Author Events At The London Book Fair 2013 - Stephanie Zia

Preparations for The London Book Fair  (April 15 - 17) are in full swing with news of seminars and events gradually going up online.
The London Book Fair, Earl's Court
I was planning on giving the Author Lounge a wide birth this year. This tiny space furnished with toadstool-like perches and featuring hard-sell salesmen seemed to embody all that was wrong with the author/publishing industry relationship. It looks like it's all change this year. The Author Lounge has its own Seminar Room with a schedule of talks, discussions and events and authors are even being pitched to on the front page of the Fair website. Alongside digital - another backwater a couple of years ago. Times they have changed.

Full details are still coming through but already announced are:

E to Eternity  The future of digital  hosted by Kindle Direct Publishing

Are bookstores here to stay?  Sam Husein, Chief Executive, Foyles.

The challenges facing digital publishing with Jason Cooper, digital director Faber & Faber and Friday Project's Scott Pack (1pm 16th April - I'll be queuing for that one)

Author as entrepreneur with G. P. Taylor and Polly Courtney

How to get a literary agent Henry de Rougement, The Hanbury Agency

The future of literary agents  Andrew Lownie  Andrew recently announced his own ebook and POD publishing initiative, Thistle Publishing.  From The Bookseller 15 Feb 2013" Lownie said, “With e-book publishers and Amazon offering up to 70%, publishers will be left behind if they don’t adapt.” He added: “This is something we do in addition to our main job. There are some books that don’t fit the conventional model, where publishers don’t see the market for it, but we do - or they can’t publish it quickly enough … We are still acting as agents - but we are giving a brand, through Thistle, to these particular books. We are giving people the opportunity to earn while we showcase the works.” 

When is a book not a book? Eric Huang 
Director, New Business & IP Acquisitions at Penguin Books Charlie Redmayne 
CEO, Pottermore

There's also The Pitch, a literary agent pitching event. You have to book your place in advance & can register for a flags-up of when tickets are being released here. This is real progress as in years before the agents were all hidden away on their own floor at the top of escalators you needed a special pass for! They still are, of course. My friend and I went up to have a look, pointing our noses straight ahead and not catching Security's eye we got through. There's not much to see, lots of tables and a champagne bar.   

The AuthorLounge is being curated by Authoright. I know nothing about them but this can only be an improvement on what went before. The events there are only the tip of the iceberg. The three days are crammed full of seminars and discussions scattered in rooms and on stands through the vast space that is Earl's Court. Registration also includes a year's free membership of an international rights website initiative called PubMatch. I attended the LBF for the first time two years ago, I was full of 'not for the likes of us' trepidation it didn't seem a place for authors to be turning up unless you were already successful and part of the show.  So it's good to see the tone has definitely changed.

Base camp - The English PEN Literary Café 
I have yet to make my final list but already booked is the Alliance of Independent Authors' meetup on the 15th (at 10.00 on the same day is a talk by founder Orna Ross Going Indie: Lessons from The Alliance of Independent Authors On Successful Self-Publishing) and I'd like to see Salt Publishing's presentation on how to build social and brand equity on a shoestring. 
Kazuo Ishiguro At The London Book Fair 2011
Base camp will again be the English PEN Literary Café. Two appearing this year are Will Self and Lionel Shriver. Two years ago we caught an interview with Kazuo Ishiguro. And last year, Tom Watson, Caitlin Moran...
Caitlin Moran at the London Book Fair 2012

and, Where's Wally moment, this Booker-winning author:


Susan Price said…
Stephanie - dare we hope that you'll report back on your expeditions from Base Camp? We'd love to know.
I'm betting that, after this Fair, there'll suddenly be a lot more authors self-publishing...
Whatcha reckon?
Stephanie Zia said…
Yes would love to. It's amazing how much they've shifted to welcoming authors this year when it used to feel like gatecrashing (which I've always enjoyed, being where I'm not supposed to be)...
Good luck, Stephanie. I went once, smuggled in by my agent... found it all quite crazy and was glad to get home! Look forward to reading your report.
julia jones said…
Yes thanks Stephanie. I went a couple of years ago and felt unlikely to bother again but your post may make me rethink
Dennis Hamley said…
Haven't been to the LBF for years. Perhaps I should. There are obviously some important sessions this time. But I certainly won't be going to hear GP Taylor. His sort of entrepreneurship does NOT appeal to me.
Stephanie Zia said…
Thanks all. I live so close to the venue it would be weird not to go really, and I've found it progressively enjoyable. It's certainly all developing in the right way. Now who is G P Taylor?!

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