The view from Frankfurt, guest post by Scholastic’s Foreign Rights Team

Emma Brockway  //  Oct 24, 2013

The view from Frankfurt, guest post by Scholastic’s Foreign Rights Team

Today OOM welcomes Noël Baca Castex, Janelle DeLuise, Caite Panzer, Hillary Doyle, and Veronica Grijalva (pictured from left to right, photo credit: Christina Goefron) from Scholastic’s Foreign Rights Team to discuss their experiences at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany. Take it away, Foreign Rights Team!

One of the best parts of working in Foreign Rights is getting to meet with publishers from around the world and tell them about our books. At the recent Frankfurt Book Fair in Frankfurt, Germany, our team met with over 150 publishers, agents, and scouts hailing from Thailand to Turkey, and everywhere in between!

Building buzz

Even before the Fair begins, scouts like to send out “hotlists,” to alert publishers to the most interesting upcoming titles. We were delighted to see several Scholastic books selected for these lists, including Victoria Scott’s thrilling YA title, FIRE & FLOOD (March 2014) and Andy Marino’s unforgettable debut, THE DOOR (May 2014).

The SPIRIT ANIMALS phenomenon has taken the US by storm and is going global! We have 9 foreign rights deals already signed to date. At Frankfurt there was a lot of interest in the New York Times bestselling series, which launched in September.

Spotting trends

What are international publishers looking for these days? 

Just as in the US, foreign publishers are drawn to fun, fast-paced Middle Grade stories like Matthew J. Kirby’s forthcoming magical action-adventure series, THE QUANTUM LEAGUE #1: SPELL ROBBER (February 2014); and LOOT: HOW TO STEAL A FORTUNE by 39 CLUES fan-favorite, Jude Watson (July 2014). They were also excited to see that Dav Pilkey’s RICKY RICOTTA series will return in May 2014, with a fresh, new look and amazing, kid-friendly, full-color artwork by Dan Santat.

On the picture book front, our list was particularly strong this year, with great lead titles from bestselling authors and illustrators, and a wide range of art styles to suit more commercial to artistic tastes. Publishers loved the concept of Jim Benton’s THE END (ALMOST), to be published in March 2014, and the striking art of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichenheld’s recently published EXCLAMATION MARK (March 2013), combined with its universal story of self-acceptance, won rave reviews.

Next stop: Bologna!

Although we are now more connected with our colleagues and customers in international markets than ever before, nothing beats the experience of being on the ground and meeting face-to-face. For our team, the Frankfurt Book Fair and the children’s book-focused Bologna Book Fair in the spring are the must-attend events that bookend our year. These Fairs help us take the pulse of the global book market and better understand the changing trends and tastes that shape our industry, so that we can help bring our books to readers the world over.