The Bologna Book Fair

It’s all go at Skylark Towers as we prepare for the Bologna Book Fair, taking place in Italy next week, so I thought I’d take a moment to explain what it’s all about . . . 

It’s one of the biggest events in the calendar for Children’s Publishing, largely because it’s the one fair that is specifically focused on books for children and young adults – and also because, well, it’s in Bologna! Who can resist such a beautiful old city, not to mention the delicious food and Italian wine? Certainly not us – and not the rest of the children’s publishing world either if attendance is anything to go by!

Every year, publishers from all over the world converge on Bologna to talk about all things Children’s Publishing. It’s predominantly a Rights Fair – which means it’s a golden opportunity for publishers and agents to meet with editors from territories all around the world in hopes of getting them excited about the prospect of publishing, for example, a British middle-grade mystery in Spain or Poland or China!

But it’s not just about the rights deals! Editors come to meet and chat with other editors. Everyone is keen to get a feel for the trends – what’s proving popular, what are editors seeing a lot of, what are they looking for? It’s a great place for gauging the market. If the atmosphere in Bologna feels quiet, you can bet the market’s taking a bit of a downturn. When it’s abuzz with activity, that of course bodes well, and we fully expect the atmosphere to be as bright and bubbly as Prosecco this year, as the children’s publishing market has been very buoyant and that looks set to continue.

Basically, the Bologna Book Fair is a huge networking and business opportunity. A wonderful chance for agents, scouts and publishers to meet with our counterparts from all the countries of the world, talk about the books we love and share a glass of wine (or two!).

Close to the Bologna Book Fair you will find the London Book Fair – not only devoted to children’s books this one – but another great opportunity for everyone to meet and greet colleagues from around the world, so there are a heady few weeks coming up in the world of Children’s Publishing.