In the book fair, each country can promote their picture books. Also, publishers can sell book rights to their counterparts from other countries. Thus, it is very important to provide a comfy reading environment.
The Taiwan booth seemed to look the same as last year.
What were these young people doing?
Some publishers welcomed illustrators to sit down and show their portfolios.
I lacked courage in showing my works to the publishers. Compared with others with big black cases, I was so unprepared, especially when I put my booklets in the Morrisons' plastic bag. Caterina brought from Rome one of my previous works. She said I had to show it to the editors. Seeing others in queue, I mustered all my courage to line up as well. A lot of artists didn't come for the first time. I could tell how cruel the world is upon seeing some people being turned down soon after they sat down.
I talked to the lady on the left. She was rather nice. She said the booklet is a good job, but they do not publish textless books. She wrote down the name of another French publisher and asked me to talk to them.
I had a minor cold that day. Besides, I felt very guilty about not remembering much the booklet. I felt like running away, so I kind of gave up that day.
When I exchanged my experience with Wen Dee and Tatiana in the evening, I found them to be super active. I was terribly disappointed with myself, keeping telling myself that I had to do something the following day.
We bought tape in a supermarket on the evening of the first day, determined to leave some traces in the fair.
I was ashamed to say that the plastic bag was used for putting liquid and gel in the airport.
I still avoided talking to publishers, but Momo and Tereza were so full of stamina. I couldn't help but queuing up again.
The interviewees were more than young students. There were also many veteran illustrators. This is a German publisher. They are not into my kind of gifty booklets. They told me that my works are mainly for my own travel experience. I should think about the age group of my potential readers. However, they do find my love book mentioned above very unique.
I talked to one more publisher, but the style of their books is so different from mine that I was turned down right away.
Later Caterina offered to look for the French publisher recommended by the lady the day before. Though I remembered only part of the name, I didn't even check my journal. Of course I ended up not finding it. When I thumbed through the page on the night before leaving Bologna, I was so full of regret. Especially when I knew that my classmates got positive responses from the publishers, I was quite angry with myself for not seizing the opportunities I wanted so much.
Apart from high-quality Portuguese exhibition, Korean booth was surprisingly beautiful. Like Korean TV drama, Koreans showed great ambitions in the picture book industry. The number of books was overwhelming. The quality was also guaranteed. One section was totally dedicated to the illustrations of traditional folktales. Koreans really put an emphasis on their history.
Synopsis or translation in English was attached to every picture book.
Koreans are very good at marketing.
Another booth I'd like to recommend is the small but beautiful Lithuania. The display of books was very neat, and there were well-printed postcards for free.
The interactive computer provided the reader for the English version of the picture books. The ladies were very friendly. They didn't ignore us just because we were nobody. I had insider news that Koreans were more friendly with the publishers.
I even had a chat with the illustrator Lina Dudaite (on the left of the photo with her hand on the chin). Her books were promoted in the booth. She is super nice. I was kind of frustrated, so I asked her if there was a point when she felt like giving up drawing. She said never. The more she draws, the more she wants to do it. I also asked if it is difficult to have books published. She said it isn't that hard for her. I think it's because she is really talented. I read her bio after going home, and she was born in a family of artists. I hardly envy anyone, but I find her talent enviable...
Von and Kai would love the buses!
The decorations of the Russian booth. I love the wild lines and colors in Russian picture books.
Before leaving, we took a look at an Italian publisher. A lady behind me talked with her publisher colleague in excitement. Caterina translated their conversation for me. It was an illustrator who had a very successful day. Her book rights were sold and even the Japanese loved her book(s). How enviable...
As I thought, the trip to Bologna is the most influential event in this year. I learned so much within a few days. Though I am going back to work soon, I am sure that I'll come again to Bologna Book Fair!