Saturday, March 27, 2010

Final days at Bologna

Day three & four

Day three began with vast quantities of caffeine, hurried walks to and from the café continued all day in a bid to keep the momentum up as a steady stream of publishers and agents attended meetings on our stand.

There was a buoyant atmosphere at the fair despite the fact that numbers were down. Those whom we met were genuine in their interest of our list, although the next three months will be crucial in finalising the rights to a number of our titles.

The day ended with the Australia Party attended by Ms Amanda Vanstone, Ambassador to Italy, publishers, authors, illustrators and a number of locals who thought there was good free fare on offer.

Most agreed it had been a productive fair.

Day four

Meetings continued while stands were unpacked around us in the afternoon. Undeterred, our agent continued on with his formidable schedule.

Books, posters and banners have now been boxed up in readiness for the London Book Fair and Frankfurt.

Thank you to Rod Hare from ALC for all his hard work and to Ann James and Ann Haddon for their continued support of illustrators.

Here ends the Bologna Book Fair 2010.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day Two -Bologna Book Fair

Things have continued along at a cracking pace today.

Our friendly Italian publishers came to visit us all enthused about Sarah’s Heavy Heart by Peter Carnavas. They are about to re-print and have also taken on Peter’s first title Jessica’s Box. Enthusiastic Italians are quite something to behold. Here they are on our stand with the flyer they put together for Sarah’s Heavy Heart.

Our first two titles for this year, Molly’s Memory Jar (Norma Spaulding/Jacqui Grantford) and Tatiara (Jo Oliver) have both had interest.

A new fiction series for 9+ girls is proving popular. The Diary of Persephone Pinchgut by Aleesah Darlison is attracting overseas interest. The first two books in the series, Totally Twins and Model Behaviour are looking good. Serena Geddes has added to the book with her whimsical black and white illustrations. We are very excited for Aleesah and Serena, as they are both relatively new to the world of children’s books.

Other news at the fair was of course the announcement of the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award which went to illustrator Kitty Crowther who lives and works in Belgium.

After a busy day on the stand we attended Scholastic’s 90th anniversary celebration. It was a beautiful venue in the heart of Bologna. Unfortunately I have no photographs to show you the sheer artistic brilliance and magnitude of the place. I got a little carried away eating and drinking.

Tomorrow will be full of final meetings. It will finish off with the Australia Party on the APA stand. I will report back on that tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bologna Book Fair - Day one

Day one at Bologna began a little like a speed dating exercise except with books. We moved from one meeting to the next, each at half hour intervals. By midday the sample style Italian cappuccinos were in high demand.

The larger publishers had teams of people selling in their books; we had three committed individuals doing their best, up against hefty competition.

It is hard to gauge the success of the first day. In most cases we will not know for another three months whether it has been a successful trip, but a number of our titles sparked interest.

In a short break I managed to venture over to Australian Children’s Book Illustration Bologna 2010 exhibition were the lovely Ann James was displaying some beautiful artwork from picture books by Australian artists. One of Peter Carnavas’ illustrations from his first picture book Jessica’s Box had pride of place in the exhibition.

Today saw the announcement of the H C Andersen medal, which went to British author David Almond.

By the end of the day we were all flagging and looking forward to the Egmont party, which proved to be popular, and a great deal of fun. As a smaller publisher we depend on being fed by the larger more successful publishers and Egmont did a stellar job. Thank you Egmont!

Tomorrow the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award will be announced. The award is the biggest international children’s and young adult literature award in the world. A select few Australians have been nominated for this award including Hazel Edwards. We will keep you posted.

A quick look at the Bologna Children's Book Fair

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

NFP is in good company

After over 30 hours of travel we finally reached our destination. A little jet lagged we made our way to the Bologna Book Fair to put the finishing touches on our stand.

You will be pleased to know we are in very good company. Bloomsbury is next door and Hachette across the road. They of course have all the bells and whistles that shout out successful publisher. We have terrific placement, brilliant books and eye-catching banners.

The Fair is held in an enormous, cavernous space brightened today by displays of vibrant children’s books. For any lover of children’s books this is the place to be, a place to get lost in the magic and wonder of books.

As we left the fair today publishers were still putting up posters and setting up displays. Tonight the carpet will be laid in anticipation for the start of the fair tomorrow. Back to back meetings will begin as publishers pitch their titles in order to land that elusive foreign rights deal.

While we work hard at cementing deals we will also be spying on the competition and eating our fare share of pizza and pasta.


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Packing for Bologna

We are on our way! The freight left a month ago, the emergency box two weeks ago and the remainder will be keeping us company as we step onto a plane bound for Bologna.

We will be traveling with suitcases full to the brim with books.

We have taken Peter Carnavas’ advice and will be carrying the important things – books and more books.

We are hoping there might be a little room left for a toothbrush.

Friday, March 19, 2010

For lovers of classical music

At NFP we are lovers of classical music. This terrific video highlights the power of classical music to move both adults and children.

We do think the combination of classical music and books works well and are delighted with our new Music Box series.

As Charles Mackerras said, and he should know:"I find the Music Box series a most fascinating and original idea.I am sure it will appeal to many young listeners and open their minds to the wonders of classical music."

Look out for our Music Box books. Each book includes a CD narrated by Antonia Kidman.The third book, The Sorcerer's Apprentice will be released in August.
Sophia has put together a program for 2MBS radio based on the top ten most loved classical hits as voted by children. Listen in to see if our three choices are in the top ten - you may be surprised by the number one choice.
2MBS-FM 102.5
Thursday 8th April

Molly's Memory Jar

Molly's Memory Jar
written by Norma Spaulding illustrated by Jacqui Grantford

Molly has a deep feeling of sadness after the death of Lucy, her golden retriever.

Molly is now without someone she loved dearly. Seeing his daughter lost and lonely, Molly’s father hatches a plan to help her through her grief.

Molly’s Memory Jar is a soothing story about remembering the good times and coping with the loss of a most beloved pet. The story is full of colour as Molly creates her own personal memory of her best friend Lucy.

Upcoming events

Meet Norma and Jacqui
Fullers Bookshop, Launceston
Saturday 17th April at 10.30am

Norma and Jacqui will be reading, illustrating and signing copies of their book.

Tatiara by Jo Oliver

Tatiara by Jo Oliver

A little girl wears a back brace preventing her from swimming in the ocean.

She sits on the wharf and looks longingly at the sheltered bay as she witnesses an injured seal frolicking in the water.

They become friends and in time healing comes to both of them.

Upcoming events

There will be an exhibition of Jo's beautiful illustrations at Camden Library.
Medium:Drypoint etching and watercolour
26th March - 1st May

Tatiara will be launched at the Tathra Life Saving Club on Sunday the 4th April at 3pm.
Jo will be signing copies of Tatiara.

Monday, March 8, 2010