With the Bologna Children’s Book Fair cancelled in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the focus for publishers will inevitably shift to online rights-selling and networking opportunities. After all, there are still plenty of new books being published that are looking for homes in overseas territories. When the Bologna fair organisers announced their news, they said their team was now ‘working to recreate online the atmosphere and the business and networking opportunities’. It will be interesting to see how fair organisers and publishers find new ways to connect digitally in these self-isolating times.
This issue of Think Australian was originally planned as a preview of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. In the wake of its cancellation the current issue will nonetheless focus on the latest Australian children’s and YA rights sales, acquisitions, award-winners and bestsellers, including a round-up of the standout children’s and YA titles that Australian publishers were intending to promote at the fair—and will now be pitching from Australia. (The newsletter also includes the latest adult fiction and nonfiction rights news too.)
Children’s nonfiction—in particular, books with an environmental focus—remains popular, but there is also a strong and varied offering across picture books, middle-grade and YA fiction, including a ‘charming graphic novel primer for reluctant readers about an aspiring superhero whose superpower is her kindness’ (Bunnygirl, Berbay) and a ‘smart, swoony LGBTQ YA novel about a teenage band on the way to the top’ (Stars Like Us, Hardie Grant Egmont). You can read about these titles and more in our children’s books preview—as well as this year’s Hello! from Australia catalogue.
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