The dull day outside was immediately forgotten once I stepped inside the halls of Earls Court Exhibition Centre. I had been let out of work for the morning to visit the London Book Fair (thank you, Walker!) because they felt that it was worth the visit, and it truly was. There was a buzz to the place; it was so bright and alive. It was certainly an experience walking through those doors for the first time! There were people browsing and people striding around like they ruled the world, and indeed, this is where it happens; British and international publishers come together to deal.
This year the book fair was focused on the Chinese market (heads-up: next year it’s Turkey!). I wish there had been the opportunity to ask about that market, but everybody was so busy with their sales. While that was unfortunate, there was so much else to focus on. The Book Fair has everything you could want, from children’s publishing houses like Little Tiger to small independents from the far corners of Wales. There’s something there for everyone.
Soon I had to head upstairs to my chosen seminar, which was the SYP’s ‘How to get into publishing’. The hall was really busy (lots of competition but nice to know there’s hope for publishing yet!) but having a prime seat I really felt a part of what was going on. The talk was brilliant with Neil Morrison, Alistair Horne, Mary Ann Kernan, and Suzanne Kavanagh contributing, all of them experts in the industry. Before I knew it they were asking for the last question and the talk drew to a close. How disappointing but really useful!
Next year I plan to visit many more seminars, as there was so much on offer and so much to learn. It’s an exciting time to be involved in publishing and so I look forwards to what the future brings!
Photo courtesy of Rebekah Ducat