A Highly Successful Second Edition of the New York Rights Fair – North America’s Leading Annual Event for the Trade in Publishing Rights

Quote: Again this year BolognaFiere and its partners brought a wide international selection of high quality publishers and literary agents to the Jacob Javits Center in the heart of Manhattan

Today saw the conclusion, after two days packed with events that enjoyed substantial participation, of the second edition of the New York Rights Fair (NYRF), the first professional event in the United States entirely dedicated to the market for copyrights and the distribution of content for adults, teenagers and children. From 29 to 31 May, the Jacob Javits Center in New York was the venue for an event that saw agents and publishers from all over the world take part in America’s largest trade fair for publishing rights.

The New York Rights Fair was born from the collaboration between BolognaFiere, owner of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair and one of Europe’s leading trade fair companies, Reed Exhibitions, global leader in event organisation and the organiser of BookExpo, the main North American event for the publishing sector, Publishers Weekly, the international information platform for the world of publishing, and Combined Book Exhibit, a resource that gathers and exhibits products and events from the world of international publishing.

For the very first time, the 2019 edition saw the New York Rights Fair and BookExpo taking place side by side. The two events involved 250 exhibitors and attracted more than 10,000 professionals from the publishing world from more than 80 countries, covering every aspect of the industry and the publishing market, welcoming publishers, agents, scouts, rights managers, cinema producers and professionals from every corner of the world to discuss content and the trade in rights concerning all formats, from the printed word to audio, film and television. The NYRF and BookExpo thus offered a complete platform capable of responding to the needs of the publishing community on a global level. In the world’s content capital, where the leading players from the publishing world, independent publishers, literary agents and scouts, talk on a daily basis with the film industry and the digital world, international publishing was able to find at the NYRF an ample and unmissable market for copyrights at which to showcase their latest proposals.

“Our company’s presence on foreign markets is becoming increasingly incisive,” announced Gianpiero Calzolari, president of BolognaFiere. “Over the last two years, BolognaFiere has been extending its international presence also in the publishing sector in which we are the undisputed leader with the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. In a market of such great importance as that of the United States, the New York Rights Fair is acknowledgement of our know-how and sees us collaborate with high profile partners such as Publishers Weekly, Combined Book Exhibit and BookExpo, enabling us to further extend our commercial relations around the world.”

Among the subjects discussed at the second edition were a number of focus sessions on hot topics and the latest news, including: the passage from book to screen; from options to production; “Brexit, what will happen in the publishing world?”; “Netflix, Amazon and the explosion of streaming: is there space for literary content?”; scouting and sales of international rights; market trends and politics.

Among the higher profile initiatives was Talking Pictures – The Visual Book Now, that brought to NYRF all of the atmosphere of the Bologna Children’s Book Fair through a structured programme of events focusing on illustrated books and everything about them. From graphic novels to the wealth of illustrated books, not only for children but also for adults, in Europe and the USA, from the importance of cover design to the latest trends developing in the sector of cookery books.

Created in collaboration with Steven Guarnaccia, illustrator, designer and lecturer at the Parsons School of Design in New York, and with the Hamelin Cultural Association, Talking Pictures included a conference at the Fair and various events in the heart of Manhattan (in particular at the Society of Illustrators and Rizzoli Bookstore, arguably two of the coolest places in the whole of the Big Apple). Furthermore, “TALKING PICTURES: Selected Books” celebrated excellence in editorial design in five categories of books (Architecture & Graphic Design, Art & Photography, Children’s Books, Cartoons and Graphic Novels, Cookery Books). From almost 600 titles published in 2018 all over the world, 23 were selected, 9 winners and 14 special mentions, originating from the United States, Norway, Sweden, France, Lithuania, Argentina, Portugal and Australia.

With the New York Rights Fair BolognaFiere continues to extend its collaborations, confirming its naturally international dimension. It follows on from last year when Bologna Children’s Book Fair – BolognaFiere consolidated its leadership role in some of the publishing world’s most interesting markets, not only in the United States but in China with the China Shanghai International Children’s Book Fair (for which BCBF has been co-organiser since 2018) and the new collaboration with the Moscow International Book Fair that, in 2021, will see the first edition of the new International Children’s Book Fair in Russia.


BolognaFiere China Ltd.