Monday, 20 April 2015
This year's London Book Fair moved from Earl's Court Exhibition Centre to Olympia. Although Olympia was more difficult to get to, involving taking a tube and then an overground bus, the new venue was perfect. With natural lighting and a balcony view of events and stands, it was an altogether more pleasant internal space than Earl's Court. There was a huge amount that could be discovered at The London Book Fair. There were companies that could convert your book to digital, seminars that showed different approaches to marketing, a future-gazing presentation that could change your strategy. The exciting thing is that there just be a chance meeting that leads to future success.
The variety of topics covered and the number of stands was huge. It gave visitors access to an incredible line-up of educational seminars, interviews, workshops and demonstrations. The first talk I was interested in listening to was Introduction To Publishing - The Roles Of Publisher And Literary Agent. This took place in the Author HQ and consisted of conversation between the audience and David Shelley, CEO of Little Brown and Lizzy Kremere, Literary Agent.
At the Children's Hub a couple of hours later, there was a talk about The Power Of Reading: Developing Reading For Pleasure In Schools. Having three ideas for children's books that are only scribbles in notebooks at the moment, I found this very helpful.
I met a couple of fellow writers in the cafe and we became engrossed in conversation, swapping notes and simply enjoying the company of other writers who'd come to explore. We had to sneak into the back of a seminar that had already started but which turned out to be an excellent question/answer session. Questions were asked from the audience about writing a synopsis, how important a 'hook' is in the first chapter (not always was a surprising answer), how publishing has changed and how too much description should be avoided. I always find these sessions the most useful because the questions are so varied, as opposed the talks about one particular aspect of writing.
There were lots of books for sale and literary gifts to buy. This is the pile I brought back from London with me. (Note to self; they were heavy - take a shopping trolley next year!)
Oh, I nearly forgot - I also found a little something else in Harrods!