UK publishers including Hachette and HarperCollins Children’s Books will have a presence at the inaugural China Shanghai Children’s International Book Fair
(CCBF), with the Publishers Association organising a collective stand.
The event, the first dedicated children’s book fair in China, takes place at the ShanghaiMart Exhibition Centre on 7th–9th November. The fair is managed by Reed Exhibitions and organised by the Shanghai Press & Publication Administration, the China
Education & Publishing Media Group and China Universal Publication & Press.
Among publishers scheduled to attend are Hachette, HarperCollins, Oxford University Press, Cengage Learning, McGraw-Hill and Garnet Education.
Andrew Sharp, group rights and digital director at Hachette Children’s Books, said the inaugural fair was "the unknown" but its dedicated children’s focus meant it was an obvious choice although it meant missing the Beijing International Book Fair
(BIBF) in August because "we can’t be everywhere".
Sharp said: "We do a lot of business in China, and it has been growing, and we hope to increase it more. I’m hoping there will be a lot of opportunities in licensing
and partnerships. I’ll also be going with my digital hat on, because the digital market in China is huge and it’s something we haven’t tapped."
Lucy Vanderbilt, group rights director for HarperCollins, said: "In the last year we’ve done a few major deals in China, including for David Walliams and for Judith Kerr’s backlist. There’s a really strong appetite for our books at all ages—picture books and chapter books. I’m going to spend time with our customers and see what Chinese publishers
themselves are doing. Many travel to Frankfurt, Bologna and the London Book Fair, but this is a chance to meet the publishers who don’t travel."
Adrian Mellor, m.d. of Asia Education for Oxford University Press, said: "We see the CBBF as an important new channel for furthering our reach in the growing Asian market. It allows us to find new partners and opportunities for disseminating our wealth of resources for children—published both in the UK and in our four branches in Asia. It also acts as a perfect complement to Bologna, enabling us to reach different markets at a
different time of year."
He predicted that the fair would be "an increasingly important event going forward"
alongside the BIBF.
According to a report by the Chinese State Administration of Radio & Television, children’s book publication increased by 9,000 titles (a 40% increase) from 2011 to 2012. So far in 2013, children’s book publishing is said to have accounted for 21% of all books published in the country.
A CCBF spokesperson said: "The continued momentum of children’s books represents a key part of China’s publishing industry."