Thursday, 8 June 2017

PP NYC Megatrip: Week Three, All the Highlights from BEA 2017!

With 3 days of client office meetings and two days of client meetings at Book Expo, week three shot by like lightning and has certainly been the most exciting of the trip! 

BEA is always an exciting and lucrative trip for Plum Pudding, and this year the Javits Centre was buzzing as always, with tons of authors, illustrators, agents, exhibitors and book lovers alike coming in their droves. I had a spectacular time as always - shooting from meeting to meeting, catching up with all the wonderful editors and art directors we work with, looking out for the latest trends and spotting so many illustrated titles from Plum Pudding artists on publishers’ stands!

Armed with our gorgeous plum-coloured portfolios of artwork, and spectacular book proposals to pitch, it was a pleasure as always to show off all of the best work from our talented illustrators and author/illustrators. As usual, publishers great and small, trade and commercial were hugely impressed, receiving them all with delight and enthusiasm, and I’m utterly delighted to say that we made some cracking book deals at the fair! I’m so excited to be able to wish our super talented author/illustrators Jo Rooks and Erica Jane Waters a HUGE congratulations! 

I’m delighted to say that Albert Whitman will be working with Erica Jane Waters on her fantastic girls’ middle-grade fiction series, Miss Bunsen’s School for Brilliant Girls, starting with a fantastic initial 3 book deal! Well done Erica! Here’s a sneaky peak of a few of the characters!

It’s also a great pleasure to be able to announce that Jo Rooks, one of our most recent signings, will be working with Magination Press on two picture books that she has author/illustrated in a two book deal! Check out this sneak peak of some early cover concepts.

I’m still waiting for feedback on several of the wonderful picture book and middle grade concepts that were so widely requested, but it’s clear to me more than ever that there is a huge value to our talented illustrators and author/illustrators working with our fantastic Plum Pudding agents on concept pitches for us to share with clients - so do keep sending us your ideas guys!

And it wasn’t just the incredible author/illustrated pitches that were so well received - so many of our artists’ work was greatly admired, with a huge array of requests from publishers to see more! Check out some of the art that editors and art directors were most impressed with at the fair.

Paula Bowles Click here for more!

Rebecca Gerlings Click for more!

Ashley King Click for more!

Brendan Kearney Click for more!

Marisa Morea Click for more!

Shahar Kober Click for more!

As always, I had the joy of spotting Plum Pudding art everywhere! Check out some of the wonderful artwork beaming from from their stands!

Sleeping Bear Press:
Hu Wan & the Sleeping Dragon - illus. by Jordi Solano
Grandma Loves You & When the Wind Blew - illus. by Petra Brown

Quarto Kids:
The Know-Nonsense Guide to Grammar/Money/Measurements - illus. by Brendan Kearney

As well as meeting with top industry professionals, BEA, Bologna, London and Frankfurt are always a fantastic opportunity to look out for current industry trends. At the fairs of 2017 so far, I have been keenly aware of a rise in concepts about diversity and acceptance, and I’m delighted that the desire for strong female characters is still strong! It’s a pleasure too, to see that more interactive novelty books are being made again, which only adds to the feeling that children’s books are, again, on the rise! Another trend that I’m still personally enjoying is the rise of more trade non-fiction and character lead non-fiction, and it's also clear that, in picture books, the desire for strong characters with series potential and more graphic art styles is more obvious than ever.

So once again BEA was lucrative, enjoyable and inspiring in equal measures. It’s clear that top industry professionals view Plum Pudding as a creative hub for incredible artwork and inspiring book proposals! It’s such a joy for all of us at Plum Pudding to see our influence in the children’s book industry grow as we continue to develop both current relationships with top editors and art directors and to forge new relationships too! Until Frankfurt!

Han x

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