Marilyn Fox, PhD, (center) AAOS publications director, and Dallas Ann Tomlin, international department staff member, met with representatives from Nankodo Ltd (Japan). The AAOS first formed a business partnership with Nankodo, an international publisher, in 1986.
Courtesy of Lynne Dowling


Published 12/1/2008
Dallas Ann Tomlin

AAOS reaches out at Frankfurt Book Fair

By Dallas Ann Tomlin

AAOS educational products have a world-wide reputation, thanks in part to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Each October, AAOS staff conduct more than 30 meetings in two and a half days, negotiating international rights and distribution arrangements for AAOS print, journal, electronic media, and exam products.

The AAOS has been represented in Frankfurt annually since 1995. This year, Marilyn Fox, PhD, director of the AAOS publications department; Lynne Dowling, director of the international department; and I attended, and we met with clients from countries such as China, Spain, Italy, India, Greece, and Japan.

Distribution and rights
AAOS customers fall into two categories: those who want to distribute AAOS products and those interested in purchasing international rights to a product. Distributors purchase AAOS products and resell them in a specific territory to orthopaedic surgeons, bookstores, and/or libraries. AAOS English-language products are currently available in more than 85 countries worldwide.

Foreign-language rights customers purchase the “right” to translate a product into another language or to reprint AAOS products, in English, for sale in a certain country. AAOS products have been translated into Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Italian, Japanese, and Turkish. In addition, educational materials have been reprinted in English for the Middle Eastern, Greek, Polish, Korean, and Indian markets.

Another successful year
Concerns about the impact of the global economic crisis on attendance at Frankfurt this year proved to be unfounded. Actual attendance for 2008 was up 5.5 percent over 2007. More than 78,000 people visited the fair on a single day—the largest ever one-day attendance.

Although it is still too early to tally the final actual outcome of this year’s activities, every indication is that the AAOS will meet or exceed its goals. Through September, international sales of AAOS educational products, foreign rights, and international distribution rights total more than $864,000. That’s in addition to the more than $270,000 in sales to international attendees of the 2008 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

All in all, the Frankfurt Book Fair continues to be the mandatory event for the world publishing industry. The AAOS will continue its annual presence to promote and help disseminate AAOS educational products throughout the world.

Dallas Ann Tomlin is manager of international rights and distribution in the AAOS international department. She can be reached at

A world-class book fair
Held each October in Frankfurt, Germany, the modern Frankfurt Book Fair turned 60 years old in 2008. The beginnings of the fair, however, date back more than 500 years, to a time shortly after Johannes Gutenburg invented the movable type printing press. It was the most important book fair in Europe until the seventeenth century, and after World War II, it become the preeminent fair for the publishing world.

Covering nearly 2 million square feet of space—the equivalent of 42 American football fields—the Frankfurt Book Fair is 10 times the size of the AAOS Annual Meeting. In 2008, nearly 300,000 people attended the fair, which also had more than 7,000 exhibitors, including the AAOS, from more than 100 countries. Similar to the AAOS Guest Nation, the Frankfurt Book Fair has a “Guest of Honour” to highlight a country’s literature, culture, and history. Several events highlighted Turkey, the 2008 Guest of Honor, and its contributions to the literary world.

The Frankfurt Book Fair is critical for launching new books and authors, and provides an important opportunity to negotiate the sale of international intellectual property rights, foreign language rights, and international distribution rights.