Melbourne-based children’s publisher Berbay Books has announced it will double its publishing list from eight to 16 titles in 2020. After a few years of ‘significant’ sales growth of its illustrated titles, Berbay’s list will expand to include junior fiction, children’s nonfiction and a graphic novel, alongside its picture books and middle grade titles. ‘I feel there is a real gap in the market for well written chapter and junior fiction, and this seems a natural extension of what we already do quite well,’ said managing director Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke.
Yatomi-Clarke said Berbay was seeing strong growth in international markets. ‘In the first eight years of Berbay’s existence we didn’t have any foreign sales except selling to direct foreign customers,’ she said. ‘However, in recent times Berbay has achieved increasing international recognition that has generated incredible momentum, resulting in 19 foreign licence deals with large and prestigious international publishers in the last two years alone, with many pending negotiations currently ongoing.’
Another small press kicking goals overseas is Scribe’s children’s imprint Scribble. Since winning the Bologna Prize for children’s publishing, Scribble’s publisher Miriam Rosenbloom has been awarded a Shanghai Visiting International Publishers fellowship to attend a specialist program alongside the Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair in November this year. Scribble has previously sold simplified Chinese-language rights for a number of its picture books, including All the Ways to be Smart and The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade (both Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys) and Daniel Gray-Barnett’s Grandma Z.