Chris Finlayson, Minister for the Arts, Culture and Heritage, also addressed the publishers and guests, and thanked PANZ for its drive and determination in seeing the project through to delivery.
Brian Morris led the waiata, and the music drifted through clusters of publishers and performers mingling throughout the stand, and carried across the great Halle 8 of international publishers.
9am meant business, and the NZ collective stand was – for the entire rest of the day – a bustling, crowded hive of activity, with publishers, camera-folk and curious spectators all jostling for space.
The day was overwhelming. Kevin Chapman reported on events at the NZ Pavilion, and how New Zealand had exceeded all expectations. ‘The feedback from the visitors to the Pavilion is universally positive and in fact, in many cases full of superlatives. The Book Fair organisers are incredibly happy with offerings so far; the German press coverage has been glowing. And with four days to go, we still feel as though we have already delivered a very successful programme.’
However by 5pm on the NZ Stand (a good 10 minutes’ fast walk from the excitement of the NZ Pavilion), the feeling from some publishers was that the day was very much business as usual. But that means business.
Tracy Strudley of Global Education Systems was glowing: It was ‘a fantastic day, a great first day. We started at 9am with a company from Lithuania, who walked in without an
appointment based on the look and feel of the stand and what they saw. It’s now 5.30 and we’ve hardly had time to lift our heads. Very happy indeed.’
And Sam Elworthy of Auckland University Press declared it 'my best day ever at the Frankfurt Book Fair. I have four or five titles with competing publishers and I’ve never had that, so it’s great!'
With a huge deal of global interest and even some contracts (into French and Vietnamese) signed on the spot, one can imagine the sigh of relief at the end of the day come happy hour. As Mark Sommerset of Dreamboat Books put it: ‘I’m parched.’
For more news and updates on the Pavilion programme check out NZ Book Council Catriona Ferguson's blog:
And for all the latest updates: