This was Julia Marshall’s fourth time at the Taipei International Book Exhibition. The Gecko Press publisher had been wondering if it was worthwhile attending as she has over the past years appointed agents for the areas involved. “But I saw a great change… I knew who I was meeting and why I was meeting them, and involved Gecko’s agents too. And I had really good books to sell.
“I discovered it really is important for people buying books and buying rights to see the publisher. An Australian agent told me that publishers always do a much better job of presenting the book.
“That can be a two way street; as I am presenting, I’m learning a lot too… like why some blurbs work and others are less successful. I can go back to the office and say ‘this write up was great’ or ‘this one we need to rethink’. You learn a lot about how a book is going to work.
“I had wondered if a week away was an inefficient use of my time, but I came back reassured it was a week well spent. TIBE is not as appointment bound as Bologna where everything must be arranged before the Fair starts, at Taiwan I get to see other publisher displays.”
Peter Dowling of Oratia Media made his first visit to TIBE this year. He appreciated the size of the fair, and having good qualities of time and access to build relationships with Taiwanese and other publishers. “Through New Zealand representatives up there we also had opportunities to meet really hard hitters in local publishing. The hosting was excellent.
“We had some local right interests, mainly around our children’s and indigenous titles. I’d like to turn that into dollars!” Peter is weighing up his options for next year and says the Guest of Honour involvement would definitely be a plus in 2015.
Publisher David Ling sold two titles to a Taiwan company last year, and was there for the launch of the translated titles, Voices of Gallipoli by Maurice Shadbolt and In Flanders Fields by Monty Ingram at TIBE. David gave an address about the effects of World War 1 on New Zealand at the launch. He is particularly impressed by the quality and presentation of the translated books.
David says the upcoming GoH year has been significant in gaining attention from publishers there, and he has interest in two of Shadbolt’s other titles. In addition, he expects to make rights sales for the five children’s books he has published since last year and for one backlist title.
AUP’s Sam Elworthy was another Taiwan first-timer, and found it “A very good fair. As it was my first time in Asia, Taiwan was a hospitable starting point, as English is widely spoken and the country is about New Zealand’s size so I got to meet their leading publishers. The five or six majors have exciting lists.” Sam was impressed by their ‘beautiful books’ and the fact that a lot of high-end nonfiction is translated for the Taiwan market. Sam pictured right the with the publisher Transoxania and the Chinese edition of Robin Hyde’s Dragon Rampant.
“We have good prospects for the translation of a couple of books. Also, Taiwan has expertise in selling rights into mainland China and Korea. It was a cool experience.”
Sam stopped over in Hong Kong on the way back to meet AUP’s printers and establish contacts with the Hong Kong University Press.
“The Wendy Pye Group have successfully sold to Taiwan and China in past years, and being there this year allowed us to renew old friendships,” said Dame Wendy. She joined sales rep Robert Andersen to represent her company at TIBE. “The fair is a leading opportunity to showcase technology like our extensive direct marketing package of print and technology being offered to Asia, in particular the new Sunshine Classic package. Orders which will result from this fair are now under discussion, and a further trip is planned to follow up and finalise deals in late March or April.
“For any publisher wishing to take the Asian market seriously, the Taipei fair should be a regular event on their company calendar. Congratulations also to the team who organised the events and the New Zealand stand.”
TIBE 2015 Guest of Honour plans progressed
The Taipei International Book Exhibition had a different focus for Kevin Chapman (Project Director GoH TIBE 2015) and Ka Meechan (Project Manager GoH TIBE 2015) – while other New Zealand publishing representatives were on the stand with their titles, they were involved in an intense round of meetings in preparation for our Guest of Honour year.
They met with publishers, fair organisers, cultural organisations, bookstores and other groups to discuss which to partner with and how partnership will work for both parties. “It was invaluable background for deciding what needs to be done, who we can do that with and what aspects we should be concentrating on,” said Kevin (pictured right).
“The next step is tying down the criteria and reporting back to the funding and reference groups with what we have learned. That includes Creative New Zealand, Education New Zealand, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, as well as writers’ representatives and others.
“We need to identify writers who have books in translation already on the market, and work with publishers about authors whose titles they believe will fit the Taiwan market. Once we’ve been through that process, we aim to have a draft programme schedule in July,” said Kevin.