Are you planning to attend the London Book Fair this year? Elaine Roberts has purchased her ticket and is heading to Olympia for her first taste of one of the publishing industry’s premier events. Here she tells us of her expectations and will return later in the month to share her experiences.
For several years I have heard talk of the London Book Fair (LBF), about the many talks and publishers that attend. However, every year work commitments have prevented me from attending. The good news is that I officially gave up work on the 31st March, so my time is my own and guess where I’m going, yes that’s right, The London Book Fair.
I purchased my ticket on line, which seems to be excellent value at £35 as it gives access for all three days, 12th – 14th April. I’m not sure I will have the energy for all of them, however, it does mean that a decision doesn’t have to be made months in advance as to which days to attend. I am so excited and imagine it to be similar to the Ideal Home exhibition, but for people in the publishing world, including print, audio, television, film as well as potential authors like me. Last year it attracted over 25,000 visitors so I’m expecting it to be a great experience and with a great buzz in the atmosphere. You can’t beat being surrounded by like minded people.
What will I do when I get there? Apart from gathering lots of paperwork, I really don’t know. I have returned to the website many times. It tells me there are numerous events on each day, and then there are the exhibitors. Almost every country appears to be represented on the exhibitors list for Services to the Publishing Industry. There is so much to see and hear that it is so hard to make a decision. There are many publishers represented there as well, from all over the world and it seems covering all genres, fiction and non-fiction. There are talks on numerous subjects from self-publishing to opening a bookshop. Can you imagine owning your own bookshop; I’d never leave, with all those books to read!
On arrival, a visitor is given a catalogue, which is full of information about everything that is going on at the LBF, including floor plans. I am lucky enough to be meeting up with fellow writers who are seasoned LBF visitors, Elaine Everest, Francesca Capaldi Burgess and Natalie Kleinman. I’m sure they will guide me through the day. A plan of what I am hoping to achieve before I go would be a good idea, otherwise I could be swamped with information and probably left a little overawed with the whole experience. Alternatively, I could just let the experience take me where it wants and go again next year with more of a plan; is that opting out of making a decision?
I believe a good night’s sleep the night before, a hearty breakfast and comfy shoes will be in order for the day.
Elaine is a member of the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme and is currently working on a family saga set in the1800s. She has sold short stories worldwide and enjoys attending RNA events such as the London chapter and our annual conference. Elaine is a great fan of writing retreats either week long by the sea with friends or one-day retreats with fellow writers in her hometown of Dartford. Elaine runs a writing blog along with writer, Francesca Capaldi Burgess called WriteMindWritePlace.
If you’ve attended The London Book Fair and can advise Elaine please post in the comment section below. Elaine will be reporting back in a few weeks to tell us about her experiences at the LBF.
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