Thomas Minkus, Vice President for Emerging Media and English-Language Markets of Frankfurt Book Fair, President of the Fair’s New York office and Managing Director of the London headquarters of IPR License. Frankfurt Book Fair’s New York office runs Publishing Perspectives, an online journal on publishing and book markets in different countries. With over twenty years of experience in traditional and online publishing, Minkus has worked as Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Learn Technologies, an educational publishing and technology company in New York City, prior to joining the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2003.
Claudia Kaiser was trained as a bookseller and has a degree in Chinese Studies. She lived in China for over ten years, was an editor for China Foreign Literature Publishing House, then started an agency and, in 1998, set up and headed the German Book Information Centre by Frankfurt Book Fair in Beijing. Later, she worked as an External Publications Officer, in charge of rights and sales, at United Nations Publishing in New York. She has been in the senior management of Frankfurt Book Fair since 2003, in different positions, including Head of International Department, General Manager of Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, and Head of Cape Town Book Fair. As Vice President for Business Development she currently oversees the South Asian and Southeast Asian markets and has initiated the launch of the platform StoryDrive Asia in Singapore.
Christian Kjelstrup is an editor at Aschehoug and the editor-in-chief of Samtiden, a Norwegian journal on culture. Kjelstrup has an Oxford degree and is known for his original style in writing about literature. His projects include a cooking book featuring portraits of a hundred writers made of various foods, a pop-up one-book shop, and Vislava Šimborska’spoetry publishing project. Kjelstrup did his training at Saint Petersburg State University, edited the special “Norway” issue of Belorussian magazine PraidziSvet (“ПрайдзiСвет”) and is in charge of Norwegian Literature at Aschehoug.
Thomas Wörtche is a critic, columnist and literary historian. His professional interests include books, illustration, music for printed and online publications, and radio shows. He is an expert in crime fiction in all media, as well as in the literature of Latin America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and Oceania. He is on the jury for German literary competition Weltempfänger that allows books by foreign authors translated into German a chance to get onto the list of LitProm agency bestsellers. He writes the Crime Mag column on CULTURMAG website and curates the crime fiction program publishing program for Suhrkamp. He is the editor and publisher of the collection Berlin Noir (Hamburg/New York, 2018).
Petra Hardt is a rights and licensing expert at Suhrkamp, Berlin. She studied Roman culture in Freiburg and Paris and wrote her thesis on the poetry of the resistance movement during World War II. Since the 1980s, she has worked in rights and licensing departments in several publishers including Luchterhand. In 1994, she headed the rights and licensing in Suhrkamp. She is a lecturer at a number of professional business schools at the universities of Frankfurt, Würzburg, Leipzig, and Stuttgart and in a publishing school in Kolkata (India). She also volunteers at the Exchange Union of German Booksellers. Her book Rights: Buying, Protecting, Selling. A Brief Guide for Publishershas been translated into seven languages including Russian (in Russia it has been published by Garage in collaboration with Ad Marginem Press).
Jan Wenzel is an author, publisher, and designer. In the early 2000 he co-founded Spector Books with Markus Dreßen and Anne König. As an author and publisher, he has produced a large number of books, including in collaboration with designers Olaf Nicolai, Erik van der Weijde, and Alexander Kluge. Today, Spector Books have published over 400 books. From 2013 to 2018, Wenzel was a columnist for Camera Austria, where he wrote The Revolving Bookshelf focusing on various formats of photographic albums.
Markus Dreßen is a graphic designer, publisher, and teacher. He studied at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst / Academy of Fine Arts in Leipzig, and in the early 2000s co-founded Spector Books with Jan Wenzel and Anne König. In 2004, he became a member of Alliance Graphique Internationale, a professional gathering of the world's leading graphic designers, and in 2006 started teaching graphic design at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst. He has designed books by Olaf Nicolai, Neo Rauch, and Ilya Kabakov and created sketches for the design of several cultural institutions, including Leipzig Opera. He is a winner of many book awards, including the Golden Letter Award for the best book design in 2004. In 2007 he was commissioned to develop the visual style for the 125thKiel Week (one of the most important events in the world of sailing).
Franz König is the head and owner of the publishing house and bookstore chain Walther König, Cologne. König studied architecture at Architectural Association in London from 1995 to 1997 and publishing in the London College of Printing from 1997 to 2000, and learnt how to sell books from Poertgen Herder, the owner of the large bookstore Poertgen-Herder in Münster. From 1999 to 2000 he was an assistant at Tate Bookshop and in 2001 founded Walther König books Ltd. in collaboration with the publisher and bookshop of the Serpentine Galleries, London. In 2007 he returned to Cologne and has been running Walther König since 2012.