I’ve never been to the London Book Fair before. It’s a little overwhelming. Here’s some advice.
- Whatever the temperature outside, it’s boiling hot inside Olympia. Do not overdress.
- Wear comfortable shoes. I’ll say that again: WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES. I made the mistake of wearing stylish, fancy shoes and am now writing this in a pub with three Compeed plasters on each heel and one on each of my big toes.
- Be prepared for a lot of walking around the large venue, and a lot of standing — even for most of the presentations — because the venue is shockingly short of seating for visitors. Want to sit down for lunch? You’ll be lucky. Bring a picnic blanket.
- The presentations are all interesting, but many cover very basic ground. Once you’ve been an indie author for a while, a lot of what’s on offer here will be old hat — but I was surprised at how many obvious newbies were attending.
- The best thing about today has been meeting up with pals from the Alliance of Independent Authors, putting faces to names and meeting them ‘in the flesh’ for the first time. What a remarkably likeable and sociable bunch we are!
Am I glad I came? I’m exhausted, my feet are killing me, but yes, worth the effort for sure. It’s a real eye-opener about the publishing industry here in the U.K. and as an aspiring indie author, you can learn a lot from seeing what the ‘big players’ are doing. And if it hasn’t already sunk in, you’re confronted with how important book jacket design is — and the large sums the big publishing houses spend on it.
Will I come again?
Never say never, I suppose!
UPDATE: VIDEO FROM LONDON BOOK FAIR 2017
Here’s a video of the first half of “How to Reach More Readers and Make More Money from Your Books” featuring Joanna Penn and Adam Croft.