Children’s publishers worry over export sales after LBF no-shows
27.04.10 | Caroline Horn
Children’s publishers fear a significant fall in export sales following the cancellation of meetings at London Book Fair last week. However, the proximity of LBF and the Bologna Children’s Book Fair has protected children’s rights and co-edition sales, many of which were agreed in Bologna prior to the London fair.
Usborne, which has a significant export market, saw between 75% and 90% of its export meetings cancelled at LBF. Gunnar Lie, m.d. of Gunnar Lie & Associates which specialises in export sales for publishers including Egmont, Carlton and Quadrille, said: “We had about 70% no-shows at the fair. In terms of the business we did at the fair, it was probably 20% of what we did last year.”
Lie added: “We travel extensively throughout the year meeting these customers so not all is lost. However, we will have to increase our travel in the coming months to recoup the business we missed so our cost of sales will increase.”
Another publisher, who chose not to be named, said: “I had about five meetings out of 30 planned, it was a disaster. How this will play out in sales going forward I have no idea. It will be a couple of months before it becomes clear how this has impacted on sales.”
Paul Gill, head of exports at Walker Books, said: “We were about 75% down on our meetings but export people travel and we are well connected with our customers. I hope we will get that business back, but it will take longer to do so.”