Now that both Bologna and London Book Fairs are over for another year it’s time to take stock. For a small publishing company like Wacky Bee the ‘should we/shouldn’t we have a presence at book fairs’ question is always a difficult one to answer. However after two exhausting, expensive weeks we are looking back with some satisfaction.
Bologna Children’s Book Fair saw us on the Publishers Association stand and those four days were all about interacting with other small publishers like ourselves, looking at books to buy from foreign publishers and foreign publishers looking to buy books from us – hopefully! It helps that Bologna is a beautiful city and life after the fair each day was as much fun as the fair itself!
We arrived back from Bologna on the Saturday and then it was straight off to Olympia to set up for London Book Fair. This was our sixth year exhibiting at London having first done four years exhibiting as The Writers’ Advice Centre and then two as Wacky Bee Books…albeit that last year we only had one title! The Writers’ Advice Centre still had a small presence on one side of our stand but it was mainly about Wacky Bee. This fair was less about selling and more about simply making our presence felt and exploring platforms to help get the Wacky Bee name out there.
Next year London Book Fair takes place three weeks before Bologna and hopefully we’ll be back at both with even more titles. We now have a much clearer idea as to where we are going with Wacky Bee and have decided to restrict our list to three main areas – Picture Books for 4+, Little Bee books for 5 – 7’s and Big Bee books for 7 – 9’s. We also have a much clearer idea as to what we are looking for in terms of subject matter and, in the coming weeks, this will be reflected on our website.