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Children's publishers positive about FBF deals
07.10.11 | Caroline Horn
Children's publishers are upbeat about this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, despite the turbulent impact of the uncertain financial markets across Europe.
Andrew Sharp, group rights director for Hachette, said: "The fact is that publishers across the world continue to build their lists, and [they] want new and exciting books." Egmont has high hopes for the fair after two or three years of slowdown, said Gillian Laskier, the publisher's group sales director. She said: "It feels like the whole business has changed a gear and there has been a lot of interest from China and the US. We are seeing a real ratcheting up of interest across all age ranges."
Markets that are particularly strong from the EU are France, Germany and Finland, with Brazil, Turkey, Korea and South Africa also showing growth. Business in the US is also picking up, said Sharp. "I was in New York in early September and now have over a dozen negotiations on the go. The market there isn't easy. It's a rapidly changing landscape as we all know, but there are good deals to be struck."
Young adult (YA) fiction remains the focus of deals, especially in the US and UK, said agent Caroline Sheldon: "For the right project there will still be a good offer." Sheldon is selling US and film rights to a YA sci-fi trilogy by Teri Terry called Slated, about teenagers in the future whose brains are wiped (or "slated") if they do something wrong. UK publisher Orchard will be selling translation rights. Bloomsbury is highlighting début novel An Anthem for Jackson Dawes by Celia Bryce, about two teenagers falling in love in a hospital ward.
In younger fiction, Pat White of Rogers, Coleridge & White is interested in Sue Munroe's Moon Hare, described as a "future classic" along the lines of Pippi Longstocking (Egmont Press). It is represented by Claire Wilson. Random House Children's Books (RHCB) expects interest in The Seeing by Diana Hendry and Jodie Marsh at United Agents is highlighting The Haunting of Wickworth Manor by Elen Caldecott (Bloomsbury).
White believes the market for picture books "is getting better". Among those titles she will be selling at the fair are Mary Hoffman and Ros Asquith's The Big Book of Feelings (Frances Lincoln). Other highlights include Archie by débutant Domenica More Gordon, a wordless picture book about a dog who sets up a clothing business for dogs (Bloomsbury), and Little Roar by Mr Croc creator Jo Lodge (Hodder). Her latest character is aimed at babies and toddlers. RHCB has a new picture book by Katie Cleminson called Buddy.