October 16, 2015
In addition to meeting with potential publishers for strategic print and eBook business development opportunities, we walked through the many floors and halls at the Frankfurt Bookfair seeing books, books, and more books!
Publishers and visitors from over 132 countries were represented. We heard numerous languages being spoken while browsing through multiple booths displaying books in a large variety of languages. Clearly German is the most widely spoken language we hear since we are in Frankfurt so we have been practicing our limited responses of Guten Tag, Danke, and Bitte at every opportunity!
We watched a demonstration of a replica Gutenberg printing press in a museum display at the bookfair. According to the museum brochure, Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press with moveable type in 1439. This new form of “mass communication” spread quickly across Europe and an immense literary explosion followed. I would consider the Frankfurt bookfair to be a direct result of these inventions by Gutenberg.
As we continued our journey at the bookfair, each hall and each floor had books from all genres and categories on display: professional education, children’s story and learning books, cookbooks, comics, education of the future, elearning and ebooks, political content, scientific, international publishers and more. Around each corner there was an author-speaking or an author-signing event also taking place. This bookfair is a book lover’s paradise and it was clearly evident that print publishing is a viable business world-wide.
As Scott Nelson, Head of Print & Advanced Media for US Legal, said, “Seeing all of these print publishers in one location is amazing”. “Print is clearly not dead”, he continued. For U.S. Legal, although the print business has seen a slow decline year over year, it still represents a $500M business for U.S. Legal.
It all started back in 1872 when West Publishing was founded by John B. West and his brother Horatio in St. Paul, Minnesota. Over 400 years later, the West brothers were sure to be thankful for Mr. Gutenberg for starting the printing revolution!
Thomson Reuters continues to be one of the most prominent publishers of legal materials in the United States. The U.S. Legal collection of print spans over 6,000 unique titles and reaches over 200,000 customers.
“In addition to managing our print business, we are also expanding our digital capabilities with the introduction of our ProView eLibrary solutions for larger enterprises to assist our customers in this transition”, Nelson stated.
To that, two new larger ProView ebook elibrary solutions were unveiled in July at the American Association of Law Libraries annual event: Internet Protocol (IP) Access and a Library Management System (LMS) partnership integration with EOS-an industry leader in library management systems. The ProView eBook collection now has over 1,000 unique titles now available with an additional 500 on the horizon for development over the next year.
Nelson also mentioned that multiple print publishers at the Frankfurt Bookfair are providing ebook solutions in addition to retaining their print collections. “Moving toward a digital eBook display of traditional print content is what our legal customers are also requesting,” he added. “We are on the right track to deliver what our customers need,” he concluded.
It is exciting to see the future of print and eBooks on such a diverse and grand scale. For anyone with a love of books, the Frankfurt Bookfair was definitely ‘the’ place to see it all at once. Until next year… Auf Wiedersehen!