Fremantle Press titles joined the world stage at the Bologna Children’s Book Fair this March with four titles on exhibition and a book in the internationally prestigious White Ravens list.
Children’s Publisher Cate Sutherland said the atmosphere at Bologna was upbeat, with non-stop chatter about the digital wave:
Our young adult fiction lead the charge, with particular buzz this year around Kate McCaffrey’s Beautiful Monster on the back of its inclusion in the coveted White Ravens list, a selection of International Children’s and Youth Literature made by the Internationale Jugendbibliothek.
One of only five Australian novels selected, it was described as ‘frighteningly authentic’ and ‘[an] intense novel [that] will stay in readers’ minds long after they’ve finished it.’
The inclusion of a title on the White Ravens list is a rare honour, and a wonderful endorsement of a book and its ability to travel widely in different markets.
The inclusion of several books in the Australian Publishers Association Illustration Exhibition also created terrific extra interest in those titles. Caterpillar and Butterfly by Ambelin Kwaymullina, and Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina’s brand new My Country attracted a lot of attention, while the Jake series by Ken Spillman and Chris Nixon looked great in the illustrated novels section.”
Sutherland, who met with 35 publishers and agents from around the world, said the relationships built with international publishers continued to grow each year.
“The interest in our titles was positive and far-reaching with enthusiastic responses from French, German and Italian publishers.”
“Even the American editorial teams were back in force and keen to talk after a few years absence,” she said.
Putting their money where their mouths were, Italian publisher Il Castro purchased the rights to Hetty: A True Story by Hetty Verolme. Closer to home, the Fremantle Press Indigenous children’s list is performing strongly. Bolinda purchased the rights to a new audio edition of My Place by Sally Morgan and Vision Australia purchased the audio rights to Barlay! by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker and The Magic Fair (also by Sally Morgan). The Association for the Blind purchased the audio rights to Greater Expectations: Living with Down Syndrome in the 21st Century by Jan Gothard.