Bologna Book Fair recap

  • SVS OG

    Simona, you expressed my sentiments pretty much exactly, though from a more experienced POV. You are especially right that the fair takes a thick skin and a bit of assertiveness, and there are too many publishers to do all your research on the spot so you'd need a game plan. And I didn't realize that there were actually 10,000 attendees daily, but that makes sense in terms of the sheer numbers of people I saw.

    I'm glad you had some success with showing your portfolio. It looks great! And I enjoyed meeting you as well. I knew a few other people there, but not many.

    And finally, here is my recap from my blog: The Bologna Book Fair--an illustrator's glimpse I post this link with some hesitation, because my blog is going through a bit of a personality crisis right now, from American-expat-in-Italy blog to illustrator's blog, and back and forth with other stuff thrown in. So just don't expect to find a neat and typical artist's website. That's still to come!

  • @lauraa That's a great recap! Thanks for giving an overview of the talks - I skirted them completely and spent all the time in the exhibition halls. On Friday morning I went to two talks but they were very disappointing. I think SCBWI is a better bet in terms of seminars and workshops.
    It's true that getting portfolio reviews can require some level of aggression - or at least assertiveness. I gave up on the race for the slots with famous names...sorry, I'm too old for that šŸ˜‰ On the other hand, I got a spontaneous, 1 on 1 appointment all by myself by just walking up to the Bonnier booth and introducing myself. That was quite cool...
    I read that it's possible to book appointments in advance in Frankfurt...that's why I'm thinking of going there, it's only a short flight.

    Most booths were already dismantling by Friday noon, and the cool thing is that almost all sell their samples at a fraction of the market price - so I ended up with a huge load of books by Friday midday, which I had to cart back to the hotel. I think that is fairly typical for book fairs (people don't want to ship the stuff back) and it's alone a reason enough to attend.

  • @smceccarelli @LauraA thank you for recounting your stories of your time at the book fair. I have never been to one before, but you provided some great advice and I really enjoyed Laura's blog (I think the rushing through the doors or queue jumping would be too stressful for
    me though...)

  • SVS OG

    @lauraa Thanks for that fascinating blog post about the Bologna Book Fair. I have become increasingly convinced by this forum that 1) I am really glad I am not trying to make a living at illustrating because it takes so much work, mental stamina, and self-confidence to succeed at it and 2) I'm really glad all of you are pursuing it because it is fascinating to be a fly on the wall to your experiences. Thanks!

  • @smceccarelli Wow thank you so much! I've been thinking about visiting Bologna book fair next year, and this recap just made me feel so excited! Can't wait! Thanks!

  • SVS OG

    @lauraa Thanks so much for sharing your impressions in your blog. It's really helpful to know that I'd have to really psyche myself up for such an intense event. I'm already strategizing how I might don a survival suit of armor loaded with a battery charger for my phone, a thermos of hot coffee, a boxed lunch, snacks to maintain blood sugar levels, headphones to take a music break, and a translator.

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli Thanks so much for this detailed and enlightening recap of your experience. You've confirmed what I imagined it might be like and a tough skin is something I definitely need to work on. Just sharing on this forum has helped but everyone has been so nice:)

    When you mention getting to exchange cards, do you mean just business cards or would a publisher accept a small postcard?

  • @johanna-kim I mean postcards. The ADs give you their business cards, of course, but I only distributed postcards.

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli Great, thanks for the clarification. That makes much more sense.

  • Pro SVS OG

    Thank you for sharing!

  • SVS OG

    Thank you! I LOVE your work, as you know. I hope you get some results from your encounters šŸ™‚ I have a question: What's a tear sheet? Thanks.

  • @marsha-kay-ottum-owen Thank you Marsha! A tear sheet is a A4 or letter-sized sheet with samples of your art (one to eight, IĀ“ve seen all) and your contact info. ItĀ“s like a mini-portfolio that you can give away. If you google ā€œIllustrator tear sheetā€ you can see several examples.

  • I`ve just discovered another little nudget. On my way out of the fair I picked up a complimentary copy of the fair catalogue from last year that they were giving away at the illustratorĀ“s corner. I opened it today for the first time and it contains names and e-mail addresses of all publisher representatives who were in attendance!!! Some only had sales people, but the majority had at least one editor or art director. So, if you are interested in a particular publisher, let me know and I may be able to share the name and e-mail address of one of their editors or art buyers as of March 2017.

  • SVS OG

    @smceccarelli Oh, okay! Thanks Simona. I'll go look at some.

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