The number of UK publishers attending the Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (CCBF) this year has nearly doubled, with 21 set to attend the November event, compared to 12 last year.
The 2013 event was described as "storming" by UK publishers.
Seven UK publishers have booked their own stands for this year's event (20th-22nd November), including Child’s Play and Oxford University Press. Another 14, among them Hot Key Books, Igloo Books, Hachette Children’s Books and Andersen Press, will have a presence in the UK pavilion.
CCBF is also working with the London Book Fair to launch a new professional forum on digital and trans-media publishing, with keynote speakers including Kate Wilson, m.d. of Nosy Crow, and Richard Haines, acquisitions and new business manager at Penguin Random House Children's Books.
Exhibition manager Randy Wang said international publishers would find commercial success in rights trading and publishing deals in the “fast-growing” Chinese market.
“Children’s book sales in China have enjoyed double digit growth in the last two years, with a phenomenal 11% year on year increase and representing 50% of the 100 best-selling titles in the first six months of 2014 alone,” he said.
According to Wang, the China’s huge demand for children’s books means that more than 90% of content is currently imported from overseas.
Another new initiative this year is a new titles promotion. Publishers can submit three new titles to be published in a catalogue that will be distributed at the fair, and promoted at a children’s rights “matchmaking” forum. Andersen Press is promoting Are You the Pirate Captain?, a pirate adventure for the 2-5 age group by Gareth P Jones and Garry Parsons, while Bloomsbury’s choice is a lift-the-flap board book entitled Lulu Loves Noise by Camilla Reid and Ailie Busby.
For older readers, Michael O’Mara Books is promoting Joanna Webster’s Sticker By Numbers for the 7-9 demographic, and Capstone’s title is the young teen novel Baking Life of Amelie Day by Vanessa Curtis, a story about a girl with cystic fibrosis who is determined to compete in Britain’s Best Teen Baker of the Year competition.
This is the second year of CCBF. Last year's inaugural fair attracted 154 exhibitors from 14 countries and 20,000 visitors, said Wang.
Other international publishers taking part this year include McGraw Hill and Scholastic from the US, Moon Publishing from Italy, Ravensburger from Germany, Xact Studio and Quixot Publishing from India, and Bayard from France.