Fifth Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair reflects continuing growth in children’s market

Sep 27, 2017

Fifth Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair
reflects continuing growth in children’s market

  • Asia’s only fair devoted exclusively to children’s publishing opens on 17th November
  • Fair’s fifth year demonstrates continuing huge demand for quality children’s books
  • Chen Bochui Award, Golden Pinwheel Illustrators Award and conference programme will be major features of the Fair

The dynamism of the fast-growing children’s book market in China will be very evident at the fifth Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair, (November 17th to 19th 2017,) with over 350 exhibitors attending from 35 countries or regions.

Over 60,000 new titles from all over the world will be on display in 25,000 sq metres of exhibition space, over a third of which is devoted to overseas publishers. This year’s fair will include many first-time exhibitors such as Sweden’s Bonnier, Tohan from Japan, and Penguin Random House. In addition, a new Canadian Publishing Pavilion with 10 publishing companies including Livres Canada Books will exhibit, plus two Korean Publishing Pavilions from KPA (Korea Publishers Association) and KPIPA (Korea Publication Industry Promotion Agency) with exhibitors such as Miraen and Shinwon Agency.

Pre-school plays major part

The development of the Fair over the past five years has mirrored the social and cultural changes in China that have led to growing consumer demand, particularly for pre-school titles and picture books. Visitors will, this year, see many more titles designed to introduce reading to young children with interactive and novelty titles much in evidence.

The Fair is promoting illustrated children’s books through the Golden Pinwheel Young Illustrators Competition, which returns for its third year. The competition is designed to showcase new talent from around the world, and this year a record 3,655 entries have been received from artists in 37 countries. The winning entries will once again be announced during the Fair and displayed at a special exhibition.

Fair Project Manager Nicole Ci explained the importance of the competition: “Last year’s winner Luying Ye has already been commissioned by Chinese publishers to illustrate three new children’s books so we know that there is huge demand for young, contemporary design talent from publishers. We are certain that this year’s winners will be equally as commercially successful”.

The Fair will also coincide with the award of the International Picture Book prize, one of the Chen Bochui Children’s Literature Awards, on November 16th. This prestigious award, one of the longest-running literary prizes in China, has been won in the past by Emmanuelle Walker and Jean Roussen for Beautiful Birds and Alexandra Garibal and Fred Benaglia for Chien Des Villes (both 2016).

Family-centred initiatives at the Fair

The Shanghai Fair, (also known as CCBF), has become a popular destination for consumers as it is also open to the public. Author visits, readings, picture book signings, music and dance will all attract visitors keen to enjoy a family day out focussing on books. New initiatives this year include a family travel zone, and a showcase of titles to celebrate CCBF’s fifth birthday.

An Authors’ Festival will bring overseas authors and illustrators to tour bookshops and other venues in Shanghai to meet young fans as well as attending events at the Fair itself.

Nicole Ci said:

“The market in China is booming. There are an estimated 370m children under the age of 18, and the two-child policy is estimated to add at least three million babies annually to the population for the next five years. This growth, coupled with the rise of the middle classes and new educational reforms promoting reading for pleasure, means there is a huge appetite amongst consumers for high quality content. The range of exhibitors at CCBF shows that publishers are exploring new ideas, genres and content in China and we are therefore very excited by what will be on offer.”

Social media takes centre stage in professional programme

The social media phenomenon in China will be examined in detail at one of the seminars being hosted in CCBF’s professional programme. Speakers from the industry will examine how apps such as Weibo and Wechat are changing purchasing patterns, as well as how publishers are using social media to promote their titles in novel and highly effective ways.

The full programme, which includes workshops and seminars, runs in conjunction with the Fair. Other topics being covered include how original Chinese titles for children fare overseas, an important theme, as more Chinese publishers than ever are keen to sell their content in international markets - and overseas publishers are looking for fresh content from China.

“Shanghai has always been one step ahead in setting the trends due to its international outlook and stature as China’s commercial hub. This means that publishers attending the Fair will be well-placed to learn about and capitalise on the latest developments in children’s publishing market in China,” concluded Nicole Ci.

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CCBF takes place from November 17th – 19th at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition Centre. It is dedicated to the publishing, printing and distribution of content for 0 to 16 year-olds, including books, magazines, audio-visual material, educational and recreational products – (comics, cartoons, animations, music, film and games). CCBF 2017 is fully supported by Shanghai Press & Administration, and approved by China State General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

For further information and interviews with senior representatives of the publishing industry, please contact: Penny Clifton/Alicia Liu, Singing Grass Communications, London
Penny Clifton 0044 7584 678869;
Alicia Liu 0044 7900698358;

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