Monday, April 21, 2008

Impressions of the London Book Fair

My time at the London Book Fair this year was fleeting. I primarily went to meet our new parent company's foreign rights rep and give him some insights on some of my books. But I also walked the whole floor of the place fairly quickly and got a feel for the scope and scale of this fair, one of the main events in the yearly calendar of book fairs.

The big publishers were there as usual with their giant "booths," which are bigger than my first apartment.

Here is a picture of my husband in his place in Pearson's booth. He was booked solid with 30-minute appointments all three days of the fair, from 9am to 6pm. He didn't even schedule time to eat. I was able to join him and some of his customers and coworkers for a couple of dinners in London, which is always an experience.

The London Book Fair didn't seem to be as rife with over-the-top publicity ploys as BookExpo always is (although one Turkish publisher was passing out gift bags full of Turkish delight to anyone and everyone). (I brought some home for our little Narnia fan.)

The only "celebrity" I spotted was Sara Nelson of Publishers Weekly. She was busy talking to someone, so I vowed to come back later and ask her to be interviewed for the blog. But when I returned, she was gone. I think I'll still try to get in touch with her at some point. Meanwhile, you can read her more cogent overview of the fair here.

Had I not been getting sick, I would have dug in more deeply; but under the circumstances, I feel I just skimmed the surface of this year's fair. It was huge, and this photo just barely gives you an idea of that:

Next up is BookExpo in L.A. next month. I'll be more deeply immersed in that fair since several of my authors will be there and we'll be promoting some "big books" (for us).

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