By Kristie Leung
One of the events leading up to each year’s Beijing International Book Fair is the Beijing International Publishing Forum. The theme for this year was Global Publishing Cooperation and China’s Market Opportunities. What made this year more special for us is that our president, John, was invited to speak at one of the three branch forums focusing on children’s books.
The morning started out as a few government officials delivered their speeches. The grand ballroom at the Beijing Radisson was filled with press and many others attending the book fair. Topics covered included everything from the direction Chinese publishing is heading to the hottest topics in digital content.
After lunch we broke into three different branch forums with special topics of interest: Trade, Children, and Science & Education. John was the first to speak, and together with guest speakers from China, Italy, UK, and Taiwan, he presented an overview of how the world of children’s book publishing and discussed how cooperation with the Chinese market comes in to play. The best part for us was that we had so many people coming up to our booth to check out our titles and, of course, compliment John on his speech.
By Kristie in International & Digital
Although this was our second year participating at the Beijing International Book Fair, I still could not help being overwhelmed by the amount of traffic our booth generated. There were plenty of times when I turned around after talking with fellow fairgoers to find our display shelves were nearly empty because all the books were in the hands of folks browsing our books. A few of their favorites were the Boxcar Children© Mysteries, Robert E. Wells series, and The Way I Feel series.
When I was able to steal a few minutes on day three from all the scheduled meetings with local publishers, distributors, and agents, I strolled around the exhibition halls a little. The most interesting part of this book fair is that exhibitions are mainly separated into two main sections – the international exhibitors and the domestic Chinese exhibitors. The set up of the international hall (where we were located) was divided by each country with their own pavilions. Upon entering the Chinese hall, visitors were greeted by three floors of local publishing houses, grouped by their provinces, along with special pavilions of India (the Guest of Honor country this year) and Digital. Many provinces had beautiful pavilions with a touch of their local flavors. I will let the photos speak for themselves here.