FAT 2: Publisher Research

My FAT 2 project brief requires me to select and define my target audience as well as well end consumer. As for my book illustration project, I had fixed Yusof Gajah Literary Agency as the agency to represent me in dealing with all kinds of copyright selling. Basically, the agency mainly focuses on children’s literature. The founder Yusof Gajah is a well-known Malaysian artist. The agency often represents the Malaysian artists, writers and publishers to sell the copyright to foreign countries; on the other hand, they bring in some foreign children’s books and novel to the local market. By far they have successfully sold a number of Malaysian artist’s copyright to oversea, these include Yusof Gajah, Emila Yusof, Jainal Amambing, Nur Azmi Moktar, etc. This somehow would broaden my illustration career.

In terms of the choices of publisher, I choose one of Yusof Gajah Literacy Agency’s partner – Oyez!Books. The publisher has published quite a number of children’s books. From the website, Oyez!Books states it has published around 100 books since 2007, this is considered quite pro-active in Malaysia children publication. According to my research, the president of the company is Linda Tan Ligard, who is also a managing partner of Yusof Gajah Lingard Literacy, therefore it explains the close tie in between these two companies. The authors and illustrators, whose works have been published by Oyez!Books, include Yusof Gajah, Jainal Amambing, Awang Fadilah, Rossiti Aishah, Emila Yusof etc. Beside of publishing Malaysian local artist’s work, Oyez!Books also successfully sell their copyright to oversea, like Yusof Gajah’s Where is My Ball (Fig. 1), Jainal Amambing’s The Magic Buffalo (Fig. 2), Farrah Ashiela Samsuri’s Puteri Tioman, etc. Many of the books published were related to Malaysian cultural theme, such as The Magic Buffalo, Puteri Tioman, Kailash, Taman Bunga Emak Saya, Dapur Emak Saya (Fig. 3). This not only effectively engages with the established local target audience, but also using our distinctive culture as the unique selling point to sell to foreign market. Besides, it is fascinating to see the various artists express their own idea with their unique styles. Take Gajah’s work as example, his minimalist and simple shape approaches are practical for  children; yet, Amambing’s works and Samsuri’s illustration are more realistic and crafted.

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Fig. 1, Yusof Gajah, cover of Where is My Ball?, 2011

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Fig. 2, Jainal Amambing, image from The Magical Buffalo, 2011

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Fig. 3, Emila Yusof, cover of Taman Bunga Emak Saya and Dapur Emak Saya, 2009

I plan to draw 2 pages of the spread. One of the submission criteria set by Oyez!Books is at least 700 words for a children book manuscript. That means I have to write at least 17 words per page if making a 40-page of picture book.

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