Thanks to Dominika at Booklikes I won a free guest pass to the London Book Fair. I had never been before, and set off excitedly with Sam this morning at 07:15 in the car for the 100+ mile drive to Olympia.
I had done my ‘homework’ a couple of days previously, and booked myself some interviews with smaller publishers and literary scouts on the London Book Fair website. I looked forward with anticipation to the first meeting with a publisher at 11am. Thankfully after negotiating the London traffic and parking the car we still had 20 minutes or so to spare.
All the big publishers and some smaller ones were situated on the ground floor. Sam and I had a quick look around before presenting for the first appointment. Unfortunately the publisher had no record of my appointment slot, but my luck was in – he was happy to speak to me. From what he told me and also from speaking to other small publishers who agreed with the first one, I quickly learned that the best way forward for Indie authors is to find a publisher who sells translation/foreign rights. We need to get our books noticed in other countries! He was happy to read some of my work, and we exchanged business cards. I was quite surprised though when he said that publishing paperbacks was ‘old hat’ because e-books are taking over! There was a large ‘Remainder’ section given over to paperbacks which were not selling well, and so perhaps he was correct? Who knows?
I gave the bigger publishers a wide berth, as they preferred to communicate only through agents.
Hustle City was on the second floor, as that’s where all the agents and scouts were located. I had an appointment with a scout, who also had no record of my booking a slot, but again was happy to speak to me. She agreed to read ‘A House Without Windows’ with a possible view to selling the translation rights.
So all in all a very good day. Moral of the story – if I go next year I will know to book my slots through the publishers/scouts themselves and not through the LBF website! London Book Fair dates for 2016 are 12 – 14 April.