London Book Fair celebrates children’s publishing

This year's London Book Fair has discussed the important role of ebooks in the world of children's literature.

Held at Earls Court, one of London conference rooms, the fair has heard from an expert panel on how to ensure that children's publishing will evolve in the digital age and discussion surrounding the introduction of technology to improve and challenge publishing houses.

The Penguin, Macmillan, Nosy Crow Panel considered the obstacles that publishers face in the genre and raised concerns about the cost of producing digital content for children. In particular, there are worries that the cost of employing programmers and designers to produce interactive app books could make them unattractive and unaffordable for many parents.

"Children's books make money: a good amount of money," explained Jeff Gomez, chief executive officer of Starlight Runner.

He added: "The expectation on the part of publishers is that they won't make that much money on the digital format. That’s a big stepping on the brakes for a lot of publishers."

Meanwhile, Chinese literature is also enjoying the spotlight at the 2012 fair as part of a special cultural programme aimed at showcasing the range of works produced by Chinese-based writers and publishers.  Around 35 seminars focusing on aspects of the Chinese publishing industry will be held over the course of the two-day event, while a dedicated area of the arena will be devoted solely to nearly 200 Chinese publishing companies.

The fair is now in its 41st year and remains a key industry event for the UK and international publishing world. Held at Earls Court until April 18th, it is expected that 24,500 publishing professionals will attend the event this year.

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