Today was the first day of BIBF (Beijing International Book Fair). I attended five meetings with various publishers and rights reps, exploring a wide range of picture book themes and styles. There is so much potential and such willingness to learn and eager to improve: and a few names to be seriously look out for. The authors and artists of note will be posted this Sunday for the special China edition of the FCL Sunday Select. I am to meet with more people in the next two days, but perhaps a little more free time to wander around on my own as well.
Dinner was a most wonderful affair at an elegant restaurant specializing in Beijing traditional food, done with delicacy and close attention to details. We talked a lot about the future of Chinese Children’s books: its need for YA books, for creative and literary nonfiction, for better training of editorial staff, for curtailing the practice of giving the illustration jobs to “illustration companies” where the pictures are done in bulk and without personal touches, individual connections or editorial input.
A very productive and delicious day!