First details of new Bologna strand revealed

First details of new Bologna strand revealed

BolognaBookPlus, a new general publishing strand running in parallel to the annual fair, will launch with a children's rights and licensing training event, organisers have announced.

This year's Bologna Book Fair runs from 14th to 17th June and features the new strand organised by former LBF director Jacks Thomas, including a one-day conference and three-day exhibition alongside the usual fair.

Also referred to as BBPlus, the new strand kicks off on 13th June with “How to Sell Rights and Understand Licensing in Children’s Books”, curated by Orna O’Brien. It is billed as the first dedicated training programme for children’s rights specialists working across the global industry.

Chaired by Belinda Rasmussen, m.d. at MacMillan Children’s Books, the event will also feature Giunti Editore’s LeeAnn Bortolussi, literary agent Debbie Bibo, licensing and children’s media consultant Helen McAleer, and Joanna Everard, recently of Bloomsbury UK. Topics include copyright, the full range of rights and coedition categories, contracts, the selling process, and licensing and merchandising.

Elena Pasoli, director of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, said: “I’m so glad that the launch of the BBPlus programme opens with a training course aimed at children’s book rights professionals – serving as a fabulous bridge between the well-known and well-established Bologna Children’s Book Fair and its exciting new brand extension. Over the past year we have learnt not only to cope with the pandemic but also to take on new ideas to serve the wider publishing world as a whole. Guest director Jacks Thomas has skilfully ensured that this training course, created by the BolognaBookPlus team, pays homage to the roots of this great new initiative.”

The event is aimed at aspiring, new and early career rights professionals, in addition to self-published children’s authors, and anyone working in the children’s rights and contracts realm, organisers said.

Thomas said: “It’s great to be announcing this introduction to buying and selling rights as our first event for BolognaBookPlus. Rights and licensing are the bedrock to publishing success, opening the doors to markets, platforms and media that support revenue streams, build author profiles and extend brands. This is particularly the case in the children’s market, and we look forward to welcoming new and aspiring professionals to join us for this event led by some of the industry’s leading specialists.”

Rasmussen added: “As the children’s book market continues to thrive, this rights training course couldn’t be more timely and I am delighted to be involved with it. Online or in person it promises to be a great event and I am greatly looking forward to it.”

More details about this year ’s inaugural BBPlus programme will be revealed in the coming weeks.