Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Bologna Children's Book Fair

Entrance. This year's theme is Alice.
I'm in Bologna, Italy at the Bologna Children's Book Fair. Many folks on twitter have asked about the fair, especially as so many agents attend and tweet about it! -- so I thought I'd do a little post about what the heck goes on here.

First of all, there is the show floor - if you've ever been to a trade show like ALA or BEA you'll be familiar with the sight of row after row of booths filled with books from every publisher in the US. The difference with Bologna is, there are not only booths for every publisher in America... there are booths for every publisher in the entire world. Publishers get a chance to look at the best of the best, so that they might "buy in" books from other countries to add to their own lists. It's truly amazing and inspiring to see what is being published elsewhere.
Costumed characters must've been boiling!

Also, as with any convention center, you get the assorted giant characters wandering around, weird giveaways and photo ops, lousy food, temperatures that range from oven-blasting heat to ice cold in the space of a few yards, etc.

The second piece of the fair is the Art. There are art galleries, art prizes, and perhaps most striking, the Walls of Art. These are white walls surrounding the main hall, that get papered over by hopeful illustrators displaying their wares. By the end of the fair, these walls are so crowded with artwork that it is dripping all over the floor.

Day 1 - the walls are just starting to fill.
Day 2 - More art to come!
Now, the part of the fair that AGENTS think is the most important: Rights selling at the Agent's Centre. You'll recall this blog post from a few years ago explaining subsidiary rights in a nutshell -- well, the rights that agents are mostly here to sell are foreign/translation rights.

One side of the agent's centre
Agents and foreign rights managers each have an assigned table in the Agent's Centre. From about 9am to about 6, agents will sit at one of these 100+ tables taking meetings. Every half hour, a new meeting. Some agents' schedules are so intense that they don't even build time in for breaks... this was a bit of a problem this year, as we didn't have an Agent Restroom! ARGH. #bathroomgate #glamorous.

The goals of most meetings include networking and putting faces to names; learning about the market in a given country; and pitching, pitching, pitching. Agents are meeting mostly with foreign publishers and foreign co-agents, and talking about their own list based on what those people say they are looking for.

Not gonna lie - it's truly exhausting. Which is why tonight I stayed in my rental apartment rather than going off to party-hop or have a dinner out. Because tomorrow... it all begins again!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 2015 New Release: LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes

Are you a fan of twisty mystery and endearingly flawed main characters and lying liars and psychological suspense? LIARS, INC. by Paula Stokes may be your new fave. Get on this!

It all starts with one little lie…

Max Cantrell has never been a big fan of the truth, so when the opportunity arises to sell lies to his classmates, it sounds like a good way to make a little money and liven up a boring senior year. With the help of his friends Preston and Parvati, Max starts a business providing forged permission slips and cover stories for the students of Vista Palisades High. Liars, Inc. they call it. Suddenly everybody needs something and the cash starts pouring in. Who knew lying could be so lucrative?

When Preston wants his own cover story to go visit a girl he met online, Max doesn’t think twice about hooking him up. Until Preston never comes home. Then the evidence starts to pile up—terrifying clues that lead the cops to Preston’s body. Terrifying clues that point to Max as the murderer.

Can Max find the real killer before he goes to prison for a crime he didn’t commit? Paula Stokes starts with one single white lie and weaves a twisted tale that will have readers guessing until the explosive final chapters.

“Even the keenest mystery buffs will be hard-pressed to predict the book's finale, which packs quite the emotional and physical punch. Captivating to the very end.
--Kirkus Reviews, starred review


or Wherever Fine Books are Sold

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 2015 New Releases: HYPNOTIZE A TIGER

Today is the book-birthday of HYPNOTIZE A TIGER: Poems About Just About Everything.

This is a book of madcap poetry and art from the brain of NYT bestselling author-illustrator Calef Brown, just perfect for the wordplay-wise Silverstein fans in your life.

HYPNOTIZE A TIGER is Calef's first longer-form book, and the sophisticated and hilarious rhymes and rhythms beg to be read aloud.

Here, try it, and see what I mean:

But don't take MY word for it -- here's what other people have to say:

"Full of absurdity and off-kilter musings, Brown's collection offers a zingy introduction to the silly side of poetry." - Publishers Weekly

"Backyard Byzantines, Hipster Hirsutes, Arcane Arcadians, Rare Rondos ... Calef Brown's poems read like a guest list of Who's Who in Kalamazoo. I loved it. He writes poems we want to turn into desserts." --Jack Gantos, Newbery Award-winning author

"The best books can take you to places you never knew existed. "Hypnotize a Tiger" will blast you there on a Skyscraper Rocket with imaginary companions, herds of wordplay, and a giant smile. Calef Brown is the surreal deal." --Kenn Nesbit, U.S. Children's Poet Laureate


"There were certain books that fascinated and excited me as a child. I read them over and over, and they changed my perceptions forever. This is a book like that. It makes a delightful playground of language and concept. Calef Brown is a hero. He is a bulwark against mediocrity. He is my hero too." --Daniel Pinkwater, author, artist, and radio commentator

"With witty poems combined with his amazing paintings, Calef Brown has made his distinct mark in the history of American culture as a true literary treasure." --Dan Santat, Caldecott award-winning author and illustrator


"In your hands you hold a very special book. Get ready to meet a spectacular and hilarious cast of delightfully goofy and whimsical characters that live in each of these delicious poems. Calef Brown has made me feel like a mustached baby tasting sugar for the first time!" --Jorge R. Gutierrez, director of "The Book of Life" and creator (with wife Sandra Equihua) of "El Tigre, The Adventures of Manny Rivera"


To get your very own copy of HYPNOTIZE A TIGER, visit your local independent bookstore, Powells, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or wherever fine books are sold.

Monday, March 09, 2015

March New Releases: Fantasy, SF and Horror YA

I have lots of client books coming out in March. It's thrilling - but it also makes it somewhat difficult to blog about all of them without this blog becoming a wall-to-wall advertisement. So instead of doing a post every time one is released, I'm going to post about them in categories. Here I highlight Fantasy, Speculative Fiction and Horror novels for Young Adults, March 2015 edition:

THE STORYSPINNER by Becky Wallace 
Simon/McElderry Books, March 3


In a world where dukes plot their way to the throne, a Performer's life can get tricky. And in Johanna Von Arlo's case, it can be fatal. Expelled from her troupe after her father's death, Johanna is forced to work for the handsome Lord Rafael DeSilva. Too bad they don't get along. But while Johanna's father's death was deemed an accident, the Keepers aren't so sure.

The Keepers, a race of people with magical abilities, are on a quest to find the princess--the same princess who is supposed to be dead and whose throne the dukes are fighting over. But they aren't the only ones looking for her. And in the wake of their search, murdered girls keep turning up--girls who look exactly like the princess, and exactly like Johanna.

With dukes, Keepers, and a killer all after the princess, Johanna finds herself caught up in political machinations for the throne, threats on her life, and an unexpected romance that could change everything.

Buy the book: Indiebound, Powells, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Amazon or wherever fine books are sold.

THE CRIMSON GATE by Whitney Miller
Flux Books, March 8

Harlow must stop her evil counterpart in this thrillingly creeptastic sequel to The Violet Hour.

Harlow Wintergreen has just been named the new Matriarch of VisionCrest, the powerful religious organization previously led by her father. But there's one big problem. The real Harlow is trapped inside a Cambodian temple, and her double, the evil Isiris, has escaped confinement and is masquerading as her.

Now initiated as their leader, Isiris intends to unleash a killer super virus aimed at cleansing the planet of VisionCrest. In order to stop her, Harlow must find a way out of the temple and locate the Resistance...or the world will be destroyed.

Buy the book: Indiebound, Powells, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Amazon or wherever fine books are sold.


THE DICKENS MIRROR: Book Two of the Dark Passages by Ilsa J Bick
EgmontUSA, March 10

This mind-bending sequel to WHITE SPACE takes us to an alternative Victorian London.

Emma Lindsay finds herself with nowhere to go, no place to call home. Her friends are dead. Eric, the perfect boy she wrote into being, and his brother, Casey, are lost to the Dark Passages. With no way of knowing where she belongs, she commands the cynosure, a beacon and lens that allows for safe passage between the Many Worlds, to put her where she might find her friends--find Eric--again. What she never anticipated was waking up in the body of Little Lizzie, all grown up--or that, in this alternative London, Elizabeth McDermott is mad.

In this London, Tony and Rima are "rats," teens who gather the dead to be used for fuel. Their friend, Bode, is an attendant at Bedlam, where Elizabeth has been committed after being rescued by Arthur Conan Doyle, a drug-addicted constable.

But Elizabeth is dying, and if Emma can't find a way out, everyone as they exist in this London, as well as the twelve-year-old version of herself and the shadows--what remains of Eric, Casey, and Rima that she pulled with her from the Dark Passages--will die with her.

Buy the book: Indiebound, Book Depository, Barnes and Noble, Amazon or wherever fine books are sold