New Zealand has broken records as the guest of honour at the world's largest book fair, where we featured a costume competition based on English writer J.R.R. Tolkien's fiction.

A record 90,000 people visited the New Zealand pavilion at the Frankfurt Book Fair at the weekend.

Fair director Juergen Boos said it was also the first time in the fair's history a guest of honour had a presence in every hall, including the comics zone, educational publishers, gourmet gallery, outdoor space and transmedia conference Storydrive.

A costume competition on Saturday was themed around The Hobbit, attracting hundreds of fans dressed as orcs, elves, Gollums and hobbits all vying for a prize of a trip to New Zealand. Sir Richard Taylor of Weta Workshop adjudicated the event.


The film, directed by Sir Peter Jackson, has its world premiere in Wellington next month.

Kevin Chapman, president of the Publishers Association of New Zealand, said the fair had been a huge success for New Zealand.

"We are seen as having an enhanced status as a nation of writers and publishers. All the targets we have set have been surpassed," he said.

Mr Chapman said publishers had built new relationships around the world with publishers looking to buy our books.

New Zealand had been approached by the Taipei Book Fair to be guest of honour there, he said.