So everyone who makes books is wondering... what will happen?? How are our books doing? Will the rights people talk up our books as extra-special, and will potential publishers notice our books when they walk past our publisher's stall? So nerve-wracking for everyone, but exciting, too!
So I was thrilled to see this banner in the OUP Children's stall, tweeted by our publisher, Liz Cross. Yay, PUGS!
And rights agent Karoline Bakken sent me a peek of the catalogue that visiting publishers will be looking at. Here's the Pugs page:
24 languages... that is AMAZING. Sometimes in the past, my books have sold in three or four languages, but this is incredible. Working with Philip Reeve and the OUP team was definitely a good idea. Liz just tweeted a picture of the rights team, here they are! A huge part of the success is down to their enthusiasm, and these people have done a great job so far. And huge thanks to our translators! A Belgian friend was recently reading the French edition of Oliver et les Isles Vagabondes, and she said that translator Raphaële Eschenbrenner's text was pure magic.
I actually have TWO books at Bologna this year! I'm still working like mad on Pugs of the Frozen North, but I've seen printed copies of Dinosaur Police, which comes out with Scholastic UK in May. That baby is ready to walk! Big thanks to my Scholastic editor Pauliina Malinen and designer Rebecca Essilifie.
I hope Dinosaur Police sells lots of foreign editions, too, fingers crossed. I mostly just make picture that please me, but there are a few things I did to make it so foreign publishers wouldn't be put off. Take this spread, for example:
If we zoom in on the police car, you'll notice it's not absolutely clear who is driving. Now, it shouldn't really matter, since this is Dinoville, not Hong Kong or Norway or Egypt, but if publishers in a certain country are fussy about kids learning the 'correct' side a driver should sit on, this won't actually be incorrect. (I actually find that rather amusing, this slightly mysterious car.)
Check out the writing on this cinema poster. If I'd made the writing all black, it could have been lifted and replaced with another language. (It's too expensive for foreign publishers to change all the colour layers, so the black text is on a separate layer they can lift off in one swoop.) But I didn't want the writing to be all black, and it's so tiny that I didn't think people could read it anyway, so I was able to make it red, and make it non-English. (Who says dinosaurs write in English, anyway?)
Now, you might say, 'Hey, the lettering of that PIZZA sign on the left is in white, not black. But ah ha, there is a tricky way around this! Notice how it's all surrounded by black. That whole black bit can come off, leaving a blank space for the foreign publisher to fill in different lettering. And the pizza poster on the right is obviously in dino-language; publishers can leave it as it is.
I'm not going to Bologna this year - I'm too busy finishing Pugs of the Frozen North! - but OUP did bring Philip and me out two years ago, to promote Oliver and the Seawigs. You can read all about that trip and find out more about the Bologna Book Fair in this earlier blog post. Bologna is notorious for not having a unified Twitter hash tag, but you can spot English-language news on #BolognaBookFair and #bcbf15.
And Philip has an exciting new book going there, too! I've actually read it - or even better, had it read to me, when I had a bad case of the 'flu for two weeks! Philip gave me daily installments over Skype, editing his text as we went. And this story is AMAZING. Here's the new cover, designed by Holly Fulbrook, Jo Cameron and the OUP design team!
Find out a bit more about the book here on Philip's blog. Today you can take part in the Railhead Twitter promo:
Ha ha, here's my 'RAILHEAD Ambassador Hat', some assembly required.
Of course, a big shout-out to our fab agents. Jodie Hodges reps me at United Agents, and Jane Willis is covering for her while she's on maternity leave; Philippa Milnes-Smith reps Philip. (Fortunately they're all good friends.)
Check out more at #PicturesMeanBusiness
And Philip's written a very interesting article about judging the YA Book Prize. First prize went to Louise O'Neill with Only Ever Yours, but Philip reviews four of his favourites from the shortlist. Do pop over to his blog, it makes for a good read.