Friday 13 May 2005

Bologna's Bad Tidings for Picture Books in the Midst of a Children's Book Boom

In this ever more global market British writers do spectacularly well, as children’s books from the UK are reckoned by many international observers to be the most innovative and the best, according to a report on the Bologna Children's Book Fair by One scout from New York acknowledged that "Most of the big books at the fair were from the UK". Unfortunately picture books struggled to sell and publishers admit that they are cutting back ...
Picture books are proving hard to sell and most publishers have cut back their lists sharply to accommodate only the very best titles. HarperCollins UK’s right director said: ‘We still care deeply about them, but have cut back by almost 50%. That said, I have sold everything we’re doing… because it’s stronger.’
Read the whole report Children's Books Go Global at Bologna.

Picture books may be in the doldrums but that doesn't mean the rest of the chidlren's publishing market is suffering. Here's what a report form says:
Children’s books are booming. For many years the children’s publishing business has seemed like a poor relation of its adult counterpart, with lower advances, less marketing spend and scant attention from the press. Now all that has changed and the children of today are reaping the benefit of a flowering of children’s writing of all kinds, such as we have never seen before.
Read the whole report The Boom in Children's Books.

And here is how children's writers like J K Rowling (Harry Potter), Jacqueline Wilson (The Story of Tracy Beaker), Michelle Paver (Wolf Brother), and Emma Maree Urquhart (Dragon Tamers) have consistently stayed in the headlines with news about big advances and millions of copies sold. The report is called Children's writers hit the headlines - fellow unpublished writers can read it and hope (or weep, whichever the case may be).


  1. With picturebooks generally in the doldrums, I wonder how this has affected multicultural picturebooks and the authors and illustrators who create for them?

  2. re multicultural picture books - I guess picture books, because they are expensive to produce, are often the easy victims of a turn down. Not the least those of the multicultural kind (though the definition of multicultural varies across continents - see my blog The Challenge for Multicultural Writing ( Multicultural publishers swing from stories and fables from faraway lands to diversity in our back yard.


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