Business as usual at buzzy Bologna

Business as usual at buzzy Bologna

Exhibitors at this year’s fair have said business has been strong, yet there have been few break-out trends.

Adrian Soar, commercial director at Nosy Crow, said his stand was “fantastically busy” but said there was no change in what people were looking for: “People want fiction and picture books. In fiction, it is funny books and in picture books a lot of visitors want novelty. There is also a lot of demand for beautiful picture books.”

Bloomsbury Children’s m.d. Emma Hopkin agreed that it was busy. She said: “It’s very bustling on the stand but it seems empty in the corridors, which makes me wonder if everyone is outside enjoying the sunshine. But there is a very positive mood—more so than last year—and people are more willing to make offers.”

Illustrators Ireland spokesperson Margaret Anne Suggs said the lack of stand-out trends this year was actually a good thing because the depth of publishing and “the variety [at Bologna] is the draw”. Suggs added that in terms of illustration, English-speaking countries were more homogenous in their offerings, while European and foreign language publishers had a greater variety.

However, Michael O’Mara foreign sales manager Mauro Spagnol said that the trend for adult colouring books, which have already taken off in the UK and France, was now attracting attention from other countries.