What did I learn from the London Book Fair?
The London Book Fair, and all book fairs like it, is a networking fair for industry insiders, which, for the most part, does not really mean authors and writers. You might think it does, but actually, it is about agents meeting publishers, distributors selling to publishers, publishers networking with agents and distributors, technologists selling e-book and anti-piracy software to publishers….you get the picture.
That said, my wander around Olympia over the course of three days was not wasted and taught me a great deal. Not the lessons I might have expected to learn, but these are often the best.
The London Book Fair is a networking fair for industry insiders which for the most part ……will be busy with industry insiders talking to each other. They will not have time for anything else unless it is by appointment
If I want to meet anyone who might be attending the Fair, I can try to make an appointment too, using the ‘set up a meeting’ function on the Book Fair website. (Buying a visitor ticket for the week of the LBF does not mean you have an account.) Visiting the LBF website, setting up an account – which I finally did – gives you more options, the most valuable of which might well be asking for an appointment with an industry professional, through the ‘set up a meeting’ link. It pays to do research first, though, checking out which of the exhibitors at the fair are a good match. If you can take rejection well, it is worth a try.…wallflowers need not apply
Wearing a bright jacket will get you noticed. Polite flamboyance is rewarded with a few more smiles.
It is lovely to listen to the authors who do speak, about their experiences with writing and getting published.
If I plan my itinerary and have a rough idea of the floor plan, wanderings are less aimless and exhausting. Note to self: Next time visit authors’ HQ on the first floor.
Pace yourself. I ran around like a rabbit with spring fever on day one, so that by day two, I was exhausted. By day three, I was more accustomed, and able to wander around peacefully, and productively.
I may go next year.
Thanks for reading!