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The book fair season

4 April 2016

We're just entering a particularly key part of the spring book fair season this week, with the Bologna Children's Book Fair starting on 4 April and the London Book Fair on 12 April. (Pity the poor book fair attendees, rushing from one to the other!)

Bologna is the most important children's book fair and has established a strong position within the international children's publishing community, being attended by a cross-section of ‘illustrators and graphic designers, literary agents, publishers, authors, translators, business developers, licensors and licensees, packagers, printers, distributors, bookstore owners, librarians, teachers, publishing services providers' - pretty much every kind of person who's involved in the international children's publishing world.

This year it will have Germany as the Guest of Honour and there will be a raft of German children's authors and illustrators attending the Fair as a result. They are expecting 25,000 attendees and there are 1200 exhibitors. Bologna Digital Media is a new section of the Fair attracting attendees from the digital sphere.

The London Book Fair is back at Olympia again this year and is likewise expecting attendance of 25,000 people from 124 countries. 200 plus seminars are planned, with a huge events programme under 14 headings. Once again this book fair is laying claim to being the rights fair of the spring season, a counterbalance to Frankfurt in the autumn. It's a good place to see publishers in action, but very much a trade fair, although there are some events directed at authors, especially self-publishing authors.