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Book Fair

October 11 - 16, 1995

OBS Press Release

OBS Authors Celebrate Books Without Borders
Four Bestselling Authors Cross Over into Internet

It used to be that authors wrote in one language, published in paper, and readers read quietly. Internet has changed all that. At the Online BookStore (OBS) booth N1104 in Halle 1.2, from 10 AM - 3:30 PM on October 12, bestselling authors from Europe and America not only respond to the theme of this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, "dissolving borders"--they make borders disappear in real time.

Experiencing first-hand the disappearing media boundaries around his art, renowned Austrian author, Felix Mitterer, will travel from his new home in Ireland to visit the OBS booth at 1 PM on October 12 to see for the first time not only the Internet, but also an Internet rendition of his highly successful book/screenplay/TV production "Die Piefke-Saga" (Haymon Verlag). Join him, his publisher, Dr. Michael Forcher, and Dr. Ruediger Wischenbart, Director of "Schwerpunkt Oesterreich," in exploring what German and Austrian art and tourism is really all about, through multiple online media of print, Norddeutscher Rundfunk TV files, and hyperlinks.

Bernice Chesler travels to Frankfurt from her home in Massachusetts to demo the second Internet edition of her new "Bed & Breakfast in New England," 5th edition (Chronicle Books, 1996), featuring selected write-ups in German and English. This veteran writer, who set the standard for the guidebook industry, will discuss her crossing the border from being a bestselling author of "paper" books, to an "online" author of a complete and searchable online travel resource.

Chesler's OBS site includes interactive B&B Forums, and hot links into Internet resources such as maps, and weather reports -- again promising to set the standard for B&B publishing in a new medium. Bernice Chesler, hailed as "America's B&B Ambassador" will explore New England, inside and online, at the OBS booth at 10 AM, October 12.

With the soon-to-be-published "Practical Guide to Practically Everything," (Random House, 1995) Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma offer over a thousand pages of experts' advice on every topic imaginable. Out from behind the pages of their book and into the OBS booth's computer, the authors--along with their selected experts, including the world's authority on Prozac--come alive online at OBS.

On October 12, from 2:30-3:30, Bernstein and Ma, Senior Editors of "US News and World Report," will "virtually" cross the Atlantic from their Washington D.C. offices to join their book's online experts and answer questions, starting with, "How were two impractical guys who know practically nothing able to create 'The Practical Guide to Practically Everything'?"

Bernstein and Ma's secret, of course, lies in the editing trade itself: pointing to other people's work. That's precisely what global, distributive publishing is all about, and what the OBS "contextualized" version of their book does, dissolving the borders around "US News and World Report," and around Random House, to successfully point to and incorporate many other publishers' Web postings about health and travel, from the online sites of "Der Spiegel," "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung," and "Time Magazine," offering readers plenty of topics for discussion--live, online at the OBS Forums (featuring Book Stacks software).

Throughout the Fair, the OBS booth will be demo'ing "borderless books," highlighting the main theme of Austrian literature and culture on the Web. Kinetic, interactive publications include online versions of Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom" in Portuguese, German, and English; Time Warner's extensive "Quick Read" library, Nicholas Negroponte's "Being Digital" (Alfred A. Knopf), and "Online Marketing" by Marcia Yudkin (Plume/Penguin).

Further expanding the growing strength of the print-to-bit and film-to-bit movement, OBS will introduce new plans with Disney's MIRAMAX films to enter the international bit stream of online publishing.

If you can't be there in person to visit with bestselling authors Felix Mitterer, Bernice Chesler, Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma, as they morph their books into bits, be sure to cross the border into the future of publishing by visiting OBS's booth online (

When Internet publishing pioneer, Laura Fillmore, President of OBS, presents papers at two seminars, she explores the licensing and commercial challenges facing publishers as they begin to explore publishing in a borderless environment. Juxtaposing thorny copyright questions with emerging issues such as "cogniright"-- the right to think freely in many media and in many languages while live and online -- Fillmore is a featured speaker at the International Rights Directors Meeting, October 10 from 2:00pm - 4:45pm in Hall 4.C Conference roomI, and the I IPA meeting, October 11 from 9:15am - 12:00pm in Hall 4.C Room ConcordeI.
Note: This Press Release, like the OBS site itself, will be updated continually, up to and throughout the Fair. Watch this space as new links appear!

Contact: Laura Fillmore

Archives: Our Former Press Release Announcing OBS' Participation to the Frankfurt Book Fair

The bricks in our walled garden of printed books become transparent windows this year at the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest publishing event. Just miles from Gutenberg's studio in Mainz, where our age of print had its birth five hundred years ago, the people and publishers at the EUnet/OBS booth 1104 in Hall 1.2, usher in the age of the open book without boundaries. We have the Internet to thank for this new era.

In recognition of this metamorphosis in publishing from the business of buying and selling paper, ink, and glue, to developing a universally accessible thought machine, the Online BookStore (OBS) announces a new variation on its theme, becoming "Open Book Systems" (OBS). Together with EUnet, we introduced the Internet to Frankfurt Book Fair in 1993, with a horror story (in German and English) by Stephen King --the first major trade author to cross over into Internet territory.

Today, Internet publishing is no longer a fiction, and represents horror only to those who cling to the antiquated notion that copies are all that matter and must be protected. These days, Access is All, with customized access, sweeter still.

OBS is the first point of online Access for the Focal Theme of this year's Fair, "Schwerpunkt Oesterreich." By gathering rich links from throughout Austria, combining them with ancient manuscripts from Adeva Verlag in Graz, and the hilarious tourism satire of Felix Mitterer's "Piefke-Saga", OBS demonstrates the fluidity of the Internet environment, which honors the boundaries people put around their own imaginations more than it does recognize any national or international boundaries.

Internet publishing isn't only words: the Joseph Haydn Variations (Adeva Verlag) at OBS demonstrate not only the multimedia capabilities of online publishing, but also illustrate the universal appeal of music as his familiar tune travels over time between Austria and Germany as an important national anthem.

Random House introduces with the OBS its online version of "The Practical Guide to Practically Everything" by Peter Bernstein and Christopher Ma, Senior Editors at "US News and World Report." The hyperlinked sections on Health and Travel extend beyond the simple and illustrative linking of yesterday. By pointing to the freely available online works by other publishers such as Time Warner, Macmillan, Moon, McGraw-Hill and O'Reilly, the OBS version demonstrates not only the "supersite" possibilities in a borderless publishing environment, but also an innovative and highly useful new linking strategy called "Bookbot pages".

Custom links from "Practical Guide" into "US News and World Report" and "Der Standard" keep the site's contents up to date, and the unique "Talking Rolodex" feature links the experts behind the book directly into the book by email. Readers can talk back through hypermail, with the possibility their submissions will be included in the next printed edition of the annual publication. Major print and media advertising from Random House will launch this title following this insider's look at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

Time Warner continues to extend its reach into the online world, through the Quick Read program of hypertext books available online only at OBS. As we extend the online publication of Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom" (Little Brown/Time Warner) to include the Portuguese version available first here at Frankfurt, we add a third language to the South African site, following the German edition of this book from Fischer Verlag.

No boundary is more personal than the walls around our home. "Bernice Chesler's Bed & Breakfast Guide to New England" (Chronicle Books) shows us, through examples in elegant, searchable online format, a secret the B&Bs around the world have known for a long time: working at home can offer the greatest pleasures. Chesler, recognized worldwide as "The B&B Ambassador," was the first B&B author to post her books on the Internet--again with OBS.

Through her online book, the B&B hosts and hostesses across New England open their doors to the people of Frankfurt and the world---with writeups in German and in English.

Hosting guests at a home B&B --over the Internet-- may become a worldwide business as it moves online. But living "Home on the Net" (by Laura Fillmore and Donald Landergren, IDG, 1996) points the way to a domesticated internetwork serving us from such familiar sites as our home medicine cabinets and refrigerators. Written by the two principals of OBS, the book describes for nontechnical people what life is like once the windows in the garden wall stand open all the time. "Home on the Net" shows us how to think about and prosper in the recorded environment that is our everyday life nowadays. Once the Internet comes through the front door of your house and begins dissolving and redefining the familiar boundaries we grew up with, it's time to think about building an extension on to you house--right out onto the Net.

Author appearances:

Bernice Chesler, author of "Bernice Chesler's Bed & Breakfast in New England", October 12, 10 AM

Felix Mitterer, "Die Piefke-Saga", October 12, 1.00 PM

Ruediger Wischenbart, Director of Schwerpunkt Oesterreich, October 12, 1.00 PM

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