Publishers Weekly - 04.11.2019

(Barré) #1


these publishers, but here you do.”

Ingram Book Group was also at Sharjah and reaffirmed its

intent to create a print-on-demand and distribution facility

in the Sharjah Book City Free Zone—now rebranded as SBCFZ.

David Taylor, Ingram’s senior v-p of international content

acquisition, told the professional program attendees that

the facility is expected to open in the first quarter of 2020.

Canada was represented by 14 publishers as a part of a

trade delegation organized by Livres Canada Books. “We have

many immigrants from the Middle East in Canada,” said

François Charette, executive director of Livres Canada Books,

“so it is important for us to be here.”

Semareh Al-Hillal, publisher at Groundwood Books in

Toronto, observed that there were so many publishers in

the Middle East growing their lists of children’s books. She

was particularly taken with the work of several Jordanian

publishers. “We already do bilingual books, and it has made

me think about adding Arabic as a language for that series,”

she said.

Andrew Wooldridge, publisher of Orca Books in Vancouver,

was also heartened by the experience. “I was impressed

to see all the interest in indigenous publishing, in places

like New Zealand and Africa, which is something we already

do a lot of in Canada,” he said. Woolridge added that he’d

had 12 publishers sign letters of intent to pursue rights

contracts with Orca, some for multiple books. “It was more

interest than I thought we would get. But it seems in the

Arab world there’s a strong interest in nonfiction books for

children, particularly in areas of the environment and social


There were a significant number of Syrian publishers

present, many of them displaced and representing them-

selves under the flags of their new homes in countries

including Jordan, Lebanon, and the U.A.E. Syrian children’s

book publisher Brightfingers, for example, now describes

itself as a Dutch publisher, having moved to Amsterdam

from Damascus, via Istanbul, where it famously opened the

Arabic-language bookstore Pages, which has also relocated

to the Netherlands.

Many international publishers were keen to find books

to serve communities of immigrants, refugees, and “new

arrivals.” Among them was Flora Majdalawi Saadi, editor

of Fenix, the Arabic-language imprint of Bonnier in Sweden,

who was acquiring children’s and middle grade titles. “We

are seeing more and more people arriving in Sweden who

need own-language materials,” she said. “As Sweden’s top

publisher, we feel it is our duty to serve them and those

who have assimilated but want their children to learn to

Author and friend

1942 – 2019

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