will be represented, with the largest number coming from the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, Spain, and Sweden, in that order. China, which has loosened travel restrictions, will also be represented, as will the United Arab Emirates for the first time, with the introduction of the new Sharjah Literary Agency.

For the first time this year, foreign rights directors and licensing professionals will be offered a designated area of their own in the new Publishers Rights Center (PRC), which will be located next to the LitAg in Hall 6.2. The fair reports that this area is also close to selling out completely. The shift to offering the PRC offers publishers an option other than taking a booth at the fair, which has become increasingly expensive, and gives them a designated address on-site for meetings.

“I’m delighted that a ‘Sold Out!’ sign is hanging on the Literary Agents & Scouts Centre,” Juergen Boos, director of the fair, said in a statement. “The great demand among international agencies underscores Frankfurter Buchmesse’s claim to being the most important marketplace for rights and licenses of all kinds. That the demand even exceeds the high level of the pre-pandemic years is proof of how crucial in-person meetings are in the publishing business—and how acutely everyone missed those interactions during the Covid years. Trust—which is indispensable in our industry—is built most sustainably through face-to-face meetings.”

In addition, Frankfurt is offering a series of online seminars starting on September 5, with a session on artificial intelligence and rights offered by Tom Chatfield. A new seminar is planned every Tuesday thereafter, up to a networking reception with a keynote speech at the fair on October 17.

This year's guest of honor country is Slovenia, which will present a program under the slogan "Honeycomb of Words." Among the authors scheduled to appear at the fair this year that have already been announced are Christopher Clark, Deborah Feldman, Cornelia Funke, Marc-Uwe Kling, and Rafik Schami.