Neil Bartlett

The second annual CBA MarketSquare gathering was held in Budapest, Hungary on April 7 and 8 at the Radisson Blu Beke Hotel in the city’s business district. Offering expanded geographic reach to Christian companies, the event occurred before the London Book Fair and after the Bologna (Italy) Children’s Book Fair.

The event emphasized foreign-language rights sales as well as publishing services and other product. Attendees spent one-on-one appointment time with representatives of top publishers and suppliers of Christian content and ministry materials. There was plenty of time to network with international publishers, acquisition editors, ministry leaders, exhibitors, and sponsors for relationship building and increased market knowledge.

Representatives of American publishers met with a variety of European and eastern European publishers interested in purchasing rights to publish particular works, says Curtis Riskey, CBA president. “Sometimes they’re published in English,” he says. “Sometimes there are contracts related to manuscripts getting translations.” Riskey says there are a variety of publishers who attended. “Some of the publishers are small, and some are larger,” he says. “It’s really a mix. There are a lot of small and medium-to-small publishers.”

This year’s conference marks the second in a row. “I believe the conference is growing in importance to those attending,” Riskey says. “Those who came to the 2015 conference looked forward to this event. We’re attempting to do some things to help it grow even further, to build on the foundation that’s been set so far.”

STRATEGIC RELATIONSHIPS FORGED

“It was a good opportunity to connect with strategic publishing partners,” said Fred Rudy of F.J. Rudy and Associates. Rudy said the small size, in contrast to larger book fairs, was optimal to developing relationships and understanding their specific situation and needs. “It was a relatively relaxed atmosphere, and I was able to spend more time with European publishers,” he said.

“Having a strategic relationship is very important,” said Rudy. He notes that the publishing process to get material to market in the countries represented is a long one. “It’s important that I stay in touch with them,” he says. Central to success is finding out what the publisher needs. “Knowing what kinds of books will work for them is important—not pushing my best-sellers or frontlist, but finding books that will work for them so they’re successful,” says Marilyn Gordon, director of rights and contracts at Baker Publishing Group. “They’re very ministry minded.”

Click for information on 2017 MarketSquare Budapest.