When you enter any trade fair you're handed all sorts of leaflets, cards and magazines. The London Book Fair has a daily news sheet The Bookseller Daily. On the first day, this was the front page headline:
Self-Publishing, Agency Under Debate
"The future of self-publishing, the new agency model and the Penguin Random House merger will be the hottest talking points at the London Book Fair, industry figures predict. Self-published authors will have a greater voice at LBF than ever before, with agents and authors coming together for the LitFactor Pitch curated by AuthorRight, while the Alliance of Independent Authors celebrates its first birthday at the fair. Agent Luigi Bonomi said: "I think we're really moving into a very different world. To date it has been a reticence, a diffidence towards publishers by self-published authors, and vice versa, and maybe this year the Cold War between these two communities will be broken by the two sides meeting face to face, and realising they both have separate strengths and weaknesses."....
The first time I went, 2 years ago, it felt like gatecrashing. Like most authors I like being an outsider so that was OK. I'd started publishing other writers and live a fifteen minute walk away so there was no way I wasn't going to go. With over 250 seminars and events to choose from, there was no time to sit around feeling like a cow in a slaughterhouse, there was far too much to see and to learn.
Last year a few writer friends turned up & I got a small sense of the party vibe, bumping into people, texting, meeting up etc.
|The Alliance's new book - on Amazon or free to members.|
Authors Electric are in there.
For the last 2 years the Author Lounge was a sad little booth at the Fair, run by "self-publishing services". It felt symbolic of the whole attitude of the Fair, and publishing generally, to authors and made me sad and angry. Now managed by Authoright, The Author's Lounge has been transformed, totally transformed. It was one of the real buzz points of the Fair, attracting, apparently, more than just the LitFactor literary agents down from their segregated International Rights floor on high to see what was going on.
Here are a few photos:
|Only at the LBF can you be sitting having a coffee |
when a Will Self book signing springs up right next to you.
English Penn Literary Cafe, highly recommended.
A seminar on the state of publishing in Brazil. I love Brazil, one of my next novels is set there, and I wanted to find out how books fitted in to their economic boom. Turns out there's a long way to go before ebooks will be part of life there. I do quite fancy the Sao Paolo Book Fair though.. 2015.. hmm...
I learnt so much at SALT Publishing's seminar on Social Networking on a Budget it'll have to be a separate blog post.
When all of this got too much...
|Troubadour Coffee House Secret Garden|