Our Visit to Italy for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair
On April 10, 2019
You’d be hard-pressed to find a book lover who wouldn’t enjoy a trip to Italy in the springtime for a gigantic book fair. So, as you can probably guess, it wasn’t hard to send our co-owner/art director, Heather, and editor/foreign rights manager, Emily, to northern Italy for the Bologna Children’s Book Fair earlier this month.
This incredible gathering of publishers, distributors, printers, artists, authors, and agents happens each year and is the ultimate destination for making children’s book deals. There are over 1,200 exhibitors, 1,000 independent artists, and 28,000 visitors representing 80 countries worldwide. See below for some of the pictures we took at the book fair!
The goal is to entice publishers from other countries to buy a Nimbus book, translate it, and publish it in their home country. Meetings are lightning fast: 30 minutes to show a title, explain its plot, describe its author, give the numbers, and move on. Business is typically conducted in English, with lots of pointing and gesticulating to get over language barriers. No physical books are exchanged; if a publisher is interested after seeing our display sample and hearing our pitch, we follow up with sending PDFs + supporting sales material once we’re back in Canada.
It’s fascinating to see what other publishers are doing, and what kinds of books are popular in other countries. Who knew the Dutch love hide-and-seek books so much? Watercolour artwork is particularly popular in France. And did you know there’s a vibrant publishing scene in Moscow?
There was some serious interest from abroad in our wonderful little list, and we can’t wait to share the deals with you as we finalize them, so stay tuned. Ciao for now!