The Indie Author and the Frankfurt Book Fair

Why on earth would an indie author go alone to a Book Fair which attracts more than 120,000 people? Wouldn’t he or she get lost and overlooked in the crowd? There are really two answers to the question.

First is StoryDrive. This is a brand new section of the Fair which is organized to bring together both the writer of the content [the initial creator] and those who want to transform that content into something else—film, TV, even games. I am sure that is just the beginning of the list. So, as soon as I read about StoryDrive and its match-making program, I knew I had to go.

Second is the nature of the indie author. I believe that those of us, who are indie authors, have a particular mind-set—like that of the entrepreneur. Anyone who has started a new business from scratch will immediately know what I’m talking about. It begins with an idea backed up with limitless passion, because you are working for yourself and your idea. You think—It’s up to me. No one else can do it. And that’s the way you want it, although in the early hours of the morning, you may have doubts!

But the fact is that all authors must learn that writing a great novel isn’t enough. Gone are the days when a writer could approve the final draft, put his feet up and say—Now it’s up to the publisher. I’ve done my bit! Because, whether authors walk through the door marked “traditional” or “indie” publishing, they all end up in the same place—the chaotic, cacophonous global market place.  And actually, that’s not a bad description of The Frankfurt Book Fair where this indie author will be.

You can find my novel, The Drawing Lesson, the first in the Trilogy of Remembrance, at ForeWord Small Press Collective, Hall 8 Stand S980, and at International Titles, Hall 8. Stand L-970. And look for my article in Publishing Perspectives made available at the Book Fair.

And you can find me at StoryDrive.

Check out the terrific book trailer of that novel at and also read some reviews and the first chapter.

As I’ve been writing this, I have wondered if there isn’t a fascinating paradox under my nose. I’m at the getting my feet wet stage of social media, as are most of us. I see its fabulous potential and it is really exciting to work with it. But at the same time, nothing beats the face to face meeting of real people in real space and time—thus book fairs. As an indie author, if you can sit down with people and convey your passion and belief in your work, you might just convince them of the film potential in your novel.  That alone is worth the trip to Frankfurt.

The paradox? When we can connect literally with thousands [millions?] through social media and develop cross-over networks, why bother to actually meet people one on one? In the personal meeting, you can eliminate many intermediaries and find out if there is a common vision. But most of all, it’s the passion.

In promoting my novels [See also, ] I have stood in bookstores trying to “hand sell” a book. This was pre-social media. I remember thinking I need a bigger platform! This, of course, is social media and the internet combined. It’s not really a paradox. It’s just life in a brand new publishing world.

I’ll be posting while I’m in Frankfurt, so please join me.


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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