In the latest news from The Bookseller, the Shanghai Children’s Book Fair has opened up the Chen Bochui awards for international publishers to submit any picture or illustrated book for children between the ages of 0–16. Besides a chance to win a £2,058 prize, the book fair is an excellent opportunity for international publishers to engage with a growing Chinese children’s market.
International book fairs are a fantastic way to observe different markets, understand their demands, and find new opportunities. For instance, children’s books with male protagonists are currently very popular in China, whereas they are more difficult to sell in Europe. By attending these types of book fairs and entering international competitions, publishers may be able to find larger markets for their books. With a greater understanding of international markets, publishers can take on titles and authors who might not necessarily have a large home market but will sell well internationally.
At the Stirling University publishing exhibition’s panel, Marion Sinclair said that there needs to be more reciprocity between UK publishers and international publishers in order to facilitate better trade and open up opportunities to expand into new markets. Perhaps one of the ways we can do this is to open up more of our own awards to international publishers. By promoting international participation, publishers can observe new and innovative trends coming from different markets as well as exchange rights to foreign titles. Hopefully, the more doors we open to international publishers in the UK, the more opportunities we will have to spread our titles to other parts of the world and reach more readers.