Walking up to the entrance of the grand exhibition hall, I was filled with excitement and uncertainty as to what each day would bring! I flicked through the pages of the LBF directory: the vast number of companies was overwhelming.
As the morning of the first day began, the atmosphere was electric. The theme for LBF 2012 was China, and walking around it truly felt like that. Oriental symbols, pictures, fashion, people, food even! Heading towards the Author’s Lounge, as ‘Fast-Print Publishing Assistant’, I was ready to be of assistance.
Throughout the day, Leah and I spoke to authors interested in self-publishing and listened to their unique stories. Each author shared an individual tale about the inception of an idea for a book that they had transcribed onto paper. Their passion for writing was admirable and their personal journeys spoke levels about their commitment to being published. Conversations never ran dry but were always exciting and totally unpredictable, and so each day I came home exhausted.
The second and third day brought further excitement, and we spent a little more time walking around the fair and understanding the different areas of publishing. It was interesting to see the different cultures of organisations as people conversed over coffee or discussed business contracts – diary in one hand, iPad in the other. We attended a seminar on ‘Careers in Publishing’ organised by the SYP, providing guidance on how to break into the industry. It was both insightful and entertaining; it gave me many useful tips for the future!
Around 4pm each day the fair became quieter as people made their way home and companies began packing up. At this point, I was able to reflect on the day’s activities and simply breathe in the atmosphere, whilst coming to the realisation that I was actually quite tired and needed to put my feet up!
By and large, the experience was invaluable and certainly provided insight into the world of Publishing. I hadn’t realised how many different areas of publishing there are, and how friendly people can be. It appeared that people work hard in the industry and still maintain an amiable, calmness about them that was pleasing to see. I relished the opportunity to be part of London Book Fair and hope to be back there next year, perhaps working for a publisher!