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Bologna Book Fair to launch new fair in New York

3 April 2017

The Bologna Children's Book FairThe Bologna Children's Book Fair or La fiera del libro per ragazzi is the leading professional fair for children's books in the world. this week has been attracting a good number of visitors and there is every-increasing interest from outside the publishing world, from media and film companies. Reflecting the solid growth and current stability of children's publishing, the Fair offers an opportunity for everyone involved in children's publishing to gather for the biggest annual bash.

Like Frankfurt and the London Book Fair, this is a big rights fair, with publishers bringing their new books and projects to sell internationally. After some years of being overlooked, Middle Grade books seem to be in demand and even picture books are doing well. The international market is particularly crucial to make these highly illustrated projects work, so selling them to publishers across the world is a particularly important aspect of the Fair.

Young Adult books are continuing to be in strong demand.

The background of political turmoil in the UK and US was reflected in comments from celebrated illustrator Alex Scheffler. German-born Scheffler said:

"The UK has been my home for the past 35 years, but something broke after the Brexit vote. I'm sad, disappointed and angry every day when I read the news. It's been a big blow. It could make life very complicated and unpleasant. I would like to stay but I think about leaving more and more. I feel that if I go, I won't want to work for a British publisher again."

Scheffler warned the EU exit could endanger the UK's "very healthy" picture-book publishing scene: "It is very interesting and vibrant; there is more risk-taking."

In a further sign of the worldwide interest in children's books, BolognaFiere, the organizer of the Bologna Children's Book Fair as well as 75 other trade shows around the world, announced plans to start a new trade show focused on rights and licensing in New York City in spring 2018. This will feature children's and adult books and is designed to enable smaller publishers to participate - and presumably to sell to the big American market.