Back from Day 1 of the Manila International Book Fair, and I’m pretty worn out, but happy. I was not in book shopping mode (not yet), and I was only able to get one book (it’s true!), but it’s been a very productive day otherwise.
Opening day is always my busiest, and it was busier than usual this year. Most of my work is concentrated on opening day, as I have interviews lined up across the day, and I have to snatch pockets of time in between to write some book fair stories to send out immediately. So mission accomplished on that end.
Anyway, here’s a peek at my day at the MIBF:
(From left: Tinette Capistrano, vice president, Primetrade Asia, Inc. (MIBF organizer);
Isa Garcia-Jacinto, secretary, Overseas Publishers’ Representatives Association of the Philippines (OPRAP);
Neni Sta. Romana-Cruz, chair, National Book Development Board (NBDB);
Lirio Sandoval, president, Book Development Association of the Philippines (BDAP);
and Irene Lloren, president, Primetrade Asia, Inc.)
Interesting factoids: 1) Cong. Leni Robredo’s favorite literary hero is Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” and 2) Sen. Sonny Angara has been going to the book fair since he was young, tagging along with his dad, former Sen. Ed Angara, who was instrumental in the creation of NBDB and the inception of the Manila International Book Fair.
A big part of my day was devoted to interviews with Wattpad co-founder Allen Lau and country manager Kristel Tan.
Sitting down with them was a revelation. I mean, I knew Wattpad’s pretty popular, but I only discovered how huge it was today. Just think about the numbers:
25 million unique users / month (worldwide)
Philippines accounts for 23% of the traffic, growing 10-15% per month
PH is Wattpad’s #2 market after the US
Some 300,000 – 400,000 stories in Filipino uploaded on the site
2,500 fanfic stories based on the loveteam KathNiel
And that is why Wattpad is at the MIBF. Tomorrow at 10:30, Allen is giving a talk and they have a meet and greet for their fans at the stage area, and I hear 900 people have confirmed their attendance. I think that’s just incredible.
with Allen Lau and fellow book blogger, Honey
After a series of press interviews, I had to sit down and pound out some stories, and I was glad for the company:
Wuv our crazy bunch! (photo grabbed from Tarie)
Then a tv crew arrived so I had to run. Was surprised to see so many people milling around — for Day 1, that was a sizable crowd out there today.
It was sundown when I was finally able to make the rounds on the selling floor to check out this year’s book fair offerings. I wasn’t able to browse extensively, but here’s some stuff that might interest you:
The Adarna bayongs are pretty nifty. I’m eyeing the P400 one with all their latest books inside. The Pilandok plushie and the shirts are adorable, too! The bottom bins have assorted titles selling at only P35 each. Will have to get there early tomorrow for fresh stock. (Fingers crossed they still have some!)
Squee, Kuting Magiting board books at the OMF booth! I love Kuting Magiting to bits.
This is the first time I’ve seen locally-published board books and I think it’s a swell idea. Start them early!
Lining up for the book signing, definitely.
Say hello to Kobo at the NBS booth.
You can test out the Kobo devices at the booth!
They’ll be in stores by Sept. 20, but they can take pre-orders at the booth already.
And my sole purchase so far (and this has been on my wishlist for a couple of years!):
Capped off my day with comfort food with my cousin Dianne — Yabu and blue cheese ice cream at Sebastian’s.
I will literally be opening Book Fair gates in a few hours — 6 am calltime, meep! Will have more photos for you soon, so check out my next MIBF posts.