Explaining that most of his concerns had been addressed, John Sargent, head of the Holtzbrinck Publishing Group USA, said the company's trade units will return to the Frankfurt Book Fair in stronger numbers in 2004 than last year. Citing the high costs of doing business there, only Holtzbrinck's Farrar, Straus & Giroux division had a booth at the show in 2003, while St. Martin's and Henry Holt took no space. The entire Holtzbrinck contingent was dramatically scaled down to only a few participants.

Sargent told PW he decided Holtzbrinck should return to the fair after organizers agreed to do away with the extended hours on Friday and shortened the fair by one day. This year's fair will run October 6—10, ending on a Sunday rather than Monday. An agreement from a number of hotels to eliminate the minimum six-night stay also helped persuade Sargent to return to Frankfurt.