The alliance comprised six companies as follows:
ANVIL PUBLISHING, INC. [The Philippines]
BUKU FIXI [Malaysia]
KALACHUVADU PUBLICATIONS PVT LTD [India]
LE CHI CULTURE AND COMMUNICATIONS CO., LTD (CHIBOOKS) [Vietnam]
YUSOF GAJAH LINGARD LITERARY AGENCY [Malaysia]
ZUBAAN PUBLISHERS PVT LTD [India]
Linda who spoke at Global Local India in February this year about publishing in southeast Asia was gratified by the response from several Indian publishers and in view of the geographical proximity and large Indian diaspora in southeast Asia, south Asia was included into the alliance.
"We're expecting to see a great new partnership and to begin an ongoing relationship with publishers in the Asian region!" said Urvashi, founder of Zubaan, India well known for their fiction by south Asian women. For Frankfurt, Zubaan will be "bringing some stunning new novels, originally written in English and some in translation from Indian languages, and two graphic books, that focus on speculative fiction and violence against women."
Malaysian publisher, Buku Fixi who won the Bookseller International Adult Trade Publisher Award at the London Book Fair this year is also part of the SESA Alliance.
"With the focus on ASEAN and Indonesia in the next two years, there could be growing interest in our part of the world. It is a better time to showcase our literature, our cuisine, architecture and design, our arts, and culture, our history as a nation and people," said Karina Bolasco, publishing manager of Anvil Publishing in the Philipppines.
This will be the first time Anvil Publishing will be exhibiting at the Frankfurt Book Fair and Karina is interested to buy both reprint and translation rights in basic education following changes in their curriculum in line with international K-12 reforms.
Clearly the Vietnamese appetite for bestsellers, YA and chick lit is not on the wane as founder and CEO Le Chi is expecting to do more shopping at Frankfurt Book Fair. At the same time, the enterprising Le Chi is bringing with her a list of well-known Vietnamese authors to tempt publishers looking for new works from Vietnam.
Apart from the five publishers listed here, the YGL Agency has added more titles and publishers to their list in addition to their more popular Oyez!Books and Yusof Gajah children's titles. These include Suryastra, an independent publisher from India, Armour Publishing from Singapore; Wild Crane Press from Singapore, Litara Foundation from Indonesia and PTS Media Group from Malaysia in addition to Buku Fixi.
Suryastra, which means sun energy in Sanskrt has an eclectic list in art and design, literature and drama, science, environment and sustainable living; Armour Publishing has a good range of non-fiction titles on health, parenting, management and biographies as well as attractive value-based children's books for up to early teens.
Wild Crane Press, a new publisher, specialises in beautiful lusciously illustrated picture books.
And for those who are looking for specific Indonesian picture book titles for children, Litara Foundation, established in 2013 by five Indonesian authors and illustrators has wonderful stories that would make good introduction to Indonesian culture.
The PTS Media Group is an innovative and leading trade publisher in Malaysia with a comprehensive range of books from children, YA, fiction, non-fiction to Islamic titles.
"This is only just the beginning," said Linda. "You could say the Frankfurt Book Fair is the SESA Alliance's first outing. If there are enough publishers, we may have combined stands at other fairs such as the London Book Fair. And it's not just international fairs we are thinking about. We have already started discussions with Silverfish Books, an independent bookstore and publisher in Malaysia to have a rotation of publishers from around the region to promote and sell their books at Silverfish. We are expecting publishers from India, Singapore and New Zealand to join in this promotion next year."
The SESA Alliance will be having drinks and tea at their stand in Hall 5.0 D33 on Wednesday 8th October 2014 at the Frankfurt Book Fair, 4.00-5.30pm. All are welcome.