Thursday, April 19, 2012

Bologna Children's Book Fair Day # 3

21 March 2012

This was it, the big day three of my really big meetings. I had a meeting in the morning with an American publisher, a meeting in the afternoon with a New Zealand Publisher and a meeting later in the afternoon with a British publisher. Needless to say I was a bundle of nerves. This was to be the last day of the fair for us we were off at noon the next day for the last leg of the trip...a few days of R & R in London.

Ready for my meetings- well more or less.
So of course I had to dress a bit more appropriately than my normal dress code of shabby sheik.

We were up early once again and I was looking forward to the day albeit a bit nervous. It was one thing to score the meetings at such short notice but it would be another thing if I was offered anything. Actually it would be a bonus - as Kenneth said, trying to help me keep things in perspective.

First meeting went rather well, and the reps of the American publishers were really nice and asked me to send up some of my files for them to consider in the US. They did not, however, find the illustrations of Soup on My Fly very attractive, a sentiment that was echoed throughout the fair by most of those who saw the book. They felt that it did not do the story justice. So I guess I will have to look for another illustrator to redo the illustrations.

Next up was a meeting with an New Zealand publisher, I guess New Zealand pretty much faces the same problem as we do in Singapore due to the fact that it is a pretty small market.

My final meeting was with a  British App developer/publisher. When I got there the editor I was meeting with told me to come back in an hour or two. I agreed to come back in an hour. Well, when you're trying to break into the international market, you've got to do what you've got to do right? Anyway, after an hour or so she returned and pushed my books aside, saying firstly the company did not buy any rights...This kind of puzzled me as we were at a rights fair. And then she said my illustrations were all wrong, not suitable at all. To which I told her I was the writer. "Oh then I suppose I'll have to read the books," she said. 

She opened the book and began reading it while I explained the concept. She closed the book and said: "I can understand why children like it, but I don't like it enough to offer you a contract." with that she thanked me abruptly and told me I had to change my illustrator and she asked me to email her any story ideas that I may have in the future, which I take her as saying thanks but no thanks.

So with that my time at the Bologna Book Fair had come to a close and I packed my things and headed back to the hotel with Kenneth and after a quick change we decided to take a more thorough tour of the city before heading for dinner with Corrine Robson and Marjorie Coughlan.

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