The Indie Author Goes To Frankfurt


I’ve been through Germany on the train, but have never stopped for a visit. It’s about time! But why now? Four words— The Frankfurt Book Fair.

For the indie author, this is the place to be. The Fair has a tradition of at least five hundred years—ever since the invention of  moveable type and printing by Johannes Gutenberg. This event has continued over the centuries despite some interruptions due to political, cultural and social factors [ie: wars, religious strife etc.,]. Nonetheless, today, it’s the biggest book fair you’re going to find.  And it’s a critical marketing event for launching books and negotiating rights.

I like to imagine those authors, agents , publishers and booksellers, who attended the first fair. The invention of the printing press was as startling, confounding and revolutionary as the invention of the internet and social media is to us.

I can see those attendees of the first few Fairs dressed in their broad shouldered, puffy sleeved ensembles [a bit like Henry VIII]. Confounded, the y would shake their heads in amazement. I can also see those who hand wrote manuscripts complaining that printing was just a fad, which would never replace them. Amazement at and resistance to change was very likely similar to what we are experiencing today. Will e-publishing and e-books displace the printed page? What goes around, comes around.  The Fair was founded on the disruption of the old, the business as usual point of view.

But why is this a good place for the indie author to go? The Book Fair is only one part of the attraction. This year a new section has been added—StoryDrive. While the Fair is important for the sale of foreign rights, StoryDrive serves as the market place for those with content to sell [me] and producers of film, television and video games. The best part is that they try to match up interested parties with you. I have plenty to sell.

The Drawing Lesson is the first in the Trilogy of Remembrance. It’s an exciting story of the conflict between two artists—Alexander Wainwright and Rinaldo—very different artists, with very different views of the world.

In my writing, I love to explore the “big” questions. But hold on! That doesn’t mean I have the answers. In The Drawing Lesson, I ask the fundamental question—what kind of universe do we live in? Is it one with a marvelously secret and mysterious order or, is it simply random, chaotic and absurd. Alexander believes in the secret order and Rinaldo is from the school that the universe is innately meaningless and absurd.

I’ve just finished my first draft of the next novel in the trilogy, provisionally entitled The Fate of Pryde. His time, it’s a different question. Have you ever met a person who combines the very best and the very worst of humanity? This is the question I’ve posed for Alexander in his relationship with his brand new, very wealthy patron, Jonathan Pryde.

This is my second trilogy. The first one was entitled The Osgoode Trilogy, comprised of Conduct in Question, Final Paradox and A Trial of One—all legal suspense.

So, I am busy getting ready for the Fair. I’ll write more about preparations as the event draws closer. As an indie author, you stand or fall on your own efforts. For me, the secret ingredient is wanting to succeed.

The novels, for me, are a lot like children, of whom I have three—now all adults. You bring them into the world and raise them with all the love, care and attention you have within you, because they are yours!

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About Mary E. Martin

Mary E. Martin grew up in Toronto, Canada. After earning an Honors Degree in History at the University of Toronto, she graduated with her law degree from Queens University, Kingston, Ontario. In 1973, she was called to the Bar of Ontario and began the general practice of law in Toronto, with emphasis on real estate, wills and estates and elder-care law. This law practice of more than 30 years was a great inspiration for The Osgoode Trilogy ("Conduct in Question," "Final Paradox" and "A Trial of One.") Her fourth novel, “The Drawing Lesson,” will be the first in the next trilogy, provisionally entitled “The Trilogy of Rmembrance.” She is also a photographer particularly with respect to her travels. She has had two commercial photography shows. Married in 1973, she and her husband live in Toronto. They have three adult children.
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